WTIC Works On 2013 Wyoming Legislative Session
How does the Wyoming Travel Industry Coalition view the upcoming 2 month Wyoming Legislative Session?
Your association, with your feedback, has met this year with the Governor, congressional delegation and most legislators in order to determine how to make your voice heard and continue to keep Wyoming business friendly for the tourism and hospitality industry across the state. Certainly everyone’s priority is to get back to a healthy economy with high employment.
Special attention is being paid to the Wyoming House of Representatives where 17 of the 60 members are new and only 62% have served for 2 or more years. Your association has visited with nearly all of the members of the 62nd Wyoming legislature in anticipation of this year’s session.
While Wyoming is not having the extreme budget crisis of other states, Wyoming’s executive and legislative branch leadership are reigning in expenses by reducing the budget allocations of all agencies by an average of 6.5% (some more and some less). WTIC is closely monitoring the Joint Appropriations Committee markup of the Wyoming Office of Tourism bi-ennium budget. WTIC is keeping an eye on this process to make sure critical business infrastructure and programs are kept in place. In that vein, WTIC supports a user fee to maintain Wyoming highways in the form of an increase in the gasoline tax (the second lowest in the country.) If everyone doesn’t share the burden of maintaining our highways, other taxes, including sales and business taxes, will have to assume the burden.
The following bills are being monitored by the WTIC. New bills have been popping up daily and this list will be updated on a weekly basis.
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, In Committee, SUPPORT
HB 70 Vehicle Registration Fees – Raises registration fees on several classes of vehicles across the board. Sponsored by: Revenue Committee, In Committee, Monitor
HB 77 Wyoming Lottery – Establishes a Wyoming Lottery Board and system, with proceeds going to local governments around the state. Need to make sure commission to retailers is high enough. Spnsored by: Rep. Zwonitzer, Dave, In committee, MONITOR
HB 110 – Off Road Gas Distribution – Allows the continuation of a gasoline tax on snowmobiles to be used for trail maintenance and repair. In Committee, SUPPORT
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, In Committee, 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, In Committee, SUPPORT
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, In Committee, SUPPORT
SF 109 – Highway and Road Funding – Severance tax – Transfers 50% of the funding going to the permanent mineral trust fund into a fund to funds the highways. MONITOR
The session began January 8 and ends around March 1 and all new bills must be introduced by January 23 in the Senate and January 28 in the House—that is only 2 and a half weeks after the session begins. A bill must PASS out of its House of Origin by February 4, only 3 weeks after the session begins.
That is why if we ask for your feedback during the next two weeks, we need it almost IMMEDIATELY
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.