Governor Mark Gordon has called the Wyoming legislature into a special session, the first since 2004.
"The Wyoming constitution authorizes me to convene the legislature for the special session in the case of a 'grave emergency in the affairs of the state,'" Gordon said during a press conference Thursday. "That is the position Wyoming, like almost every other state, finds itself in today."
The goal of the special session, which will convene virtually at 8 a.m. May 15, is to distribute $1.25 billion in federal assistance from the CARES Act.
In broad strokes, the four bills developed for that special session are expected to deliver federal assistance to hospitals, rent relief, COVID-19 testing efforts, a state-run small-business loan and grant program, and local governments incurring costs related to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gordon stressed Thursday the importance of delivering aid to Wyoming citizens and businesses while ensuring that funds are spent in a foolproof fashion, the idea being to make sure that future federal audits of the dollars go smoothly.
"I'm looking for the help of the legislature to devise programs that can be very responsive to the specific needs of the people of Wyoming," Gordon said, "and be able to deploy those resources to the people of Wyoming, when they're needed, which is right now."
The seat of the special session will be in Cheyenne, though senators and representatives will be able to participate remotely via teleconference tools.