It is Friday morning, and we are not sorry.
Over here at the Wyoming Women's Action Network, we're excited to say that SJ0003 declaring December 10, 2019 Wyoming Women's Suffrage Day has passed both chambers and will be headed to the Governor's desk. (Want a reminder on how a bill becomes a law in Wyoming? Click here. For a nostalgic trip with School House Rocks, click here.) We're also pleased to see the last remaining wage gap bill, HB0071 Equal pay - penalties, is on the third reading consent list over in the Senate, so it will move on to the Governor's desk as well.
There are two bills that attend to concerns around rape. HB0107 would terminate the parental rights of rapists and SF0072 would ensure that rape kits are tested. It is good news that these bills continue to progress. Hard to believe that votes on these bills have not been unanimous, but they haven't been. Please continue to pay attention.
We plan to parse the two abortion bills (HB0103 and HB0140) in a longer post about healthcare, women's health, and reproductive healthcare. Suffice it to say, those two bills are currently waiting to be scheduled for a hearing in Senate Labor/Health. We'll let you know when those get scheduled. We also want you to know that last night, SCOTUS issued a stay against a new Louisiana law that would have, effectively, closed the remaining clinics in that state. Vote was 5-4 with Chief Justice Roberts acting as the "Kennedy vote." For more on that ruling, you can read here (we love SCOTUSblog.org, you should read it) and you can also read Dahlia Lithwick's legal analysis of how lies about reproductive healthcare threaten Roe.
Medicaid Expansion failed on Monday, as you know, but there are some things you should know about next steps. Sen. Charlie Scott brought back his Medicaid Expansion Study bill which passed through the Senate, landed in House Labor/Health last night, and received a 7-2 vote to move forward. We will editorialize about this in a separate post. Suffice it to say, it does little and costs a lot. At the same time, there is a coalition forming to bring a Medicaid Expansion Ballot Initiative. We're thrilled about this and the Wyoming Women's Action Network will participate actively. If you're interested in bringing Medicaid Expansion to Wyoming, keep your eye out for an email asking you to sign up to participate. Coming soon.
We're heading into the weekend ready for a little policy research. What's that? You say you're as nerdy as we are and want to know what we're reading? After all the conversation on paid family leave in and after the State of the Union, we're checking out these three policy papers on paid family leave. You say you need more than just one topic? See what Kaiser Family Foundation has to say about Medicaid Expansion, eligibility, and women's healthcare. We'll meet back here on Monday and compare notes.
Have a great weekend!