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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.

Copyright 2002 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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