Wyoming governor signs bill funding legal defense against federal vaccine mandate challenges

New law provides $4 million in funding for any legal challenges against federal vaccine mandates.

Updated: November 13, 2021 - 8:39am

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Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon on Friday signed legislation prohibiting public entities from enforcing the federal government's COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

House Bill 1002, which was the only piece of legislation passed during the Wyoming Legislature's special session, also provides $4 million in funding for any legal challenges against federal vaccine mandates.

"No public entity shall enforce any mandate or standard of the federal government, whether emergency, temporary or permanent, that requires an employer to ensure or mandate that an employee shall receive a COVID‑19 vaccination," the bill reads.

Gordon said the bill shows that the Legislature supports his fight against the mandates.

“I thank the Legislature for recognizing their distinct constitutional responsibility as appropriators in forwarding resources to support this endeavor,” Gordon said in a statement. “The people of Wyoming can rest assured that this Governor will always be committed to protecting the constitutionally enumerated rights of Wyoming citizens.”

So far, Wyoming has signed onto three lawsuits against federal vaccine mandates, one of which challenges the Biden administration’s authority to require private businesses with over 100 employees to assure their employees are vaccinated or tested.

According to the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, the mandate would affect 106,462 individuals in the state, or more than 41% of its workforce.

The state is also attempting to prevent the administration from enforcing a rule imposing a vaccine mandate on health care workers throughout the nation.

Another lawsuit Wyoming filed challenges the federal vaccine mandate for federal contractors.