On February 12, the Wyoming State Chamber of Commerce released the following information following the State of the State address.
The budget session will run for 20 working days until Friday, March 9, 2018. As of today there are 222 bills and resolutions currently listed on the Wyoming Legislature website. Bills can be found here. New bills are being added daily with an expected total bill load of about 300.
As a number of bills that could impact the businesses that operate in your communities have and will continue to emerge in the coming weeks, and your State Chamber will be very closely monitoring them as they are posted and engaging as necessary.
The following list is comprised of the bills currently listed, related to the Wyoming State Chamber of Commerce and our legislative priorities in Wyoming. This list will be updated weekly. Please watch for the WSC legislative update every Monday for additions and up to date information on our legislative priorities.
Wyoming Office of Tourism Biennium Budget
The Joint Appropriations Committee is recommending the Wyoming Office of Tourism (WOT) biennium budget at approximately $12.5 million per year or $25 million for the biennium. The committee upheld cuts that the Governor requested the WOT to make earlier in the year of about $200,000. Additionally the committee earmarked approximately $200,000 to promote southwest Wyoming. Wyoming currently ranks 31st in the nation for tourism funding and there will no doubt be proposed cuts to the budget as lawmakers grapple with a $600 million shortfall in education funding.
Wyoming Business Council Biennium Budget
Governor Mead’s biennium budget recommendation for the Wyoming Business Council was flat vs. the last biennium. The Joint Appropriations Committee applied a cut of about $380,000 that Governor Mead had originally requested the agency to make but then did not include in his budget recommendation.
Bills that we are monitoring
HB 10 – Workers Compensation-Exterritorial Reciprocity
Would only pay reciprocity for workers compensation cases in other states that also offer reciprocity.
HB 13- Municipal extraterritorial jurisdiction-repeal
Within one mile of municipality, assuming the potential for annexation in the future, new business would need to be built to municipal standards and would be developers responsibility up front. County commissioners would have final say.
HB 14 Municipal Jurisdiction
Addresses same issues as HB 13 but less restrictive. County would still have ability to nullify if warranted.
HB 44 Alcoholic Liquors Markup Amount
Would raise the mark up on wholesale liquor purchases for businesses buying from the Wyoming Liquor Division from 17.3% to 20.3%
HB 45- Mountain Daylight Savings Time
Would place Wyoming on standard central time, eliminate daylight savings time (spring forward and fall back) and creating a new time zone called mountain daylight savings time
HB 49-Unemployment Compensation Exemption-Seasonal Employees
Would exempt employers that utilize seasonal employees working less than 21 consecutive weeks in a 12-month period from unemployment.
HB 51- Reporting of Gross Receipts
Would require businesses in Wyoming to report their gross receipts on their annual filings to the Secretary of State’s office so that the state could gather data about gross receipts in Wyoming to possibly be used later when considering a gross receipts tax.
HB 63- Resident Labor Requirements
Would require resident labor on public projects unless resident labor unavailable.
HB 68- Unemployment Compensation-Seasonal Employment
Provides exemption for employers utilizing season employees working 21 consecutive weeks or less in a 12-month period from unemployment.
HB 128- Food Trucks
Provides for the regulation, licensing and rulemaking related to food trucks in Wyoming.
SF 6 Real Estate
Exempts real estate brokers, salespeople and associate brokers from workers compensation and unemployment.
SF 18 – Orphan Site Remediation Funding
Non-interest bearing loans available for corrective action related to above and below ground storage tanks and solid waste landfill remediation. This bill adds orphaned sites to the list making these loans available to orphaned sites for remediation as well.
SF 52- Workers Comp Rate Discount
Increases from 10% to 15% for complying with substance testing and safety programs
ENDOW Related Bills
Governor Mead’s Economically Needed Diversification of Wyoming (ENDOW) Committee released their initial recommendations last month and the following are bills related to the advancement of ENDOW’s mission.
Economic Diversification and Development (no bill number yet)
Directs the Wyoming Business Council to develop new markets, expand foreign trade efforts, including expanding international markets for Wyoming services, agriculture, products and commodities. The bill also directs ENDOW to develop a strategy for small, regionally located beef processing plants and mid-large sized plants for international sales. The bill expands the ENDOW committee from 15 to 20 appointed members and directs the committee to review and develop further opportunity for career tech education opportunities in Wyoming.
Workforce development-priority economic sector program.(no bill number yet)
Establishes the Wyoming workforce development-priority economic sector partnership program to meet the training needs of existing businesses in the state and to provide incentives to businesses to locate and expand within the state through government assisted new jobs training. Appropriates $20 million to the program.
Economic Diversification-Telecommunication Services (no bill number yet)
Creates a broadband development program and matching funds for projects under the program. The Wyoming Business Council will administer the program. The bill establishes a broadband advisory council and dedicates $12 million to the program.
Start Up Wyoming-Economic Diversification (no bill number yet)
Provides for matching funds for the small business innovation research program; creating the Wyoming research and innovation program, the startup Wyoming and kick start Wyoming programs and houses the programs under the Wyoming Business Council. Creates an economic diversification account and appropriates $11 million to the programs listed. Directs the WBC to present a proposal to ENDOW that will assist businesses within the state in priority economic sectors identified in the approved twenty (20) year comprehensive economic diversification strategy no later than July 1, 2018.
HB-19 Wyoming Money Transmittal Act- Virtual Currency
Allows for the use of virtual currency in Wyoming.
SF 40 Commercial Air Service Improvement
Establishes the Wyoming Commercial Air Service Improvement Act and creates the Wyoming Commercial Air Service Improvement Council. Tasks the Council with developing a 10 year plan to address commercial air service in Wyoming.
Click here for a list of all legislators’ emails, which is their preferred method of contact, or click here to download the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Directory.
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