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022712 Budget Session Bill Update
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2012 WY Legislature's Budget Session

The Wyoming legislature concluded its 2nd of a 4 week session Friday. Below (or click here) is a summary of the bills of interest.

This is the “Budget Session” and the focus is on a budget that has been carefully watched by both the Governor and the Legislature. For the most part, neither has made “cuts” from current programs. They have both, however, kept spending in check, not allowing expanded budgets. Their decisions are based on forecasts about the price of natural gas, which has been declining in recent months and is not projected to rebound soon.

Both the House and Senate are holding their final votes on the budget, today, February 27. Differences between the two will go to a Conference Committee.

The Wyoming Office of Tourism budget is in a good shape and provides for funds to redo the back end of their website as well as the continuation of all programs. There is an amendment on the House floor today to move $750,000 from the $26 million WOT budget and put it into mental health and substance abuse programs. The work of the association and its members and friendly legislators should be able to successfully defeat that amendment.

The Highway Department also received $100 million in order to maintain highways.  At the same time, the Governor and the Legislature have made maintaining infrastructure for the highways, cities, towns and counties a priority.

But it is not over yet and anything can happen!

Keeping up with the session and contacting your legislators;

The state legislative services office offers an array of options for residents from across the state to follow all of the committee meetings and discussions on the floors of the House and Senate.

Click here for a list of all legislators’ emails, which is their preferred method of contact.

During the session you can contact a legislator directly by calling the Senate receptionist at 307-777-7711 or the House receptionist at 307-777-7852.

You can also comment on bills online by visiting http://legisweb.state.wy.us/postcomments/onlinehotline.aspx.

To check on committee schedules, view bills, listen to live broadcasts of the legislative session or find out how individual legislators vote, log on to the Legislative website at http://legisweb.state.wy.us

Here are some bills the WRA is watching this year, including some which have already been voted down

All bills still alive are in bold.

House

H.B. No. 0003 State vehicle registration fee.
Sponsored by: Joint Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs Interim Committee
Doubled the fee of $7.50 for licenses which had not been increased for over 20 years. Defeated upon introduction. One legislator argued that raising the gas tax, 53% of which is paid by out of state travelers, would be preferable. Defeated on introduction vote

H.B. No. 0008 Department of workforce services consolidation.
Sponsored by: Joint Labor, Health and Social Services Interim Committee. Relating to the administration of government; updating references to implement the consolidation of the department of employment into the department of workforce services; repealing obsolete provisions; and providing for an effective date.
Passed House and is in Senate Labor, Health, and Social Services committee.

H.B. No. 0009 Unemployment insurance compliance.
Sponsored by: Joint Labor, Health and Social Services Interim Committee
Relating to unemployment insurance; amending information that an employer must submit to the state directory of new hires; and providing for an effective date
Passed House and is in Senate Labor, Health, and Social Services committee.

H.B. No. 0019 Cultural trust fund board-membership.
Sponsored by: Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Interim Committee
Expanding membership on the board; providing for ex officio membership on the board; providing for terms; providing an appropriation.
Died in Committee

H.B. No. 0033 Highway fund-assignment of fine and penalty revenues.
Sponsored by: Joint Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs Interim Committee
Relating to highway funding; assigning penalty and fine revenues to the highway fund as specified; continuously appropriating such deposited monies to the transportation commission for specified uses; and providing for an effective date.
Failed by missing deadline for introduction.

H.B. No. 0040 Optional sales/use tax-uses.
Sponsored by: BYRD
Allows the 6th penny or optional specific purpose sales tax to be used for roads.
Passed House and is in Senate Revenue Committee.

