Legislative Update – Jan. 23-24


Jan. 23

Hello Sublette County, this is Albert Sommers

reporting to you from Cheyenne. The

House considered six bills on second reading.

Bills of note included:

HB06 – Underage marriage, exceptions

repeal. I amended this bill to allow marriage

under the age of 18, if a judge approves the

marriage and there is parental consent.

HB84 – Wage equality, state employees

and programs.

Nine bills were considered in the House on

third reading. Eight bills will be delivered to

the Senate for consideration, including HB22

Teacher Accountability; I supported this bill.

HB24– National Board Teacher Certification;

In the end I did not support this bill, because

it had been changed too much. HB220 passed

Committee of the Whole today in the House.

This bill would tax large retail stores and

large hotels/resorts that have more than 100

shareholders. Currently, big box stores, like

Walmart, don’t pay a corporate tax in Wyoming,

but do pay taxes in their home state on

earnings generated in Wyoming. If they pay

the tax in Wyoming, then that portion will be

exempted in their own state. This is an attempt

to capture some revenue from these large national

firms.

Jan. 24

I had the opportunity, as Speaker Pro

Tempore, to chair the House session today as

Speaker Harshman joined the Governor and

Senate President Perkins representing Wyoming

in meetings with companies looking to

relocate to Wyoming.

Today, the House considered four bills on

second reading. Those bills are: HB32 – Environmental

Quality Council, amendments;

HB159 – Volunteer reserve officers, liability

coverage; HB220 – National Retail Fairness

Act.

Six bills were considered in the House on

third reading. Five bills will be delivered to

the Senate for consideration, including these

bills I supported: HB82 – Veterans’ skilled

nursing facility, which will build a new veteran’s

skilled nursing facility in Wyoming.

Currently, Wyoming is the only state in the

nation without a veteran’s skilled nursing facility.

The big debate is whether the facility

should be in Buffalo or Casper.

HB84 – Wage equality – state employees

and programs, and HJ02– Funding sewage

systems.

One bill, HB06 – Underage marriage, exceptions

repeal, failed on a vote of 26-31-3.

The Committee of the Whole discussed and

passed several bills including HB14 – Mountain

Daylight Time. HB 14 would keep Wyoming

on Mountain Daylight time throughout

the year, once three surrounding states do the

same. I supported this bill.

HB99 – Wyoming Public Lands Day, a bill

that I have cosponsored, instructs the governor

to proclaim a Wyoming Public Lands Day annually

“in recognition of the value of public

lands to the state's economy, open spaces,

wildlife and recreational opportunities.”

Two bills, HB0128 – Senior property tax

exemptions and HB0146 – Local government

publication requirements, failed the Committee

of the Whole. There are some constitutionality

questions surrounding HB 128.

All bills can be viewed at https://www.

wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019.

I can be reached at [email protected]

com with questions or concerns. Thank you.

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