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
- 2010 deletes “Pacific Rim” and adds “Asia” as the targeted market for advertising
- 2011 adds $3mm for broadband public/private partnerships in underserved areas across Wyoming.
- 2012 adds the word “drones” to the $250,000 earmarked for aerospace.
- 3019 removes the $250,000 BRC earmark for aerospace and funds it through general fund dollars instead.
- 3054 adds new general fund dollars to the BRC program for military housing project in SE Wyoming.
- 3060 removes the freeze on $250,000 and $2mm of WBC/BRC funds but maintains that the WBC report to the legislature by 11.1.19 with an overall economic development update of how WBC, SLIB and ENDOW programs co-exist.
Senate passed amendments
- 2008 (WY Dept. of Transportation budget) only allows $6mm (of$15mmtotal) to be used in any one-year contract for enhanced air service contracts.
- 2020 deletes “Pacific Rim” and adds “Asia” as the targeted market for advertising.
- 2021 deletes the $250,000 earmark for aerospace.
- 2037 deletes $3mm for broadband public/private partnerships in underserved areas across Wyoming.
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.