Burglary bill fails; Case optimistic for its future

Mar 12, 2014 By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

A bill introduced by state Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander, modifying penalties for burglary was voted down in a 16-14 vote of the Wyoming Senate on Feb. 20.

The legislation called for up to a year in jail for people who take less than $1,000 in money or property from an unlocked structure or vehicle that is not a place of residence. Currently, all instances of burglary are considered felonious regardless of the scope of the incident.

"Say you had a $20 bill on your dashboard and were parked at the grocery store, and I came by and reached into the car window, which was open, and take the $20," Case said earlier. "That could be a multi-year felony. ... I call it overcharging."

He said he is still excited about the bill, and he plans to continue working on it in the hopes that it will be reconsidered in the future. Several amendments for the bill were suggested during the current legislative session that Case will take into account.

"It's a process," he said.

State Sen. Eli Bebout, R-Riverton, voted against Senate File 72, but not because he dislikes the bill. Bebout said the timing simply wasn't right.

"It's a budget session; we're dealing with a lot of issues," he said. "It's just not the time (and it was) complicated in the sense of amendments."

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