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Tue March 2, 2010
Senate kills workplace safety bill
By Bob Beck
Cheyenne, WY – A major workplace safety bill died in the Wyoming Senate on a 15 to 15 tie vote. The bill would have substantially increased fines for those who violate workplace safety laws. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck has more from the State Capitol...
Wyoming's workplace death rate is four times the national average and a state task force hoped that an increase in fines would reduce that rate. A fine for a workplace death would have increased from 70 thousand dollars to 250-thousand. But Senator Bill Landen of Casper was among the 15 senators who thought the bill would bring down "a sledgehammer on business." He and others suggested education was the better approach. Representative Mary Throne of Cheyenne who was the chief sponsor of the bill was surprised because it had support from industry and others
"No one opposed this bill. Because everyone recognized the importance of workplace safety except for 15 members of the Wyoming Senate. Who don't understand that if you don't have meaningful deterrence in your regulatory statutes, that you don't get compliance."
The bill was one of the Governor's priorities this session. For Wyoming Public Radio, I'm Bob Beck in Cheyenne.