We did it. You did it. They did it.
They adjourned sine die.
That's Latin and literally means "without a day." It's a reference to adjourning meetings with no appointed date for resumption. What it means in point of actual fact is that somehow, some way, we all made it through the 2023 General Session.
What we want to say is: We're happy we survived. We're tired. We're just as crabby as everyone else. We stabbed exactly zero people with the pen from the bill signing below. (That alone feels like a two-part victory.)
We had a couple of inspiring wins.
The passage of HB4 was the biggest. (You can read more about it here: Governor Gordon Signs Signature Piece of Legislation Supporting Mothers and Children. And here: Gordon signs law that will extend Medicaid health benefits for moms.)
Some losses. A lot of losses.
Most of those policy losses look the same in one meaningful way: they expand government to police who you are, what you think, what kind of care you can access, and to interfere in private markets. (Not a Wyoming we thought we would live to see.)
Everyone in the building left with some variation on covid/flu/strep/crud that all basically looked the same: snotting and hacking. We got out of there only minorly snotty and majorly ready for a nap.
Pro tip: only eat the wrapped candy, don't put your hands in the gummy bear jar.
The roads have been closed more times that we can recall in any prior session. We're thankful we were able to run the gauntlet of I-80 multiple times without incident. We're hopeful that in a future session, the Wyoming Legislature might address the state's roads. Seems overdue.
We want to say: There were amazing moments.
We watched lobbyists and Senators playing cribbage during down time. We saw political rivals playing chess together in the Capitol extension. We cheered (silently, of course; Ed would have chastised an outburst in the Senate gallery) Senators who used a procedural maneuver to get HB4 Medicaid twelve month postpartum coverage to the floor just as the Majority Floor Leader was moving to rise and report and close out bills for the session.
We also want to say: The state is still full of good people who will drop everything for their friends and neighbors or a stranger who's run into a snowdrift and needs a tow. The problem is the new people who think every day is Festivus and their job is nothing more than the airing of grievances, the problem is those people are LOUD.
They are not more, they are just loud.
This state is great because it is populated by generous, hardworking, and selfless people who keep their heads down, mouths shut, and get their work done. We think the key for Wyomingites to take back Wyoming is not to change the work ethic. It's just to be louder. We might want to keep our mouths shut and lead by example, but we will have to do some talking.
We're overdue to say what we think. We'll all need to say it a little bit louder, now.