Gov. Mark Gordon

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon answers questions during the State of the State address in August at the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts amphitheater. The governor on Friday signed the only bill to make it into law from the Wyoming Legislature’s special session.

Gov. Mark Gordon has signed the sole bill to emerge from the Wyoming Legislature's special session intended to fight the Biden administration's federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate. 

The governor put pen to paper as he engages in a number of lawsuits against various aspects of the federal mandate: one against requirements on federal contractors and contracted employees, one against requiring vaccines in private businesses with more than 100 employee, and one against an edict that would generally require healthcare workers to get inoculated.

Gordon's office was quick to highlight the legal challenges his administration is already pursuing in a Friday press release, and he was critical of the cost of the special session: $233,000.

“This bill confirms the Legislature’s support for the executive branch’s previously-expressed determination to fight federal overreach in the courts,” Gordon said in the press release."I thank the Legislature for recognizing their distinct constitutional responsibility as appropriators in forwarding resources to support this endeavor."

House Bill 1002, which Gordon signed, appropriates $4 million for legal challenges to federal vaccine mandates. It also includes a strongly worded resolution to be delivered to the federal government and bars public entities from requiring employees to be vaccinated, with a number of caveats. 

Those caveats include making unenforceable the provisions of the bill barring public entities from enforcing a federal vaccine mandate after a federal mandate takes effect. 

But they can, however, be enforced if a court puts a stay on the mandate or the mandate is repealed.

Contact Billy Arnold at 732-7063 or barnold@jhnewsandguide.com.

Teton County Reporter

Billy Arnold has covered government and policy since January 2020, sitting through hours of Teton County meetings so readers don't have to. He moonlights as a ski reporter, helps with pandemic coverage and sneaks away to climb when he can.

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