2017 WTIC LEGISLATIVE STATUS REPORT #2

The 64th Wyoming Legislature convened at noon on January 9, 2017 and will run until Friday, March 3, 2017.  233 bills and resolutions are currently listed on the Wyoming Legislature website - they can be found here http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/billreference/BillReference.aspx?type=ALL. New bills are being added daily and more than 500 bills will ultimately be debated over the next 7 weeks.

Governor Mead delivered his state of the state last Wednesday and spoke about the need to diversify the states economy.  The Governor made specific mention of support for the tourism industry. You can hear the audio of the 2017 State of the State here
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/audio/house/h011117am1.mp3

As a number of bills that could impact the hospitality and tourism industry have and will continue to emerge in the coming weeks, and your association will be very closely monitoring them as they are posted.

The following list is comprised of the bills currently listed, related to Wyoming’s hospitality and tourism industry. This list will be updated weekly.  Please watch for the WTIC legislative update every Monday for additions and up to date information on the legislative priorities of our industry.

Call To Action- Please keep a close eye out during the entire legislative session for call to action emails. This will be a difficult session with many impactful decisions being made at a very quick pace. Now is the time to engage and ensure that our voice is heard as an industry. All call to action emails will come with all of the information you need and should only take you a few minutes to engage. Your voice is the most critical one during the legislative session and it is absolutely imperative that our industry plays an active role this session.

Priorities

Support- SF 24 Film Industry Financial Incentive Program 
Extends the sunset date for the Wyoming Office of Tourism’s Film Industry Financial Incentive Program Status- Introduced and awaiting hearing in Senate Travel Committee

Oppose- HB 102 Lodging Tax Rate 
Would allow additional 2% local option lodging tax earmarked for tourism related infrastructure. Would allow shifting of lodging tax to be used for up to 4% for infrastructure or up to 4% for promotion with a total of no more than 6% tax imposed. WTIC believes that the local option lodging tax should remain focused solely on promotion and tourism related activity. Not for infrastructure.

Oppose- HB 149 Lodging Tax Distribution
Would split local option lodging tax collections from the current 90/10 for local promotion to 50/50 promotion with half going to local government. Status- Awaiting Introduction

Monitoring

HB 30 State Parks Sites and Fees
Allows the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources to adjust pricing on entrance fees and permits as defined. Status- Introduced and awaiting hearing in House Travel Committee

HB 49 Mountain Daylight Savings Time
Would place Wyoming into the central time zone for the entire year. Status- Awaiting Introduction 

HB 66 Yellowstone License Plates
Would authorize a Yellowstone National Park license plate. Status- Introduced and awaiting hearing in House Transportation Committee 

HB 71 Unemployment Insurance-electronic communications
Would allow Unemployment Insurance notifications to be delivered electronically through email as specified. Status- Passed committee and first reading in the House

HB 84 Workers compensation-delinquent employers
Would allow delinquent employers to enter into an installment plan for up to 12 months when warranted. Status- Introduced and awaiting hearing in House Labor Committee

HB 85 Unemployment compensation-delinquent employers
Would allow delinquent employers to enter into an installment plan for up to 12 months when warranted. Status- Introduced and awaiting hearing in House Labor Committee

HB 114 Service and Assistance Animals
Establishes a penalty for those falsely impersonating a Service Animal in a business. Status-Introduced and awaiting hearing in House Corporations Committee

HB 140 Minimum Wage
Would raise the minimum wage to $9.50/hr and tipped minimum wage to $5.50/hr. Status- Awaiting Introduction

HB 141 Daylight Savings Time Exemption
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/HB0141.pdf
Would exempt Wyoming from daylight savings time. Status-Awaiting Introduction


Get Involved! Keep up with the Session & Contact your Legislators


Click here http://legisweb.state.wy.us/LegislatorSummary/App_Themes/LSO/PDFContactInfo.pdf 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.

If you have any questions, please contact Chris Brown at 307-634-8816 x 207 or chris@wyotravel.org

©2016 WTIC, 1825 Carey Avenue, P.O. Box 1003, Cheyenne, WY 82003.