State representatives on the House floor in the Wyoming Capitol in Cheyenne in March 2021. (Mike Vanata/WyoFile)

Week one of the Wyoming Legislature’s in-person session in the Capitol is nearly in the books, and for freshman lawmakers, the flurry of readings, introductions and floor debates likely felt like drinking out of a firehose.

Some 22 newly elected lawmakers are taking their first crack at state legislating this session, according to WyoFile calculations. That includes four senators and 18 representatives. Tim Salazar (R-Riverton) is new to the Senate, but previously served in the House. Rep. Mark Baker (R-Green River) previously served in the House but resigned in 2017 when he moved out of his district.

One of the 2021 freshmen, Rep. Karlee Provenza (D-Laramie) takes her seat not only as a newbie, but also as one of few women, as this photograph of the House floor demonstrates (look closely to see Provenza’s message to the camera). 

Women hold just 18% of the 90 seats in the Legislature, according to a new report titled “Wyoming Women in Elected Roles.”

For Provenza, the first week has been “a whirlwind.” After legislating over Zoom since the beginning of the year, “coming to the Capitol has meant that things move much faster and there is so much going on beyond just hearing bills,” she wrote in an email.

Support Wyoming photography — donate to WyoFile today.

Her main takeaway? “People in our communities are struggling and our job is to help solve those problems and minimize that suffering where we can – particularly for our most vulnerable,” Provenza wrote.

Katie Klingsporn reports on outdoor recreation, public lands, education and general news for WyoFile. She’s been a journalist and editor covering the American West for 20 years. Her freelance work has...

Leave a comment

Want to join the discussion? Fantastic, here are the ground rules: * Provide your full name — no pseudonyms. WyoFile stands behind everything we publish and expects commenters to do the same. * No personal attacks, profanity, discriminatory language or threats. Keep it clean, civil and on topic. *WyoFile does not fact check every comment but, when noticed, submissions containing clear misinformation, demonstrably false statements of fact or links to sites trafficking in such will not be posted. *Individual commenters are limited to three comments per story, including replies.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *