Wyoming’s state constitution went into effect in 1890, at the time Wyoming was admitted to the Union. It has been amended many times. Amendments may be proposed in the state legislature or at a special constitutional convention convened with the approval of both the legislature and a majority of the Wyoming electorate. Proposed amendments carry only if more than half the voters who participate in the election approve them.
The state’s chief executive, the governor, is elected for a four-year term. The governor may veto laws or individual items of appropriations measures passed by the state legislature. The legislature may override the governor’s veto by a two-thirds vote in each house. Other elected officials in the executive branch of the state government include the secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, and superintendent of public instruction. All are elected for four-year terms and serve on the administrative boards governing the state. All elected officials are limited to serving two four-year terms in a 16-year period. In case of a vacancy in the governorship, the secretary of state serves as acting governor until a new governor is inaugurated following the next general election.
The state legislature consists of a Senate of 30 members and a House of Representatives of 60 members. Senators are elected for four-year terms, and representatives are elected for two-year terms.
General sessions of the legislature, lasting up to 40 days, convene on the second Tuesday in January of odd-numbered years. Budget sessions, lasting up to 20 days, convene on the third Monday of February in even-numbered years. The governor may call special legislative sessions at other times. The state constitution limits the legislature to meeting no more than 60 days (except for special sessions) in the two-year period for which members of the House of Representatives are elected.
The highest state court in Wyoming is the supreme court. The court consists of five justices retained for eight-year terms. The justice closest to the expiration of an eight-year term serves as the chief justice. The major trial courts in the state are the district courts, where judges serve six-year terms. Supreme court and district court justices are selected by a nominating committee, which chooses the names of three qualified lawyers in the state each time an opening on the bench occurs. The three names are submitted to the governor, who chooses one to serve for the next year or until the next general election. At that time the person appears unopposed on ballots, where voters have a choice to “retain” or “not retain” the justice. Lower state courts include justice of the peace courts and police courts.
Each of Wyoming’s 23 counties is governed by a board of county commissioners, who are elected for four-year terms. Other elected county officials include the county clerk, treasurer, assessor, attorney, sheriff, and coroner. Most of the municipalities in Wyoming have the mayor and city council form of municipal government. However, Casper, which is the second largest city, and Laramie, the third largest, are both governed under the council and city manager form of government. Wyoming has one member in the U.S. House of Representatives and two members in the U.S. Senate. The state has three electoral votes in presidential elections. "Wyoming" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.
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