Wyoming House of Representatives
|Wyoming House of Representatives|
|2015 session start:||January 13, 2015|
|Website:||Official House Page|
|House Speaker:||Kermit Brown (R)|
|Majority Leader:||Rosie Berger (R)|
|Minority Leader:||Mary Throne (D)|
Democratic Party (9)
Republican Party (50)
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||Art 3, Wyoming Constitution|
|Salary:||$150/day + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 4, 2014 (60 seats)|
|Next election:||November 8, 2016 (60 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Wyoming Legislature has control|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Redistricting
- 5 Representatives
- 6 Standing committees
- 7 History
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
As of April 2015, Wyoming is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.
Article III of the Wyoming Constitution establishes when the Wyoming State Legislature, of which the House of Representatives is a part, is to be in session. Sections 6 and 7 of Article III contain the relevant provisions. The Legislature is to convene in regular session for no more than sixty legislative working days every two years, and no more than forty legislative days in any year. In odd-numbered years, the Legislature meets for a general and budget session, beginning on the second Tuesday of January. In even-numbered years, the Legislature meets for a session devoted to budgetary matters.
Section 7 of Article III contains the provisions for convening special sessions of the Legislature. Special sessions can be convened by the proclamation of the Governor of Wyoming, or the Legislature can convene a special session of up to twenty legislative days if the session is requested by a majority of the members of each legislative house.
- See also: Dates of 2015 state legislative sessions
In 2015, the Legislature was in session from January 13 to March 12.
Medicaid and the state's budget topped the list of major issues in the 2015 legislative session for Wyoming. The state considered options to expand Medicaid coverage for the thousands of working poor in the state, but Governor Matt Mead and Senator Charles Scott (R) proposed competing plans, and Wyoming House of Representatives Republicans looked to block any expansion of the program.
- See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the Legislature was in session from February 10 through March 7.
Major issues in the 2014 legislative session included addressing the state's budget, requiring for-profit hospitals to accept a percentage of charity care, increased school accountability and reforming retirement systems of state agencies.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 8 through February 27.
Major issues in the 2013 legislative session included "opting out" of the Affordable Healthcare Act and Medicaid, a 10-cent fuel tax increase, infrastructure improvements, and reforms to sex crime laws.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the House was in session from February 13 through March 9.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the Legislature was in regular session from January 11 through March 3. The 45 calendar days that the Wyoming Legislature was in session during 2011 is tied with Utah, New Mexico, and Arkansas for the shortest legislative session in the country. 
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
Role in state budget
- See also: Wyoming state budget and finances
- Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies on or before June 15.
- State agencies submit their budget requests in September.
- Agency hearings are held by November 20.
- The Wyoming State Legislature adopts a budget in March. A simple majority is required to pass a budget.
- The biennial budget cycle begins in July.
The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative released a report in July 2013 indicating that cost-benefit analysis in policymaking led to more effective uses of public funds. Looking at data from 2008 through 2011, the study's authors found that some states were more likely to use cost-benefit analysis, while others were facing challenges and lagging behind the rest of the nation. The challenges states faced included a lack of time, money and technical skills needed to conduct comprehensive cost-benefit analyses. Wyoming was one of 11 states that made rare use of cost-benefit analyses in policy and budget processes.
Ethics and transparency
Following the Money report
- See also: "Following the Money" report, 2014
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer-focused nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., released its annual report on state transparency websites in April 2014. The report, entitled "Following the Money," measured how transparent and accountable state websites are with regard to state government spending. According to the report, Wyoming received a grade of C- and a numerical score of 68, indicating that Wyoming was "middling" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.
Open States Transparency
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Wyoming was given a grade of C in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data was to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A: Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
Elections for the office of Wyoming House of Representatives took place in 2014. A primary election took place on August 19, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was May 30, 2014.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Wyoming House of Representatives|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 45||Matt Greene||2.1%||3,501||Tony Mendoza|
|District 48||Mark Baker||3.3%||3,349||Joseph Barbuto|
|District 33||W. Patrick Goggles||4.2%||3,029||Jim Allen|
|District 15||Donald Burkhart||5.3%||3,265||George Bagby|
|District 8||Bob Nicholas||7.6%||4,715||Kathleen Petersen|
|District 59||Carl Loucks||10.5%||3,417||Mike Gilmore|
|District 17||Stephen Watt||10.7%||3,044||JoAnn Dayton|
|District 22||Marti Halverson||11%||4,369||Bill Winney|
|District 11||Mary Throne||13.2%||3,056||Jerry Zellers|
|District 41||Ken Esquibel||14.6%||3,782||Donna Roofe|
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was May 28, 2010 (August 23 for independents). The primary Election Day was August 17, 2010. Representatives serve a two-year terms with no term limits. All members are up for election on even years. Of the 60 seats up for re-election, incumbents ran in 48 of them.
