307 Votes

Conflict Recusals – 2023

Wyoming Constitution Article 3, Section 46. Interested member shall not vote.

A member who has a personal or private interest in any measure or bill proposed or pending before the legislature
shall disclose the fact to the house of which he is a member, and shall not vote thereon.


A Conflict recusal is when a legislator recuses themselves from a vote because they have a conflict of interest as stated in the WY Constitutional provision above.  The digest for every bill shows this Conflict category for every Roll Call vote, yet it is very seldom used.  It looks like this:

Wyoming has a total of 93 legislators (62 in the House and 31 in the Senate).  In 2023 General Session there was a total of 496 bills.  93 x 496 = 46,128 potential occasions for a Conflict.  And yet there were only 12 legislators who recused themselves from one or more of 12 bills.  That is absolutely stunning that there are so few acknowledged conflicts in a citizen legislature.

Additionally, many legislators have more than one occupation or source of income; many legislators have several business interests; many legislators serve on various non-profit boards, councils or commissions.  Some of that also applies to their spouses, siblings and children.  Yet there was an appallingly low amount of Conflict recusals for 2023 (and all past sessions).

Acknowledging a Conflict requires integrity because it is the personal choice a legislator makes when no one is paying attention – to vote or not.  This is why we created an Integrity tab for every legislator’s page – we are paying attention, and we will call out Conflicts when we find them.

Below is the list of Conflict recusals we found by browsing every bill digest for all 2023 bills.

To every legislator who did acknowledge a Conflict – Thank You for your honesty with these bills.  If any legislator finds we have overlooked a Conflict recusal, please contact us so we can update this list.

2023 Conflicts – Vote Recusals

HB0022- State land lease deficiencies-cure process.
Conflicts: Senator(s) President Driskill, Scott
[Senate 3rd Reading and concurrence votes)

HB118- Volunteer firefighter pension-funding.
Conflicts: Senator Biteman
[Senate 3rd Reading vote]

HB0148 – Airport liquor licenses-amendment.
Conflicts: Senator(s) Case, Gierau, Mckeown, President Driskill
[Senate 3rd Reading vote]

HB0171 – State land leases.
Conflicts: Senator Scott
[Senate 3rd Reading vote]

HB0174 – Homestead exemption-amendments.
Conflicts: Senator Ellis
[Senate 3rd Reading vote]

HB0188 Wolf depredation compensation.
Conflicts: Senator Scott
[Senate 3rd Reading vote]

HB0270 – Improvement and service districts-limitations.
Conflicts: Representative Stith
[House Committee of the Whole and 3rd Reading votes]

SF0003 – Retail liquor license fees.
Conflicts: Senator Case
[Senate Corporations Committee vote] Conflicts: Senator(s) Case, Gierau, President Driskill
[Senate 3rd Reading vote]

SF0013 Bar and grill liquor license phaseout.
Conflicts: Senator Case
[Senate Corporations Committee vote] Conflicts: Senator(s) Case, McKeown, President Driskill
[Senate 3rd Reading vote] *NOTE: Driskill later voted on two concurrence votes and then recused himself again; Case voted on one concurrence vote and then recused himself again; Case, McKeown, and Driskill all voted on Bill Reconsideration; McKeown did not vote on 3rd Reading or any concurrence vote.

SF61 – Legislator per diem.
Conflicts: Representative(s) Singh, Styvar
[House Committee of the Whole vote].
Note: Singh and Styvar recused themselves from the above mentioned vote because it had an amendment that specified the distance between the geographic area of their respective districts/residences in relation to the capitol.

SF92 – Small customer electrical generation.
Conflicts: Senator Nethercott
[Senate 3rd Reading]

SF0164 Public improvement contract requirements-amendments.
Conflicts: Senator Dockstader
[Senate 3rd Reading] *NOTE: Dockstader later voted on concurrence vote.

*The above yellow highlighted notes demonstrate one of the issues with WY ethics statutes (§9-13-101 through 109); some legislators believe/interpret they can sometimes vote on a bill that they acknowledge they are ultimately in conflict with.