Wyoming Legislature update – Feb. 16, 2016
by Albert Sommers, House District #20 Representative
February 17, 2016
Hello Sublette County, this is Albert Sommers reporting to you from Cheyenne on Tuesday, Feb. 16. On Monday and Tuesday the House listened to presentations on the budget. Tomorrow, we will do the first round of budget amendments, during second reading of the budget bill. Like all of us, the Joint Appropriations Committee develops a budget with some inherent bias based upon its constituents’ concerns. During second and third reading of the budget bill, each member of the body will be able to bring in his or her constituents’ priorities.
My priorities in this budget will be K12 education and local government funding. These services affect every citizen in Wyoming, and I will offer and support budget amendments that restore cuts the appropriations committee made to these programs. I support amendments that prioritize people over projects.
Today my bill HB77 passed the Corporations Committee unanimously. It will need to jump through several more hoops if it is to become law. This bill would allow counties and the Department of Revenue the option to notify taxpayers of the assessed value of property and of the total tax due by electronic notification, if the taxpayer requests notification by electronic means. HB77 is completely voluntary for both the taxing agent and the taxpayer. It was requested by the Sublette County treasurer and assessor, and is a win-win for the taxpayer. Technology is creating great efficiencies in the management of data, and we must strive to keep up with current technology, but we must do so in a manner that respects an individual’s comfort level with new technology.
My House Joint Resolution HJ4, which asks Congress to seek delisting of the grizzly bear and gray wolf from authority under the Endangered Species Act, passed Committee of the Whole today in the House. The bill has two more readings to pass, before it moves to the Senate.