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Thu July 15, 2004
Legislature Sets Stage for Historic Vote of the People
Cheyenne, Wy – The Wyoming Senate has joined the House in
voting for a proposed constitutional amendment that could pave the
way for caps on malpractice damage awards.
The measure -- Joint Resolution 1003 -- is the key piece of
legislation in this week's special session. It is aimed at slowing
the rapid increase in doctors' insurance rates -- and hopefully
keeping more doctors practicing in Wyoming.
The resolution would allow voters this November to decide
whether to change the state constitution by letting the Legislature
place limits on non-economic damage awards.
Such awards are for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of
Economic awards for lost wages, medical expenses and punitive
damages would not be affected.
The Senate voted 21-to-nine for the resolution after the House
had voted 48-to-12 for a similar measure.
The slight differences between the chambers will have to be
worked out before the legislation heads to Governor Freudenthal,
who supports it.