Legislative Update, Jan. 27 - 28

Hello Sublette County, this is Albert Sommers reporting to you on Jan. 27, from the 2021 General Session. Today the House considered bills in Committee of the Whole (COW), which is the first time the entire House debates bills that are passed by standing committees.

Remember, bills are first heard in standing committees; then they move to general file, where they are ready for debate in COW. A bill’s first vote by the chamber (House or Senate) occurs in COW. If the bill passes COW, then it moves to second reading, and finally third reading. The final vote by a chamber occurs in third reading. A bill can be amended in COW, second reading and in third reading. In second and third readings, the chamber only debates amendments, not the entirety of the bill. Once a bill passes third reading in one chamber, then it crosses over to the other chamber and starts the entire process over. When the two chambers differ in how they amended the bill, those issues are resolved. If a bill is lucky enough to pass both the House and Senate, it heads to the governor’s desk. The governor can sign a bill, not sign a bill or veto a bill. The first two options result in the bill becoming law.

Today, HB0044, Omnibus Water Bill Construction, passed COW in the House. This bill included cloud seeding and likely small water projects in our area. HB0066, 2021 Large Project Funding, passed COW. This bill included the Dry Piney Mule Deer Crossings project between Big Piney and LaBarge. HB0013, Alcoholic Beverage Regulation, passed COW. This bill will allow individuals who belong to wine clubs to be able to purchase more bottles without being in violation of state law. I voted in favor of these three bills during COW.

Jan. 28

Hello Sublette County, this is Albert Sommers reporting to you from Cheyenne on Thursday, Jan 28. Today we continued work on committee bills in the House.

HB0006, Trust Company Amendments, and HB0009, Short Time Compensation Program, are two of the 13 bills that passed second reading in the House today. HB0009, Short Time Compensation Program, is a bill that is a win for both employers and employees. It allows employers to pay reduced hours while allowing the employee to receive some unemployment compensation.

Six bills passed the Committee of the Whole today, including HB0004, Mental Health Professions Practice Act amendments, which updates the practice act for mental health professionals; HB0053, Invasive Plant Species, which gives weed and pest districts more flexibility and provides the existing Weed and Pest Council more structure and direction; and HB0025, Tribal Vehicle Registration Exemption Implementations, which allows tribal members to receive a registration fee exemption without continually reapplying, as long as the tribal member remains an enrolled tribal member and still resides on tribal lands. I supported these three bills in Committee of the Whole.

For details on these and all other 2021 bills, visit https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2021.

I can be reached at [email protected] with questions or comments.