2013 WY Legislature's General Session
This is week five of an eight-week-long legislative session, and much work has been done in the first four weeks with much left to be done.
One of WTIC’s main legislative priorities was to hold the line on the Wyoming Office of Tourism budget, which we’re happy to report has been done. Although the House passed an amendment to the budget (a footnote) requiring that, “No budget reduction within this program shall be made to the cowboy marketing program, including, but not limited to, college national finals rodeo, national high school rodeo finals, team Wyoming or similar sponsorships or marketing programs for high school, college, community and professional rodeo programs,” the Senate replaced that money ($118,000).
The problem your association has with the House action is that the legislature should not be micromanaging the tourism program. The intent of the amendment, which was to protect money for the College National Finals Rodeo in Rock Springs, was good, but the effect is to have the legislature override what has already been decided by the Governor and Tourism Board.
Thankfully, the Senate replaced the money. The budget bill, with both amendments will now be heard in front of a review committee comprised of members from the Joint Appropriations Committee. There they will consider both amendments and make a final decision regarding how these will affect the Tourism budget. Your association will work during the next year to explain that micromanaging agency budgets should not be the job of the legislature when tourism professionals and citizen boards like the Wyoming Tourism Board have spent much time and effort shaping the budget.
HB 69, Highway Funding - Fuel Tax increase passed handily out of the Senate Revenue committee and is now on the Senate floor and will be probably be debated this week.
SF 41, State Parks - ATM Donations - Allows for voluntary donations at ATM locations with proceeds going to the Wyoming Dept. of State Parks and Cultural Resources. Sponsored by: Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Interim Committee, Passed Senate, passed House Travel Committee and now on House floor to be debated this week.
A number of other bills important to the Hospitality and Tourism Industry are on our radar and are being monitored daily. You can find a list of these bills below, in addition to instruction for how to reach out to your legislators. Please contact Chris Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
Get Involved! Keep up with Session & Contact your Legislators
The Wyoming legislature began its 2013 session January 8 and runs until the first week of March. All new bills must be introduced by January 23 in the Senate and January 28 in the House. Below is a summary of the bills of interest to your association.
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 to leave a message by calling the Senate receptionist at 307-777-7711 or the House receptionist at 307-777-7852.
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
You can also comment on bills online by visiting http://legisweb.state.wy.us/postcomments/onlinehotline.aspx.
BILLS WHICH HAVE DIED ARE NOW AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LIST
HB 69 – Highway Funding – Raises the state’s fuel tax ten cents per gallon with the proceeds going to highway maintenance. Sponsored by: Revenue Committee, Passed House, Passed Senate Revenue Committee, Now on Senate Floor, SUPPORT
HB 110 – Off Road Gas Distribution – Allows the continuation of a gasoline tax on snowmobiles to be used for trail maintenance and repair. Passed House, Now up for final vote in Senate, SUPPORT
SF 41 – State parks - ATM Donations – Allows for voluntary donations at ATM locations with proceeds going to the Wyoming Dept. of State Parks and Cultural Resources. Sponsored by: Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Interim Committee, Passed Senate, now in House Travel Committee, SUPPORT
Bills your association worked on that have died
HB 70 – Vehicle Registration Fees – Raises registration fees on several classes of vehicles across the board. Sponsored by: Revenue Committee, Died – never heard.
HB 101 – Worker’s Compensation Appeals – Restricts reviews of appeals by the State Supreme Court. Sponsored by: Rep. Zwonitzer, Dan, FAILED In Committee.
HB 135 – Snowmobile Permit and Registration Fees, 2 – Increase registration and user fees for visiting snowmobilers while eliminating user fees for resident snowmobiles. Provides additional selling agent fees and repeals requirement of showing proof of sales tax paid. Also repeals required language on decals and provides for disposition of fees for replacement certificates and decals. Sponsored by Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Interim Committee. In committee. SUPPORT
HB 136 – Game and Fish License Fees – Raises fees for hunting and fishing licenses for both residents and non-residents to help fund the Game and Fish Department, and indexes those fees annually. Sponsored by Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Interim Committee. Failed committee vote.
HB 260 – Game and Fish Fees – A smaller fee increase than the bill that died (HB 136). Failed Committee of the Whole; Indefinately Postponed.
SF 32 – Game and Fish License Fees – Raises hunting and fishing license fees to help fund operations of the State Game and Fish Department. Sponsored by: Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Interim Committee, Died – not heard by committee.
SF 42 – Snowmobiles - Permit and Registration Fees – Raises snowmobile fees and redirects them from the state general fund to the Trails Program fund. Sponsored by: Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Interim Committee, Failed committee vote, Died. SUPPORT
To view any of these bills, please go to http://legisweb.state.wy.us/lsoweb/session/BillsInfo.aspx