Wyoming Legislation Overview
The First Territorial assembly of the Wyoming Legislature convened by proclamation on October 12, 1869. The Assembly was composed of two branches, the Territorial Council (today known as the State Senate) and the Territorial House of Representative (today known as the State House of Representatives). On July 10, 1890, Wyoming became the 44th State of the Union, with the first State Legislature meeting on November 12, 1890. The State Legislature is made up of elected officials to create laws, consider matters proposed by the Governor, approve the State’s budget, and create state tax legislation. The legislative power is split between the Governor and the Wyoming State Legislature.
Legislative History refers to the documents that are produced by the State Legislature as a proposed bill moves through the process of becoming a law. In Wyoming, these documents include Wyoming Annotated Statutes, House and Senate Journals, Bills, Bill Actions, Enrolled Acts, Session Laws, Session Audio Files, Governor’s Messages, Attorney General Opinions, and Law Reviews. Courts and Attorney’s use these documents to interpret the meaning of the laws. Sometimes, the meaning of laws can be unclear and ambiguous in their intent and context. When this occurs, researching the Legislative History of a document is needed to try to better understand the desire and intent of the State Legislature when the law was enacted.
The purpose of this guide is to explain and provide example of resources that can be used to research and construct Legislative History’s from Wyoming historical records. The databases and resources listed in this guide create a robust collection of Wyoming Legislative history resources for users, and promote the importance and understanding of Legislative History research.