The 2019 general session passed the half way mark last week and is scheduled to run through Wednesday, February 27, 2019, with five additional days available if needed. The Legislature will not convene February 18 in observance of Presidents' Day.
The final count for bills and resolutions listed on the Wyoming Legislature website this session is 499. Bills can be found here.
This year's Gillette Area Leadership Institute class headed to Cheyenne for their yearly visit to the Legislature. Governor Mark Gordon met with the class as they toured the Governor's Mansion, and then signed Senate Resolution 1, declaring December 10, 2019 as the official 150th anniversary of Wyoming Women's Suffrage.
The class will continue to visit with lawmakers and explore Cheyenne through Friday.
There were a variety of amendments to the Wyoming Business Council budget that were considered in both the house and senate budget discussions. Please find a summary below of those that passed. Any amendments that passed one chamber but not the other will need to be worked out in a conference committee assigned to work through proposed differences in the budget.
House passed amendments:
The house and senate differ by about $80 million on their marked up supplemental budgets and are continuing to meet and discuss ways to close the gap. A conference committee(s) will be assigned to work out the differences between the house and senate versions of the budget.
House Bill 66, the Statewide Lodging Tax, was introduced to the Senate on Monday and has been referred to the Senate Committee for Travel, Recreation, Wildlife & Cultural Resources. (Senator Driskill is Committee Chairman, Gillette Senator Wasserburger is also a member of the Travel Committee.)
Senate File 43, the Hathaway Scholarship bill that will modify the Hathaway Scholarship Program to allow for a career technical aptitude test to satisfy Hathaway Scholarship eligibility requirements, has passed both the House and Senate. It awaits Governor Gordon's signature.
Don't forget that March 19 is our Legislative Wrap-Up Breakfast. You can register online or by calling 307-682-3673. We will once again be hosting our local legislators at the Gillette College Technical Education Center at 7 a.m. Breakfast from Pokey's BBQ starts at 6:30 a.m.
The fourth week for the legislative session ended Friday. Much of the week was dedicated to supplemental budget appropriations bills. Both houses spent a couple of long days and nights working through their versions, ending up roughly $70 million apart. There were a variety of amendments to the budget that were considered in both the house and senate budget discussions.
House passed amendments
Senate passed amendments
February 1 was the final day for bills to be reported out of committee in their respective houses of origin, meaning many of the House Bills, Senate Files and Resolutions will not be considered any further this legislative session. Monday, February 4 was the final day for bills to be heard by the Committee of the Whole in their house of origin. Tuesday, February 5 and Wednesday, February 6 are the final days for second and third readings, respectively.
Senate File 43, which passed the Senate on January 16 and has been sent to the House Committee for Education, is the Hathaway Scholarship Eligibility Act, supported by the Wyoming State Chamber of Commerce. The Hathaway Scholarship bill would help raise awareness for Career and Technical Education. Governor Mark Gordon signed a proclamation for Career and Technical Education on Monday.
House Bill 93 would create a tourism improvement district (TID). An assessment is placed on tourism businesses within a designated geographic area and the funds raised through the assessment are used for specific tourism marketing purposes. The bill will be written as enabling legislation, meaning that it allows for the conversation about Tourism Improvement Districts in your communities but it does not create or mandate anyone to utilize a TID. That bill passed the House on February 1 and was introduced to the Senate, then referred to the Senate Committee for Corporations on Tuesday, February 5.
Bills that have died:
House Bill 67, the Sales Tax Revision bill that would have removed the sales tax exemption on home-prepared foods, data centers and manufacturing, and reduced the state sales tax to 3.5%. The Wyoming Taxpayer's Association opposed this bill.
House Bill 72, Wage Transparency, that would have prohibited employers from barring employees from disclosing wage information and would have prohibited employers from requiring employees to waive wage disclosure rights.
House Bill 167, the severance tax reduction on coal, has been postponed indefinitely. It was introduced by Gillette Representative Hallinan and supported by Represenatives Clem and Edwards.
63rd Wyoming Legislature