H.B. No. 0043 Liquor licenses-dispensing rooms.
Sponsored by: BYRD
Repealing additional fees for additional dispensing rooms in licensed facilities.
Died in Committee

H.B. No. 0044 Portable electronic device insurance.
Sponsored by: BYRD
Providing for licensure of vendors selling portable electronics insurance; providing requirements for portable electronics insurance policies; providing an exemption of insurance producer licensure.
Died in Committee

H.B. No. 0046 Handicapped parking-space size and marking.
Sponsored by: VRANISH
Specifies the size and marking of handicapped parking spaces. Introduced and referred to committee.
House passed Committee of the Whole

H.B. No. 0049 Yellowstone infrastructure.
Sponsored by: GINGERY
AN ACT relating to sales and use tax; providing for imposition of a 1% sales and use tax in Yellowstone National Park; tax is remitted to State Parks and Cultural Resources who turn it over to Yellowstone National Park for infrastructure improvements. Backlog in YNP about $700 million; 1% tax would raise about $1 million.
Failed introduction.

H.B. No. 0053 Liquor licenses.
Sponsored by: GAY
AN ACT relating to liquor licenses; increasing the minimum fee from $300 to $1,500 and the maximum fee from $1500 to $10,500 and maximum fees for retail liquor licenses; and providing for an effective date.
Failed introduction.

H.B. No. 0056 Penalties for misdemeanor offenses.
Sponsored by: GINGERY
Relating to crimes and offenses; modifying penalties for misdemeanor offenses; providing for classes of misdemeanors; making conforming amendments; and providing for an effective date.
Failed introduction.

H.B. No. 0061 Low voltage electrical installation.
Sponsored by: KROEKER
Exempts low voltage installations and repairs from licensure requirements; providing conforming amendments; and providing for an effective date.
Failed introduction.

H.B. No. 0064 Credit Card Fairness Act.
Sponsored by: ZWONITZ,DV
Specifies the requirements for contracts between financial institutions and merchants.
Failed introduction.

H.B. No. 0067 Limited alcoholic beverage permit.
Sponsored by: ZWONITZ,DN
AN ACT relating to alcoholic beverages; expanding current special malt beverage permits provisions to include sales of other alcoholic beverages by making purchases from retail liquor license holders.
Failed introduction.

H.B. No. 0069 Vehicle registration fees.
Sponsored by: VRANISH
AN ACT relating to motor vehicle registration; amending county registration fees to provide for reimbursement of lost revenues to counties.
Failed introduction.

H.B. No. 0076 Resort liquor licenses.
Sponsored by: PETROFF
Relating to liquor licenses; amending qualifications for applicants for resort liquor licenses; and providing for an effective date.
House passed Committee of the Whole

H.B. No. 0089 Workplace safety-employer assistance.
Sponsored by: LUBNAU
Relating to workplace safety; providing for grants to enhance workplace safety; specifying conditions for grants; providing rulemaking authority; providing for additional consultation positions; transferring positions; providing appropriations; and providing for an effective date. Introduced and referred to Minerals committee.
House passed Committee of the Whole

H.B. No. 0094 Unemployment insurance-exclusions.
Sponsored by: CRAFT
Relating to unemployment insurance; repealing exclusion of certain employees of educational institutions from coverage; providing conforming amendments; and providing for an effective date.
Failed introduction.

H.B. No. 0096 OSHA penalties.
Sponsored by: THRONE
AN ACT relating to the Wyoming Occupational Health and Safety Act; providing for an increase in fines and civil penalties as specified; and providing for an effective date.
Failed Introduction.

H.B. No. 0097 Protection of activities in private vehicles.
Sponsored by: KRONE
AN ACT relating to employment; providing definitions; prohibiting certain persons from creating or enforcing a policy that prohibits the storage of firearms in a motor vehicle as specified; providing exclusions; and providing for an effective date.
Died in Committee

H.B. No. 0099 Credit card transaction fees.
Sponsored by: ZWONITZ,DV
AN ACT relating to consumer protection; establishing maximum rates for credit card transaction fees; providing exemptions; providing definitions; providing a penalty; and providing for an effective date.
Failed Introduction

H.B. No. 0111 Alcoholic beverages-direct shipment.
Sponsored by: BRECHTEL
AN ACT relating to alcoholic beverages; providing for direct shipment of alcoholic beverages between in-state manufacturers and importers and retail liquor license holders; providing for rules and regulations; and providing for an effective date. Failed Introduction.

