2017 WTIC LEGISLATIVE STATUS REPORT #8

The 64th Wyoming Legislature convened at noon on January 9, 2017 and will run until Friday, March 3, 2017. 485 total bills and resolutions were submitted by committees and individual legislators for the 2017 general session- they can be found here http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/billreference/BillReference.aspx?type=ALL

Key Dates
Today- Last day for Committee of the Whole in the second house
Tomorrow, February 28 - Last day for Second Reading in the second house
Wednesday, March 1 - Last day for Third Reading in the second house
Thursday, March 2 - Concurrences on Amendments/Joint Conference Committee Reports.
Friday, March 3 - Joint Conference Committee Reports; All JCC Reports due to Front Desk by 2:00 p.m. ADJOURN by Midnight.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday - March 6, 7 and 8 are available if necessary

The following list is comprised of the bills currently listed, related to the hospitality industry in Wyoming. Next Monday will be the last legislative update for the 2017 general session.

Priorities

Support-Wyoming Office of Tourism Biennium Budget
The budget bill (HB-1/ SF-1) was heard last week on both floors simultaneously. The WLRA helped defeat 3 proposed cuts to tourism funding and we continue to monitor the budget very closely. The conference committee assigned to working out the differences between the senate and house versions of the bill met last week and agreed to a budget. There were no further cuts to tourism.

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- The bill is being held down by Majority Floor Leader David Miller. We are hopeful to have the bill heard by todays deadline and are working diligently to move it up the list.

Support- 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- passed House and Senate. Governor has signed.

Support- HB 82 Local Option Sales and Use Taxes
Would allow local option sales and use taxes to be voted on for increase during a non-renewal year without the threat of losing the tax entirely. Local option sales and use taxes would still be all or nothing voting on renewal year. Status-passed house and senate. Awaiting Governor Mead’s signature.

Support- HB 195 Quebec 1 Transfer
Authorizes transfer of Quebec 1 facility to state. Status- passed House and Senate. Awaiting Governor’s signature.

Bills That Have Died

HB 49 Mountain Daylight Savings Time  
Would place Wyoming into the central time zone for the entire year. Status-failed in House Minerals Committee.

HB 66 Yellowstone License Plates
Would authorize a Yellowstone National Park license plate. Status- failed first reading in House.

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

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. Status- Failed in House Revenue Committee-lack of a second motion.

HB 140 Minimum Wage
Bill was amended to raise Wyoming’s non-tipped minimum wage to the federal level of $7.25/hr. Status- died on House floor.

HB 141 Daylight Savings Time Exemption
Would exempt Wyoming from daylight savings time. Status-introduced and awaiting hearing with House Minerals Committee.

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- failed in House Revenue Committee 8-1.

HB 187 Total Solar Eclipse Day
Provides funding for support services during solar eclipse in August 2017. Status-did not consider for First Reading.

HB 234 Airport
Would adjust the lodging tax split of 60/30/10 in applicable county to be 10/50 (for airport funding) 30/10. Status- never heard in House Revenue Committee.

HB 269 Prohibited Question on Job Applications
Bill would prohibit employers from asking about applicant’s criminal history on job applications. Status-never assigned to committee.

HB 290- State Lodging Tax
Would create a 1% statewide lodging tax with 100% collections going to Game and Fish. Status- was never heard in House Revenue Committee.

Bills We Are Monitoring

HB 32 Ski Safety Act 
Imposes duties on ski areas and skiers. Establishes an assumption of risk for skiers and provides for a release of liability for ski areas as defined.
Status- passed house and senate. The house did not concur with the senate version and a conference committee will meet this week to see if they are able to work out their differences.

HB 71 Unemployment Insurance-electronic communications
Would allow Unemployment Insurance notifications to be delivered electronically through email as specified. Status- passed House and passed the Senate. Governor Mead has signed.

HB 84 Workers compensation-delinquent employers
Would allow delinquent employers to enter into an installment plan for up to 12 months when warranted. Status- passed house and passed the senate. Awaiting Governor Mead’s signature.

Support- SF 94 Franchise Business Relationships
The bill would define a franchisee's employee as their own and not the employee of the franchisor and would protect franchisor's from unwarranted lawsuits, etc. It helps protect the franchise model of business. Status-passed the senate and passed House Corporations Committee.

HB 114 Service and Assistance Animals 
Establishes a penalty for those falsely impersonating a Service Animal in a business. Status-passed house and passed second reading in the senate.
                         

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.