2017 WLRA LEGISLATIVE STATUS REPORT #4


The 64th Wyoming Legislature convened at noon on January 9, 2017 and will run until Friday, March 3, 2017.  467 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=AL

Key Dates
Wednesday, January 25 is the last day for Senate Files to be submitted to LSO for introduction.
Monday, January 30 is the last day for House Bills to be submitted to LSO for introduction.
Thursday, February 2 is the last day for bills to be reported out of Committee in house of origin.
Friday, February 3 is the last day for Committee of the Whole (1st Reading) in house of origin.
Monday, February 6 is the last day for Second Reading in house of origin.
Tuesday, February 7 is the last day for Third Reading on Bills in house of origin

The following list is comprised of the bills currently listed, related to the hospitality and tourism industry 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 our legislative priorities.

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-Wyoming Office of Tourism Biennium Budget
Senator Dan Dockstader attempted to cut $3 million from the Wyoming Office of Tourism biennium budget at the Joint Appropriations Committee markup last week. The cut failed. Thank you to key supporters Chairman Bruce Burns, Senator Ogden Driskill, Senator Bill Landen and Representative Andy Schwartz.
Status-JAC will hold another “round robin” session on Monday where further cuts could be proposed. We are monitoring this closely.

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. 
Status- passed House and awaiting introduction in Senate

SupportHB 114 Service and Assistance Animals Establishes a penalty for those falsely impersonating a Service Animal in a business. Status-passed House and awaiting introduction in Senate

Support- SF 24 Film Industry Financial Incentive Program
Extends the sunset date for the Wyoming Office of Tourism’s Film Industry Financial Incentive Program. 
Status- passed Senate and introduction in House

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. 
Status-passed the Senate and awaiting introduction in the House

Support- HB 80 Transportation Network Companies
Would allow companies like UBER to operate in Wyoming. Status-passed House and awaiting introduction in Senate

Support-HB 82 Local Option Sales and Use Taxes
Bill would allow local option taxes to be voted on for increase mid cycle without the threat of losing the existing percentage on the mid cycle vote.
Status-passed the House and awaiting introduction in the Senate

Support- SF 94 Franchise Business Relationships
The bill would define a franchisee's employee as their own and not the employee of the franchisor and would protect franchisor's from unwarranted lawsuits, etc. It helps protect the franchise model of business. Status-Introduced and will be heard in Senate Corporations Committee this week 

Oppose- HB 234 Airport Support
Would adjust the lodging tax split of 60/30/10 in applicable county to be 10/50 (for airport funding) 30/10
Status- awaiting hearing in House Revenue Committee

Oppose- HB 269 Prohibited Question on Job Applications
Bill would prohibit employers from asking about applicant’s criminal history on job applications.
Status-awaiting introduction

Bills That Have Died

HB 49 Mountain Daylight Savings Time 
Would place Wyoming into the central time zone for the entire year. Status-failed in House Minerals Committee

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. Status- failed in House Revenue Committee-lack of a second motion

HB 149 Lodging Tax Distribution 
Would split local option lodging tax collections from the current 90/10 for local promotion to 50/50 promotion with half going to local government. Status- failed in House Revenue Committee 8-1

HB 155 Alcohol Administration-Revisions
Bill would privatize alcohol sales and discontinue the Wyoming Liquor Division. The bill would raise taxes on wholesale liquor purchases and create a revenue shortfall for the state. Status- failed House Revenue Committee 9-0

HB 66 Yellowstone License Plates
Would authorize a Yellowstone National Park license plate. Status- failed first reading in house

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. Status- passed House and awaiting introduction in Senate

HB 71 Unemployment Insurance-electronic communications
Would allow Unemployment Insurance notifications to be delivered electronically through email as specified. Status- passed house and awaiting introduction in the senate

HB 84 Workers compensation-delinquent employers Would allow delinquent employers to enter into an installment plan for up to 12 months when warranted. Status- passed house and awaiting introduction in the Senate

HB 85 Unemployment compensation-delinquent employers
Would allow delinquent employers to enter into an installment plan for up to 12 months when warranted. Status- awaiting hearing in House Labor Committee

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. Status-passed House and awaiting introduction in the Senate

HB 96 Microbrewery permits
Authorizes microbrewery permit holders to dispense malt beverages in areas adjacent to their site as specified. Status- passed House and awaiting introduction in the Senate

HB 129 Food Freedom Act-Amendments 
Authorizes sales of certain meat products (poultry, live animals and domestic rabbit meat) from producers homes. Status- passed First Reading on house floor

HB 140 Minimum Wage
Bill was amended to raise Wyoming’s non-tipped minimum wage to the federal level of $7.25/hr
Status- passed House Labor Committee

HB 141 Daylight Savings Time ExemptionWould exempt Wyoming from daylight savings time. Status-introduced and awaiting hearing with House Minerals Committee

HB 169- Prohibited Firearms-Business and Commercial Establishments
Bill states that anyone that prohibits the carrying of a firearm on the person's commercial or business premises by an individual legally allowed to carry shall assume responsibility for the safety and protection of the individual while on the premises. Status-awaiting introduction in the House

HB 179-Retail Liquor License Fee
Would require public auction to highest bidder for available retail liquor licenses. Status- awaiting hearing with House Corporations Committee

HB 187 Total Solar Eclipse Day
Bill would declare August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse day in Wyoming and would provide $100,000 in grant money for communities to be used in protecting and engaging the public on that date.

SF 118- Food Freedom Act Sales-Locations Authorizes homemade food to be sold at retail outlets maintained where homemade food is produced. Status-passed Senate Agriculture Committee and awaiting first reading on senate floor

SF 13 Manufactured alcoholic beverages
Specifies licensing requirements and the amount of samples that may be dispensed
Status- Passed Senate and awaiting introduction in the House

SF 14 Inoperative liquor licenses Reduces the amount of time that owners of a full retail liquor license may remain inoperative. Status-passed Senate and awaiting introduction in the House

SF 43 Alcoholic beverages-revisions
Revises specific sections of title 12 related to the sale of alcoholic beverages, as specified. Status-passed Senate and awaiting introduction in the House

SF 155 Bar and Grill Liquor License Increase
Would increase Bar and Grill Liquor Licenses as specified. Status- awaiting hearing in Senate Corporations Committee

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