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New Wyoming laws take effect

Jul 5, 2013 - By Trevor Brown, MCT News Service

More than 120 new state laws took effect Monday.

Some of the bills passed during this year's legislative session had immediate start dates.

But others required time for agencies to develop rules and to get the word out to the public.

Here are some of the most notable ones:

Human trafficking

Wyoming will no longer be the only state without its own human trafficking laws.

The measure makes it a felony to knowingly recruit, transport, transfer, harbor, receive, provide, obtain, isolate, maintain or entice an individual for forced labor or sexual servitude.

The penalty for an offense is a prison sentence of up 50 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Previously, Wyoming had to depend on federal laws to prosecute human trafficking cases in the state.

Hitchhiking

It will no longer be illegal to hitchhike in Wyoming.

The new law does away with the ban of soliciting rides from strangers.

But it still will prohibit people from panhandling or soliciting employment or business from vehicles on a highway.

Silencers

Hunters now will be able to use silencers.

The new law repeals a ban on taking firearms equipped with silencers or suppressors into game fields or forests.

The law also creates a new misdemeanor offense if a silencer is used to kill game without a license, during closed season or while trespassing.

Lottery

Wyoming will be able to set up the infrastructure to bring a lottery here.

House Bill 77 allows the state to create its own state lottery or enter into multi-state games, such as Powerball.

But before any of that occurs, Gov. Matt Mead will have to appoint a board of directors for the new lottery corporation that will establish and operate the lottery.

Mead said earlier this month that he has started to consider people for the board. He added that he hopes to quickly name his appointees to get the process started.

Immunizations

The new law will allow trained pharmacists to prescribe and administer immunization shots to children as young as 7 years old.

Current law only lets pharmacists give shots to people 19 years old or older.

Bison hunting

The law lowers the fees to hunt a female or calf wild bison.

Rep. Keith Gingery, R-Jackson, who sponsored the bill, said it is designed to help manage the state's growing bison population.

Lawmakers also added a controversial amendment that adds $250,000 to the state attorney general's office to protect the Second Amendment rights of Wyoming citizens.

Several legislators argued the amendment should have been disallowed because it was not germane to the bill, but it was left in place.

Workplace safety

A new workplace safety initiative will give employers 10 percent discounts off their worker's compensation premiums if they complete the Workplace Safety Contracts program.

That provides training to employers to implement or improve their safety programs and standards.

It also gives them help buying health and safety equipment. The state estimates this will cost $1 million a year from its Industrial Accident Fund.

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Editor's note: Trevor Brown writes for the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle

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