Wyoming Senate Committee Recommends Approval of Bill Making Discharging Bodily Substances on Police Officers Felonies
The Wyoming Senate Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee on Wednesday recommended that the full state Senate approve a bill that would charge with a felony individuals who spit, urinate, defecate, ejaculate or discharge any other bodily substance on a police officer, in part because of concerns about possible transmission of HIV, hepatitis and other diseases, the AP/Casper Star-Tribune reports. The bill (SF 63) would change the law so that "body substance assault" would be considered "aggravated assault" and could be punished by a 10-year prison sentence, the AP/Star-Tribune reports (AP/Casper Star-Tribune, 1/19). According to the bill's text, the proposed law would make it a felony to "propel any dangerous substance," which includes, but is not limited to, "blood, urine, saliva, semen and feces," at an on-duty "peace officer, detention officer or staff member" or "contaminating" any item with a dangerous substance that an officer might handle or consume (Senate File 63 text, 1/20). "For those of us who don't work (in corrections), it is hard to realize what a despicable and dangerous situation this can be," state Sen. Bill Vasey (D), one of the bill's sponsors, said (AP/Casper Star-Tribune, 1/19).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.