Wyoming - State government



Wyoming's state constitution was approved by the voters in November 1889 and accepted by Congress in 1890. By January 2003 it had been amended 91 times. Constitutional amendments require a two-thirds vote of the legislature and ratification by the voters at the next general election.

The legislature consists of a 30-member senate and a 60-member house of representatives. Senators are elected to staggered four-year terms. The entire house of representatives is elected every two years for a two-year term. Legislators must be US citizens, citizens and residents of Wyoming, and residents of their districts for at least one year prior to election. The minimum age for senators is 25 and for representatives 21. Regular sessions begin in January or February and are limited to 40 legislative days in odd-numbered years and 20 legislative days in even-numbered years. The legislature may not call special sessions. In 2003 the legislative salary was $125 per diem during regular sessions, unchanged from 1999.

Heading the executive branch are five elected officials: the governor, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, and superintendent of public instruction. Each serves a four-year term and, under Wyoming's cabinet form of government, is also a member of seven state boards and commissions. The governor is limited to serving two consecutive terms. His successor is the secretary of the senate, as there is no lieutenant governor. A governor must be at least 30 years old, a US citizen, a qualified voter, and at least a five-resident of the state. In 2002 the governor's salary was $130,000.

A bill passed by the legislature becomes law if signed by the governor, if left unsigned by the governor for three days while the legislature is in session (or 15 days after it has adjourned), or if passed over the governor's veto by two-thirds of the elected members of each house.

Voters must be US citizens, at least 18 years old, and bona fide residents of Wyoming. Convicted felons and those adjudicated as mentally incompetent may not vote.



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