H.B. No. 0106 Local option tax-municipalities.
Sponsored by: MILLER
AN ACT relating to taxation and revenue; authorizing a municipal sales and use tax as specified; providing procedures; amending related provisions; and providing for an effective date.
Passed House Committee, Died before debate on House Floor due to time.

H.J. No. 0008 National day of the cowboy.
Sponsored by: LOCKHART
A JOINT RESOLUTION requesting Congress and the Wyoming governor to designate the fourth Saturday in July as "National Day of the Cowboy".
House passed Committee of the Whole

Senate

S.F. No. 0008 Ethanol tax credit.
Sponsored by: Joint Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs Interim Committee
AN ACT relating to taxation; repealing the gasoline tax credit provided to producers of ethanol so the tax can be used for highway. Raises about $4 million a year.
Passed Senate, House referred to the Agriculture committee.

S.F. No. 0029 Spice definition amended.
Sponsored by: ESQUIBEL,F
Relating to the Wyoming Controlled Substances Act; amending the definition of synthetic cannabinoids; and providing for an effective date.
Passed Senate and is in House Committee.

S.F. No. 0032 Workers' compensation amendments.
Sponsored by: Joint Labor, Health and Social Services Interim Committee
Authorizing the medical commission to report suspected substandard or inappropriate medical or hospital care to appropriate licensing authorities; providing that false reporting shall be a misdemeanor; providing that confidentiality does not prohibit authorized reports to professional licensing authorities.
Passed Senate and in House

S.F. No. 0036 State parks-acquisition of LX Bar ranch.
Sponsored by: Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Interim Committee Authorizing the acceptance of lands as specified; providing an appropriation.
Passed Senate and going to the House

S.F. No. 0045 Alcoholic beverages-manufacturers.
Sponsored by: GEIS
Providing for dispensing of samples of manufactured distilled spirits; providing for satellite facility permits for licensed manufacturers of distilled spirits. Passed Senate and is in House Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee

S.F. No. 0058 Health insurance exchange study.
Sponsored by: Joint Labor, Health and Social Services Interim Committee
Amending duties of the Wyoming health insurance exchange steering committee as specified; requiring a report; limiting the state's authority to operate a federally required health insurance exchange; providing an appropriation.
On Senate Floor

S.F. No. 0071 Aquatic invasive species.
Sponsored by: CHRISTENSEN
Provides for mandatory inspections of conveyances entering the state; providing for establishment of check stations at ports of entry; providing an appropriation.
On Senate Floor

S.F. No. 0075 Business ready community program-planning.
Sponsored by: DRISKILL
Allows business ready community grants to be used for planning purposes.
On Senate Floor

S.F. No. 0077 Expenditure of public funds and government competition.
Sponsored by: CASE
Modifying the public finance website to provide a process for lodging concerns regarding competition by government entities with the private sector; providing definitions; making conforming amendments; amending reporting requirement; and providing for an effective date.
On Senate Floor

S.F. No. 0079 Wildlife trust challenge account-extension.
Sponsored by: HICKS
Relating to wildlife; extending the wildlife trust challenge account; and providing for an effective date. Introduced and referred to Travel committee.
On Senate Floor

S.F. No. 0083 Cigarette manufacturing.
Sponsored by: COE
Relating to regulation and taxation of tobacco; providing that provisions relating to tobacco settlement funds, reduced cigarette ignition propensity cigarettes and cigarette taxes apply to cigarettes produced by a machine as specified; amending definitions; and providing for an effective date.
On Senate Floor

To view any of these bills, please go to

http://legisweb.state.wy.us/lsoweb/session/BillsInfo.aspx
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Wyoming Travel Industry Coalition (WTIC)
P.O. Box 1003, Cheyenne, WY 82003  Phone: (307) 634-8816, Fax (307) 632-0249