Legislative Update – Jan. 28-30


Jan. 28

Hello Sublette County,

This is Albert Sommers in Cheyenne.

Today kicked off the fourth week of the

65th General Session. This morning the

Joint Appropriations Committee released

HB0001 – General government appropriations,

also known at the Budget Bill. It was

received for introduction into the House

and referred to the House Committee of the

Whole.

In the morning session of the House, 13

bills were passed on second reading. Key

bills included: HB0074 – Special purpose

depository banks, HB0076 – Wyoming beer

freedom act, and HB0108 – Contractors –

final payment.

Eight bills were considered in the House

on third reading and were sent to the Senate

for consideration. Several of interest include

these that I supported: HB0014 – Mountain

daylight time, HB0099 – Wyoming Public

Lands Days, HB0142 – Wildlife and natural

resources trust account board – duties.

The Committee of the Whole dedicated

the afternoon to the Budget Bill, HB0001.

The bill was read and explanations about

the various sections were given.

Additional bills passed by the Committee

of the Whole by voice vote included

these I support: HB0117 - College entrance

exam-written component, and HB0132 -

Hathaway scholarships-award increase.

One of my bills failed the Committee

of the Whole: HB0136 – School district

teacher adjustment.

This bill would have provided extra

funds to smaller school districts to deal with

recent budget cuts. Much of the discussion

against it focused on the additional costs associated

with the bill.

Thank you.

Jan. 30

Yesterday was a marathon day with the

second reading of the Budget Bill. There

were 40 amendments submitted for consideration.

Twenty were adopted, 16 failed,

and four were withdrawn.

One significant amendment that passed

was Rep. Hallinan’s amendment to increase

the property tax refund program to approximately

$2.5 million dollars.

The House adjourned at approximately

9 p.m. Upon adjournment, I joined my colleagues

on the House Appropriation Committee

to work bills. We finally adjourned

the committee at about 11:45 p.m. Third

reading of the bill will takes place Thursday.

With both the House and Senate deadlines

for submitting bills having passed, the

65th Legislature will consider 499 pieces of

legislation.

On second reading today, the House considered

and passed 10 bills on voice vote,

including HB0133 – Hathaway expand Wyoming

Scholarship, and HB0207 – Business

licensing fees 2.

Four bills were considered in the House

on third reading and were sent to the Senate

for consideration, including these I

supported: HB0117 - College entrance

exam-written component, and HB0132 –

Hathaway scholarships-award increase.

This Committee of the Whole has considered

20 bills today. Eighteen bills passed

on a voice vote and two failed.

Bills of note included HB0189 – Wide

load restrictions, agriculture, and HB0093

– Tourism improvement districts.

There was passionate debate on two bills

today: HB145 – Death penalty repeal, and

HB 140 – 48-hour waiting period. Much

of the debate surrounded the sanctity of

life and the government’s role in taking

a life. HB 145 passed on a standing vote

of 36 ayes and HB 140 passed on a standing

vote of 33 ayes. I would be interested

in Sublette’s view of both of these bills, as

the final vote will be on Friday. I usually

don’t support the repeal of the death penalty,

but a great argument was made today.

The death penalty frankly costs too much

money, and we have only had two of these

since the 1960s.

HB0205 – Big and trophy game animalsminimum

hunting age – failed the House

Committee of the Whole on a vote of 23-

33-4. That bill would have lowered the minimum

age for hunting from 12 years old to

10. HB0151 – Ban on sanctuary cities and

counties – failed on a vote of 22-36-2 as

well, and I could not support this bill. We

do not have an issue with this in Wyoming,

and if we do, then we can address it.

Detailed information about every bill is

available at https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/

2019.

Follow my Facebook page for up-to-date

information and email me at [email protected]

com with questions or concerns.

I can be reached at [email protected]

com with questions or concerns.

Thank you.

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