Today the 65th Wyoming Legislature will convene for the 2020 budget session. The session will begin with Governor Mark Gordon’s state of the state at 10:00 am. You can watch the state of the state here.
The budget session will run for twenty-four working days and will finish on Thursday, March 12, 2020. Currently 244 bills and resolutions are listed and all bills will need to pass a 2/3 vote in their house of origin in order to be considered for the session. The expected total number of bills for this session is around 350.
Key dates this week:
Monday, February 10, 2020
10:00 a.m. Session convenes with Governor’s State of the State
2:00 p.m. House and Senate convene and begin reading bills in
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
12:00 p.m. All draft bills must be submitted to the Legislative Services Office (LSO)
Friday, February 14, 2020
Last day for bill introductions
As a number of bills that could impact economic development in Wyoming have and will continue to emerge over the next week.
Bills WEDA are supporting:
Governor Mark Gordon recommended a flat budget for the Wyoming Business Council biennium budget. With a new director and a fresh strategic plan, holding the line on Wyoming Business Council funding by protecting the Governor’s recommendation is one of our top priorities. The Business Ready Communities program has been beneficial to all 23 counties across Wyoming. The budget will be read in by the end of this week. The legislature is expected to debate the biennium budget starting next week. Mirror budget bills will be debated simultaneously in the house and senate with any differences being worked out through conference committees. The second and third readings of the budget bill will likely see around 100 proposed amendments in each chamber, each reading.
The Joint Appropriations Committee is recommending a $2.5 million cut to the Business Ready Communities program.
Establishes a 5% statewide lodging tax with 3% being dedicated to funding the Wyoming Office of Tourism through newly created tourism accounts. The other 2% will be guaranteed back to local option lodging tax boards to replace 2% of their existing local option lodging tax. This bill funds Wyoming’s tourism marketing program with more dedicated and competitive funding levels while reverting $26 million back to the state’s general fund per biennium.
SF 57-Local Government Distributions
Provides a $105 million distribution to local cities, towns and counties.
Bills WEDA are opposing:
SF 59-Government Property
Would limit local public participation in economic development projects by forcing the sale of public buildings or lands that are not held for a “governmental purpose” after 10 years. The bill specifically excludes “business parks and other economic development properties” from being governmental purposes, and would also mandate the sale of other community owned facilities.
Bills WEDA are monitoring
SF 36-Large Scale Solar and Wind Energy Facilities
Creates additional regulations for wind and solar projects as well as permitting and standards requirements for solar projects.
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.