In 2010, the candidates for state house raised a total of $699,577 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were:
|2010 Donors, Wyoming House of Representatives|
|Wyoming Realtors Association||$17,350|
|Wyoming Education Association||$16,820|
|United Transportation Union||$14,500|
|Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association||$13,250|
|CONPAC Contractors PAC||$12,500|
|United Pacific Railroad||$10,500|
|Dixon, Kathleen Baker||$10,000|
|Trucking Industry PAC||$9,700|
Elections for the office of Wyoming House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on August 19, 2008, and a general election on November 4, 2008.
During the 2008 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $769,992. The top 10 contributors were:
|2008 Donors, Wyoming House of Representatives|
|Wyoming Realtors Association||$51,250|
|Wyoming Education Association||$31,875|
|Wyoming Democratic Party||$25,850|
|Campaign For A Great State||$21,000|
|Findlater, Christopher (Chris)||$17,500|
|Wyoming Contractors Association||$12,650|
|Wyoming Republican Party||$12,350|
Elections for the office of Wyoming House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on August 22, 2006, and a general election on November 7, 2006.
During the 2006 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $585,234. The top 10 contributors were:
|2006 Donors, Wyoming House of Representatives|
|Wyoming Association Of Realtors||$33,500|
|Wyoming Education Association||$19,635|
|Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association||$12,400|
|Wyoming Republican Party||$11,300|
|Wyoming Medical Society||$10,000|
|Union Pacific Railroad||$8,000|
Elections for the office of Wyoming House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on August 17, 2004, and a general election on November 2, 2004.
During the 2004 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $622,660. The top 10 contributors were:
|2004 Donors, Wyoming House of Representatives|
|Wyoming Association Of Realtors||$24,900|
|Wyoming Education Association||$18,610|
|Associated General Contractors Of Wyoming||$15,600|
|Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association||$12,850|
|Wyoming Republican Party||$11,900|
|Union Pacific Railroad||$11,700|
|Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway||$9,000|
Elections for the office of Wyoming House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on August 20, 2002, and a general election on November 5, 2002.
During the 2002 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $573,771. The top 10 contributors were:
|2002 Donors, Wyoming House of Representatives|
|Wyoming Education Association||$24,900|
|Associated General Contractors Of Wyoming||$16,250|
|Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association||$12,750|
|Wyoming Republican Party||$12,450|
|Wyoming Association Of Realtors||$9,650|
|Petroleum Association Of Wyoming||$9,000|
|Wyoming Trucking Association||$8,850|
|Union Pacific Railroad||$7,050|
Elections for the office of Wyoming House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on August 22, 2000, and a general election on November 7, 2000.
During the 2000 election, the total value of contributions to House candidates was $435,098. The top 10 contributors were:
|2000 Donors, Wyoming House of Representatives|
|Wyoming Education Association||$36,450|
|Wyoming Republican Party||$18,490|
|Wyoming Association Of Realtors||$13,750|
|Associated General Contractors Of Wyoming||$13,550|
|Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association||$12,900|
|Wyoming Public Employees Association||$7,900|
|Petroleum Association Of Wyoming||$7,250|
|Wyoming Trucking Association||$6,700|
Section 2 of Article 3 of the Wyoming Constitution states, "Senators shall be elected for the term of four (4) years and representatives for the term of two (2) years. The senators elected at the first election shall be divided by lot into two classes as nearly equal as may be. The seats of senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the first two years, and of the second class at the expiration of four years. No person shall be a senator who has not attained the age of twenty-five years, or a representative who has not attained the age of twenty-one years, and who is not a citizen of the United States and of this state and who has not, for at least twelve months next preceding his election resided within the county or district in which he was elected."
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
If there is a vacancy in the senate, the Board of County Commissioners representing the vacant seat must select a replacement. The state central committee of the political party that last held the seat must submit a list of three candidates to the Board of County Commissioners. The party committee must submit the list of candidates within 30 days after the vacancy happened.
The Board of County Commissioners selects the replacement within five days of receiving the list of candidates. The person appointed to the seat serves for the remainder of the unexpired term.
- See also: Redistricting in Wyoming
The Wyoming State Legislature is responsible for drafting the new, redistricted maps. The initial drafting usually occurs in the Joint Interim Committee on Corporations, Elections, and Political Subdivisions, and then must pass through both the House of Representatives and the State Senate. The Governor of Wyoming holds veto power over the map.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Wyoming's population increased from just under 494,000 to over 563,000. This increase of 14.5 percent was higher than the national average, but Wyoming still had less people than the average size for one Congressional district.
