2017 WLRA LEGISLATIVE STATUS REPORT #1

 

The 64th Wyoming Legislature will convene at noon in Cheyenne tomorrow, January 10, 2017 and will run until Friday, March 3, 2017. 180 bills and resolutions are currently listed on the Wyoming Legislature website (they can be found here http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/billreference/BillReference.aspx?type=ALNew bills are being added daily and more than 500 bills will ultimately be debated over the next 40 working days.

Governor Mead will give his annual state of the state on Wednesday, January 10, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.  Listeners can hear the broadcast on their computer here http://legisweb.state.wy.us/lsoweb/session/Audio.aspx

As a number of bills that could impact the hospitality and tourism industry have and will continue to emerge in the coming weeks, and your association will be very closely monitoring them as they are posted.

The following list is comprised of the bills currently listed, related to hospitality and tourism in Wyoming. This list will be updated weekly.  Please watch for the WLRA legislative update every Monday for additions and up to date information on the legislative priorities of the Hospitality Industry.

Call To Action- Please keep a close eye out during the entire legislative session for call to action emails.  This will be a difficult session with many impactful decisions being made at a very quick pace.  Now is the time to engage and ensure that our voice is heard as an industry.  All call to action emails will come with all of the information you need and should only take you a few minutes to engage.  Your voice is the most critical one during the legislative session and it is absolutely imperative that our industry plays an active role this session.

Priorities

Support- HB 32 Ski Safety Act
Imposes duties on ski areas and skiers. Establishes an assumption of risk for skiers and provides for a release of liability for ski areas as defined

Support- SF 24 Film Industry Financial Incentive Program
Extends the sunset date for the Wyoming Office of Tourism’s Film Industry Financial Incentive Program

Support- SF 45 Liquor Dispensing Rooms
Removes the definition of “dispensing room” for full retail liquor license holders, allowing them to serve alcoholic beverages from anywhere inside their business.

Support- The WLRA supports legislation to tighten laws related to falsely impersonating a Service Animal. Emotional support, companion, therapy or comfort animals are regularly misrepresented as Service Animals at lodging and restaurant properties because Service Animal vests are easily purchased online by anyone. Representative Landon Brown is bringing legislation to address this issue and the bill should be out in the coming week.

Oppose- HB 102 Lodging Tax Rate
Would allow additional 2% local option lodging tax earmarked for tourism related infrastructure. Would allow shifting of lodging tax to be used for up to 4% for infrastructure or up to 4% for promotion with a total of no more than 6% tax imposed. WLRA believes that the local option lodging tax should remain focused solely on promotion and tourism related activity. Not for infrastructure.

Support- Bill addressing joint employer concerns. The WLRA is currently working with Senator Driskill on a bill that will ensure Wyoming franchisors are not unfairly liable for the actions of franchisees. The bill will prevent frivolous lawsuits, and will encourage franchisees to act responsibly.

Monitoring

HB 30-State Parks Sites and Fees                               
Allows the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources to adjust pricing on entrance fees and permits as defined.

HB 49 Mountain Daylight Savings Time
Would place Wyoming into the central time zone for the entire year.

HB 66 Yellowstone License Plates                               
Would authorize a Yellowstone National Park license plate.

HB 71 Unemployment Insurance-electronic communications
Would allow Unemployment Insurance notifications to be delivered electronically through email as specified.

HB 84- Workers compensation-delinquent employers
Would allow delinquent employers to enter into an installment plan for up to 12 months when warranted.

HB 85 Unemployment compensation-delinquent employers
Would allow delinquent employers to enter into an installment plan for up to 12 months when warranted.

HB 92 Payment of wages upon termination-time limits
Would allow employers to pay final pay based upon a collective bargaining agreement between the employer and employee.

HB 96 Microbrewery permits
Authorizes microbrewery permit holders to dispense malt beverages in areas adjacent to their site as specified.

SF 13 Manufactured alcoholic beverages
Specifies licensing requirements and the amount of samples that may be dispensed.

SF 14 Inoperative liquor licenses
Reduces the amount of time that owners of a full retail liquor license may remain inoperative.

SF 43 Alcoholic beverages-revisions
Revises specific sections of title 12 related to the sale of alcoholic beverages, as specified.

Get Involved! Keep up with the Session & Contact your Legislators

Click here http://legisweb.state.wy.us/LegislatorSummary/App_Themes/LSO/PDFContactInfo.pdf for a list of all legislators’ emails, which is their preferred method of contact.

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

You can also comment on bills online by visiting http://legisweb.state.wy.us/postcomments/onlinehotline.aspx.

If you have any questions, please contact Chris Brown at 307-634-8816 x 207 chris@wlra.org