2017 WLRA LEGISLATIVE STATUS REPORT #2


The 64th Wyoming Legislature convened at noon on January 9, 2017 and will run until Friday, March 3, 2017.  233 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 7 weeks.

Governor Mead delivered his state of the state last Wednesday and spoke about the need to diversify the states economy.  The Governor made specific mention of support for the tourism industry. You can hear the audio of the 2017 State of the State here  http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/audio/house/h011117am1.mp3

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. 
Status- Introduced and awaiting hearing in House Travel Committee

SupportHB 114 Service and Assistance AnimalsEstablishes a penalty for those falsely impersonating a Service Animal in a business. Status-Introduced and awaiting hearing in House Corporations Committee

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- Introduced and awaiting hearing in Senate Travel Committee

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- Testimony went long on Thursday.  Testimony will continue this Tuesday. 

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. 
Status- Awaiting Introduction

Oppose-  HB 140 Minimum Wage
Would raise the minimum wage to $9.50/hr and tipped minimum wage to $5.50/hr. Status- Awaiting Introduction

Oppose- 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- Awaiting Introduction

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- Introduced and awaiting hearing in House Travel Committee

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

HB 66 Yellowstone License Plates                               
Would authorize a Yellowstone National Park license plate. Status- Introduced and awaiting hearing in House Transportation Committee 

HB 71 Unemployment Insurance-electronic communications
Would allow Unemployment Insurance notifications to be delivered electronically through email as specified. Status- Passed committee and first reading in the House

HB 80 Transportation Network Companies
Would allow companies like UBER to operate in Wyoming

HB 84 Workers compensation-delinquent employers Would allow delinquent employers to enter into an installment plan for up to 12 months when warranted. Status- Introduced and awaiting hearing in House Labor Committee

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

HB 96 Microbrewery permits
Authorizes microbrewery permit holders to dispense malt beverages in areas adjacent to their site as specified. Status- Introduced and awaiting hearing in House Minerals Committee

HB 141 Daylight Savings Time Exemption
Would exempt Wyoming from daylight savings time.

Status-Awaiting Introduction

SF 13 Manufactured alcoholic beverages
Specifies licensing requirements and the amount of samples that may be dispensed. Status- Passed second reading in the Senate

SF 14 Inoperative liquor licenses Reduces the amount of time that owners of a full retail liquor license may remain inoperative. Status-Introduced and awaiting hearing in Senate Corporations Committee

SF 43 Alcoholic beverages-revisions
Revises specific sections of title 12 related to the sale of alcoholic beverages, as specified. Status- Passed committee and first reading in the Senate

 

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