The Joint Interim Committee on Corporations, Elections, and Political Subdivisions decided to keep single-member districts and the current configuration of 30 members in the Senate and 60 members in the House. Only 34 of the 90 old House and Senate districts were within the accepted five percent margin of error from the ideal population, suggesting that many districts would have to be reshuffled. After having public hearings, the Committee adopted a complete map in December of 2011, and gave it final approval in January of 2012. The Senate and the House both passed the final map by very wide margins (28-2 in the Senate and 51-8 in the House) and Governor Matt Mead signed the map into law on March 6, 2012.
- See also: Partisan composition of state houses
|Party||As of April 2015|
The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Wyoming State House from 1992-2013.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the Wyoming Legislature are paid $150/day. Legislators receive $109/day per diem, set by the legislature.
Wyoming does not provide pensions for legislators.
When sworn in
Wyoming legislators assume office the first Monday in January following the election.
The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body.
|Current Leadership, Wyoming House of Representatives|
|State Speaker of the House||Kermit Brown||Republican|
|State House Speaker Pro Tempore||Timothy Stubson||Republican|
|State House Majority Floor Leader||Rosie Berger||Republican|
|State House Majority Whip||Hans Hunt||Republican|
|State House Minority Floor Leader||Mary Throne||Democratic|
|State House Minority Whip||Ken Esquibel||Democratic|
|State House Minority Caucus Leader||James Byrd||Democratic|
The Wyoming House has 12 standing committees.
- Agriculture, State and Public Lands and Water Resources
- Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions
- Labor, Health and Social Services
- Minerals, Business and Economic Development
- Rules and Procedure
- Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs
- Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources
Partisan balance 1992-2013
Throughout every year from 1992-2013, the Republican Party was the majority in the Wyoming State House of Representatives. The Wyoming House of Representatives is one of nine state Houses that was Republican for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. Wyoming was under Republican trifectas for the final three years of the study period.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
SQLI and partisanship
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Wyoming state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. Though Wyoming had a number of Republican trifectas during the course of the study, both its highest and lowest rankings occurred during divided governments. In 2007 it finished 24th, and in 2010 it finished 4th, marking a large shift in a short amount of time.
- Wyoming State Senate
- Wyoming State Legislature
- Wyoming state legislative districts
- State legislative scorecards in Wyoming
- Governor of Wyoming
- Wyoming Constitution
- Official website of the Wyoming State Legislature
- Official list of the current members of the Wyoming House of Representatives
- census.gov, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed May 15, 2014
- U.S. Census Bureau, "States Ranked by Population," April 2, 2001
- Ben Neary, The Washington Times, "Medicaid and budget issues face Wyoming Legislature," January 25, 2015
- wyofile.com, "Legislature 2014: What you need to know about the budget session," December 3, 2013
- Cody Enterprise, "Wyoming Legislature set for ‘wild ride’," January 2, 2013
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar," accessed June 6, 2014(Archived)
- Wyoming Legislative Service Office, "2010 session dates for Wyoming Legislature," accessed August 1, 2014
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
- Pew Charitable Trusts, "States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis," July 29, 2013
- U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
- Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
- Wyoming Secretary of State, "2012 Election Calendar," accessed May 14, 2012
- Follow the Money, "Wyoming House 2010 Campaign Contributions," accessed August 14, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Wyoming 2008 Candidates," accessed August 14, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Wyoming 2006 Candidates," accessed August 14, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Wyoming 2004 Candidates," accessed August 14, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Wyoming 2002 Candidates," accessed August 14, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Wyoming 2000 Candidates," accessed August 14, 2013
- Wyoming Legislature, "Wyoming Election Code," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Statute 22-18-111 (iii)-(A))
- U.S. Census Bureau, "2010 Census: Wyoming Profile," accessed August 1, 2014
- U.S. Census Bureau, "Congressional Apportionment," November 2011
- Wyoming Tribune Eagle, "Redistricting process gaining momentum," May 22, 2011
- Wyoming Tribune Eagle, "Redistricting plan clears both House and Senate," March 10, 2012
- Pinedale Roundup, "Gov. Mead signs redistricting plan into law," March 8, 2012
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- USA Today, "State-by-state: Benefits available to state legislators," September 23, 2011
- State of Wyoming Legislature, "Wyoming House Leadership," accessed August 1, 2014
State of Wyoming
List of Wyoming ballot measures | Local measures | School bond issues | Ballot measure laws | Initiative laws | History of I&R | History of direct democracy | Campaign Finance Requirements | Recall process |
|State executive officers||
Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor | Department of Audit Director | Superintendent of Public Instruction | Commissioner of Insurance | Director of Agriculture | Director of Workforce Services | Chairman of Public Service Commission |