- Associated Press - Monday, February 8, 2016

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Developments at the Wyoming Legislature on Feb. 8, the first day at the 2016 budget session:

- STATE OF THE STATE: Gov. Matt Mead kicked off the legislative session with his state of the state address. Mead emphasized that the state remains strong despite the recent downturn in energy revenues. He said he will continue to work to protect the state’s coal industry. He called on lawmakers to approve expansion of the federal Medicaid program to offer health insurance to some 20,000 low-income adults.

- MARIJUANA: The Wyoming House voted not to consider a bill that would have made it a felony to possess more than a pound of edible compounds containing marijuana.

- GMO FOODS: The House voted not to consider a bill that would have reaffirmed that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is the primary authority on whether to label foods as containing genetically modified organisms. The bill was sponsored by the Joint Agriculture, State and Public Lands & Water Resources Interim Committee.

- RIGHT TO PRIVACY: The Wyoming State Senate voted to consider a measure that ultimately could allow state voters to decide whether to change the state constitution to recognize an individual right to privacy. Supporters say it’s necessary to prevent recent technological changes from intruding on citizens’ privacy.

- JUSTICE REFORM: The Wyoming Senate voted to consider a bill that would enact a wide range of changes in the state’s justice system, all aimed at curbing growth in the state’s prison population. The bill calls for more access to drug treatment programs for convicts and gives judges more leeway in releasing non-violent offenders from probation or incarceration.

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