Legislative Service Office staff hang a “going out of business” sign with a Kmart logo in the Senate offices hallway at the temporary capitol building, a former Kmart. The Legislature finished it’s final session in the building in the early morning hours Thursday, Feb. 28. (Andrew Graham/WyoFile)

Legislative Service Office staff had a little fun with their temporary home of four years during the last week of the 2019 Legislative session. Lawmakers bid farewell to the Jonah Business Center they have rented for four sessions as restoration work proceeded on the Wyoming State Capitol Building.

The Jonah Business Center is a former Kmart building, a fact which has led to numerous jokes over the last few years. Speaker of the House Steve Harshman (R-Casper) often refers to his chamber as “back here in the hardware section.”

Secretary of State Ed Buchanan (R), a former Speaker of the House himself, jokingly waxed nostalgic to lawmakers in his opening remarks for the 2019 session. “I have fond memories of these hallowed halls,” he said, “wandering about years ago preparing for the session… shopping for toothpaste and deodorant.”  

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In this photo, staff and one of the gentlemanly sergeant at arms that “guard” the House and Senate chambers hang a “going out of business sign” with a Kmart logo in the middle on the wall in the Senate offices hallway on Feb. 22. The following week, Senate staff added “blue light special” stickers to Senators name-tags, in reference to sale offers on select merchandise touted in Kmart halls.

A mock ‘blue light special’ sticker adorns the badge of longtime lawmaker Sen. Michael Von Flatern (R-Gillette). LSO staff distributed the stickers, a reference to Kmart’s signature sales, to celebrate the end of the Legislature’s time in the rented Capitol, a former home to the big-box store chain. (Andrew Graham/WyoFile)

Andrew Graham is reporting for WyoFile from Laramie. He covers state government, energy and the economy. Reach him at 443-848-8756 or at andrew@wyofile.com, follow him @AndrewGraham88

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  1. It seems to me that something like an old KMart building is just perfect for Wyoming legislators … maybe a sewage treatment pond would be even better.