'Doomsday Bill' Rejected by Wyo. Lawmakers

Wyoming legislators rejected on Tuesday a bill that would have prepared the state in the event of many different "doomsday" scenarios, including an economic collapse and the possibility of the state needing to develop its own military. 

The bill was turned down by the House of Representatives by a 30-27 vote.

In its initial form, the bill requested $32,000 to set up a task force of legislators who would look into an assortment of apocalyptic scenarios. The Joint Appropriations Committee eventually cut that request in half.

Had the bill been passed, two members of the Wyoming Senate and two members of the Wyoming House of Representatives would have had to consider how to respond in case of an economic collapse, disruptions in food or energy distribution, or "a situation in which the federal government has no effective power or authority over the people of the United States," among other calamities.

Supporters of the bill argued that it was a necessary study to examine Wyoming's homeland security and readiness in the case of a crisis.

"I don't think there's anyone in this room today that would come up here and say that this country is in good shape, that the world is stable and in good shape -- because that is clearly not the case," state representative Lorraine Quarberg said. "To put your head in the sand and think that nothing bad's going to happen, and that we have no obligation to the citizens of the state of Wyoming to at least have the discussion, is not healthy."

"I guess a lot of people think if you're trying to prepare for a disaster, it makes you seem crazy," co-sponsor Kendell Kroeker said. "I was interested in it mainly because I don't think there's any harm in being well-prepared."

Those who opposed the bill pointed to several measures they saw as unnecessary or extravagant. Most notable was a proposal that would have had landlocked Wyoming to consider purchasing an aircraft carrier and fighter jets in order to create its own military.

Although Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead could not comment on whether or not he would have approved the bill, he did say, "If we got an aircraft carrier, we'll need a bigger lake."