Associated Press

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) – The Senate introduced two bills Wednesday that would strengthen laws against child abuse.

One bill is designed to close a loophole in current laws.

Two existing state statutes apply to child abuse resulting in death. One of those calls for a maximum sentence of just five years, said Sen. Kathryn Sessions, D-Cheyenne.

Sessions is also sponsoring a bill that would make shaking a child to death first-degree murder. Both bills passed introductory votes easily.

Also Wednesday, the Senate passed a bill to address problems made evident by the 2000 presidential election.

The bill would give the Legislature the final word in a contested election, even going so far as to say a determination by the Legislature would not be subject to review by the courts.

Another bill is addressing a circuit court ruling that requires landlords who do not attend eviction hearings to have a lawyer present their case. The bill would allow landlords to be represented by third parties or property managers, and takes away the need to have a lawyer present.

A bill that funds the legislative branch of government was amended to include $70,000 for new chairs in the Senate and for other improvements in the Senate chamber.

The senators also approved an amendment that would allow them to take a week off in the middle of the next general session to travel home to visit family and constituents.

Other bills introduced in the Senate would:

Outline the state’s responsibilities during a terror or bioterror attack, and its actions during a state emergency;

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Expand the ability of Wyoming residents to claim compensation if they or family members are affected by a terrorist event in another state;

Provide retirement savings incentives for University of Wyoming and community college employees;

Broaden workers’ compensation coverage to include county coroners.

Bills that failed at introduction include one that would have funded multi-lane highway construction, and another that would have strengthened state campaign finance reporting laws.

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