Wyoming Legislature updates – Feb. 27 & 28
by Albert Sommers, House District #20 Representative
March 1, 2017
Hello Sublette County, this is Albert Sommers reporting to you from Cheyenne on Tuesday, February 28. Today in Committee of the Whole we debated for the first time the following Senate Files, which would:
- create a committee of investment professionals to help the State Treasurer invest Wyoming’s savings
- require the creation of a contract program for community mental health and substance abuse treatment to reduce the demand for involuntary commitments
- further define sexual assault by school employees
We killed a bill that would have required small water projects under $35,000 to go through the same approval process that large water projects have to follow.
In a narrow vote, we chose to finish Committee of the Whole today, despite objections made to this abrupt end. The decision ended the introduction of Senate Files to the House, and so left nine bills unheard. One of those was a bill authorizing a women’s one-shot antelope hunt, to mirror the men’s one-shot antelope hunt. An attempt was made to suspend the rules and hear this bill, but that motion failed. I did not support the suspension of the rules, but I do support the bill, and hope it comes back in the future. We also did not hear SF165, the Senate’s solution to the education funding crisis. This bill was strictly a cut to education when it came from the Senate, but the House Education Committee amended into the bill a repeal of two tax exemptions. This amended the bill beyond its scope, and its death was appropriate.
Tomorrow, we will continue with Second and Third Reading of Senate Files that have already been brought to the House.
Goodnight for now.
Hello Sublette County, this is Albert Sommers reporting to you from Cheyenne on Monday, February 27. Today, the full Senate and the House approved the Supplemental Budget compromise, which ended months of work by the Appropriations Committee.
Some bills remain in the Senate that would raise fees for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the Wyoming Department of Transportation. These bills are needed to sustain the agencies after we move them off General Fund dollars, and onto revenues created by fees they assess for licenses and registrations. The bill that increases fees and licenses to help fund the Wyoming Game and Fish Department was heavily amended in the Senate today, which may make it hard to reconcile with the House position.
Today in Committee of the Whole we heard Senate Files which proposed to:
- continue a tax exemption for machinery manufacturers
- regulate mid-sized unmanned aircraft
- revise the nurse practice act
- update the Wyoming Pharmacy Act
- tax the land under ranch outbuildings at the same rate as other Agricultural land.
These bills all passed Committee of the Whole, and I supported them. A bill died in Committee of the Whole today that would have given military spouses an interview preference when seeking a state job. A different bill that succeeded this session provided a hiring preference to veterans and surviving spouses, but the bill today seemed to go too far in dictating hiring practices. I didn’t support this bill.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Goodnight for now.