CHEYENNE — The Wyoming Legislature offers a variety of services to help Wyoming residents actively participate in the legislative process during the upcoming 2013 General Session, which begins Tuesday, Jan. 8. Below is a list of those services:
General telephone messages and correspondence for legislators
If you would like to contact a legislator directly during the session, call the Senate receptionist at 307-777-7711 or the House receptionist at 307-777-7852 to leave a brief message for a member. Written mail may be directed to a designated legislator in care of the Wyoming House or Senate, State Capitol, Cheyenne, WY, 82002. Fax messages may be sent to a designated legislator at 307-777-5466.
Contacting legislators by email
You also may contact members of the Wyoming Legislature via e-mail. Many legislators use e-mail to correspond with their constituents and other members of the public. This is one of the most effective ways to communicate with legislators, especially if you would like to provide more detailed information than is available through the various telephone services. Legislators can be contacted by email using email@example.com. Contact information is also listed on the Legislature’s website at www.wyoleg.gov.
Online hotline and telephone hotline
During the legislative session, you can recommend support for or opposition to, a particular piece of legislation by using the online hotline. In addition to expressing support for, or opposition to, an identified bill, you also can leave a short comment regarding the bill. This service is available on the Legislature’s website at http://legisweb.state.wy.us/postcomments/onlinehotline.aspx. Comments will be available to all legislators, but keep in mind that legislators consider a variety of factors when making decisions on pending legislation. The telephone hotline is also available toll free for those without Internet access. Within Wyoming, the number is 866-996-8683. Callers will not be able to leave comments regarding a bill. Information you provide using these services is considered a public record.
Bill status hotline
You can call the Bill Status Information Service toll-free within Wyoming at 800-342-9570 to obtain the current status of any bill in the legislative process. This is a limited service that provides information about where the bill is in the process, but it does not provide information about the details of the legislation. In addition, callers cannot leave messages for legislators at this telephone number. This service is available on days the Legislature is in session from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Out-of-state callers should dial 307-777-6185 for this service.
Hearing impaired service
If you have a hearing impairment, call the toll-free Wyoming Relay Service for information on any bill. The number is 800-877-9965 for TDD or text telephones. Ask the Wyoming Relay Service operator to dial 307-777-6185 to obtain the status on bills. This service is available to all Wyoming residents with hearing impairments.
Information on the Legislature’s website
A great deal of legislative information is available electronically through the Wyoming Legislature’s website, www.wyoleg.gov. This site also can be accessed through the state of Wyoming’s webpage. During legislative sessions, the website will be updated daily with important legislative information, including the text of all introduced, engrossed, and enrolled bills; information about amendments; a record of all roll call votes posted as soon as possible after each vote; record of actions taken on bills; bill status; Senate and House daily calendars; and standing committee meeting schedules.
Streaming audio of legislative proceedings
Live and archived audio proceedings of the Wyoming Senate and the Wyoming House of Representatives are available on the Wyoming Legislature’s website. A link will be prominently displayed on the website when the session begins that provides the option of listening to live proceedings, if the House and Senate are convened, and an archive of daily legislative proceedings. If you are having trouble hearing sound on your computer when the House or Senate are in session, please click on the Audio Troubleshooting Guide for assistance. The system will not stream live audio when the House and Senate are adjourned, at recess, or at ease for more than 15 minutes.
Roll call votes
Current technology allows the Wyoming Legislature to post roll call votes almost in real time for floor votes. You can find out how legislators vote on every roll-call vote taken both on the floor during this year’s session. This information is available within several minutes after each roll-call vote on the floor. Users should click on the “2013 Bill Tracking Information” link on the homepage and then on the “Roll Call Votes on Bills and Amendments” link. On the top of the page select Floor Votes or Committee Votes from the drop-down menu. Then, select whether you would like the votes on House Bills or Senate Files. A list of all bills will then display on the page. Once you have selected the bill you want to review, the actions that were taken, as well as the day the actions were taken will display in the main section of the page. Click on the “view” link to see how each individual legislator voted. This electronic voting system has been recognized by the National Conference of State Legislatures as one of the most robust systems in the country providing almost real-time public access to voting information for the residents of Wyoming.
Electronic and paper copies of legislation (House Bills and Senate Files)
The text of each bill will be posted on the Legislature’s website as soon as the legislation is assigned a bill number. Fiscal notes are also included on the website, which provide information about the fiscal impact of the bill. The text of each bill that passes one house (called “engrossed bills”) and bills that are passed by the Legislature (called “enrolled acts”) are posted on the site as they are approved. Bills can be viewed by subject or sponsor. If you do not have Internet access to obtain copies of bills, you can call the Legislative Service Office at 307-777-7881 to request paper copies of legislation for a minimal fee. The Office is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on days the Legislature is in session. If you need a paper copy of a bill when you are in the Capitol, you can purchase copies at the Legislative Service office in Room 213 of the Capitol for 10 cents per page.
Amendments to legislation
You can obtain paper copies of House and Senate amendments under consideration each day at the Legislative Service Office in Room 213 free of charge. Amendments under consideration each day are also listed on the legislative website when they are released for distribution. Amendments that have been adopted are compiled daily and summaries are available in the Rotunda, the LSO main office, and the House and Senate lobbies. Adopted House amendments are printed on yellow paper and adopted Senate amendments are printed on green paper.
Senate and House schedules
Calendars for floor proceedings in the Senate and House of Representatives will be available on the Legislature’s website in the late afternoon for the next day’s floor proceedings in each chamber. The calendars include legislation under consideration and the general order of business. Paper copies of the House and Senate calendars are available daily in the Rotunda, the LSO main office in Room 213, and the House and Senate lobbies. House information is printed on yellow paper and Senate information is printed on green paper.
Standing committee meetings
During the session, when a bill is introduced in either the Senate or the House, it is sent to a standing committee for review and to receive public comment. You are welcome to attend standing committee meetings and to testify for or against legislation. If you would like to provide written information to the Committee, you will be requested to fill out a Committee Handout Form at the meeting (copies of the form are also available on the Legislature’s website). You are encouraged to e-mail an electronic copy of your handout in advance to the LSO at: firstname.lastname@example.org, so staff can maintain an electronic archive of committee handouts. A schedule of standing committee meetings and the bills that will be considered by each committee for the next legislative working day will be posted on the Legislature’s website each day in the late afternoon. Meeting notices are also posted outside the House and Senate lobbies and on committee doors. Paper copies of the House and Senate standing committee meeting schedules are available daily free of charge in the Rotunda, the LSO main office in Room 213, and the House and Senate lobbies. House committee schedules are printed on yellow paper and Senate committee schedules are printed on green paper.
Bill status information
In addition to the Bill Status Hotline telephone service described above, the Legislature’s website provides information regarding the current status of each bill under consideration, as well as previous actions on the bill (journal digest). The journal digest includes the dates actions were taken on the bill, all roll call votes related to the bill, and the text of all amendments offered regarding the bill. Paper copies of bill status information are available in the Rotunda, the LSO main office in Room 213, and the House and Senate lobbies. This information is printed on purple paper.