Volume 4, Number 40 - December 30, 2004
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
58th Wyoming Legislature to convene
Copies of bills: Copies of all bills are sent to each county clerk and to each county library in the state for public use. The bills are also posted online at http://legisweb.state.wy.us.
Bill status: Individuals may use an in-state toll-free telephone number to receive bill status on a maximum of five bills per telephone call. This is a limited service, which allows the caller to determine the current status of a bill but not information concerning the contents of the bill. The number is 1-800-342-9570 (out-of-state number 307-777-6185).
Voter hotline: During the legislative session, constituents are encouraged to use the Voter Hotline (Phone 1-866-996-VOTE) to call and recommend a vote for or against a particular piece of legislation. While it is not possible to speak directly with a legislator on the Voter Hotline, the message will be delivered more quickly than by calling any other number at the legislature.
Wyoming remains one of the few states having a true part-time citizen legislature. This group of elected representatives from throughout the state will convene in Cheyenne on Jan. 11 for a general session that, by statute, is limited to 40 days. The Wyoming House of Representatives consists of 60 members elected to two-year terms, while the Senate consists of 30 members elected to four-year terms.
Sublette County is represented by representatives Monte Olsen and Kathy Davison and senators Stan Cooper and Pat Aullman.
Olsen will serve on the House Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee and the House Judiciary Committee.
Davison will serve on the House Agriculture, Public Lands and Water Resources Committee and on the House Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee.
Cooper has been given appointments to the Senate Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee and the Senate Revenue Committee.
Aullman has been assigned to the Senate Labor, Health and Social Services Committee and the Senate Revenue Committee.
Selected committee-sponsored bills
SF 26 Child exploitation
This bill would authorize administrative subpoenas issued by the Wyoming Attorney General or his chief deputy to investigate sexual exploitation of children over the Internet. The bill would provide limitations on the items that are required to be produced under the subpoena and procedures for the issuance and service of, and challenge to, the subpoena.
LSO-0023.C1 Sex offender registry.
This bill would add sexual exploitation of a child to the list of offenses for which sex offender registration is required; require offenders to provide information if employed or attending an educational institution; allow the sharing of that information; and amend definitions.
LSO-0092.C1 Involuntary commitments.
This bill would amend procedures for involuntary commitment of mentally ill who pose a danger to themselves or others. It specifies that the state hospital is the hospital of last resort and clarifies who is responsible for payment of costs for emergency detentions.
LSO-0120.C1 Split estates
This bill was recommended to the Joint Judiciary Interim Committee by the Joint Executive-Legislative Committee on Split Estates after a study this interim. The bill would establish procedures to allow oil and gas operators to enter upon lands where the surface and the underlying mineral interests are owned by different parties. The bill establishes notification requirements, a bonding procedure and procedures that a surface owner may employ to seek reimbursement of damages to the surface estate caused by the oil and gas operations.
HB 5 Severance tax distribution.
The bill provides for distribution of severance taxes over the “cap” of $155 million received in any fiscal year. The bill distributes the “over the cap” moneys to the general fund, the budget reserve account and to local governments for various purposes including roads, streets and alleys and mineral development impact assistance.
HB 49 Natural gas valuation.
This bill is essentially the same bill that was sponsored by the committee in 2003 (House Bill 87). The bill addresses the valuation of producer/processed natural gas for taxation purposes. The bill would require the use of the “netback” method of valuation for such natural gas.
SF 34 Property tax relief program.
This bill provides several amendments to the property tax relief program. Under the bill, the program applies to those who are residents of Wyoming for five years or longer (down from 10). The bill provides changes to financial requirements for applicants to qualify for the program (a person would be able to have up to $20,000 in qualified household assets, increased from $5,000).
LSO-220.C1 Sales tax on well services.
The bill exempts oilfield services from sales and use tax. Old law allowed for an exemption of oilfield services if performed within 250 feet of the well head. This law would simply exempt all oilfield services.
HB 51 Public schools - high school diploma endorsements.
Legislation eliminating the three levels of student proficiency endorsements on high school graduation transcripts.
LSO-93.C1 Teacher shortage loan repayment
The bill targets state financial assistance to teacher shortage areas in math, science and special education.
LSO-333.C1 School finance-amendments.
The measure forwards funding for full-day kindergarten programs, summer school programs and a funding adjustment outside the cost-based block grant school funding model for health insurance, all applicable to school year 2005-2006.
LSO-346.C1 Public school teacher initiative
The bill funds a number of programs administered by the Department of Education directed at enhancing the teaching profession.
LSO-383.C1 School audits.
The legislation funds four additional positions within the Department of Audit for school audits and addresses school district data reporting.
HB 2 Water permits-electronic permitting.
This bill allows the state engineer to con duct business electronically and clarifies existing language.
HB 11 State standards for federal resource
This bill provides state standards for the state in coordinating with federal agencies regarding the management of federal lands in the state.
HB 17 Sales tax exemption - livestock semen and embryo transplants.
This bill exempts livestock semen and embryo transplants from sales tax.
HB 18 Sales tax exemption - fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides.
This bill exempts agriculture herbicides and pesticides from sales tax.
HB 41 Reportable animal disease list.
This bill provides for the State Veterinarian to establish and manage a reportable disease list and considers the information confidential, with limited exceptions.
HB 43 Livestock diseases.
This bill removes brucellosis from the tuberculosis section, provides surveillance and prevention of brucellosis and amends the payment provision to livestock owners.
SF 2 Water resources library-repeal.
This bill eliminates the requirement for the State Engineer to keep a water resources library since other sources are currently available or accessible for the same information.
SF 15 State lands trust preservation account.
This bill creates a trust land preservation and enhancement account to assist in the management of state lands.
SF 17 Pest control compact.
This bill provides for Wyoming to join other states in the pest control compact.
SF 18 Grain laws.
This bill clarifies the grain laws, amends license fees, insurance requirements and penalties.
SF 19 State lands trust responsibilities.
This bill creates a task force to review state lands trust responsibilities and report to the legislature.
SF 20 Registration of livestock dealers.
This bill provides for the registration of livestock dealers with the livestock board and establishes penalties for violations.
TRAVEL, RECREATION, WILDLIFE and CULTURAL RESOURCES
HB 28 Snowmobile registration and user fees
The bill increases snowmobile registration or trails fees by $10 for residents and non-residents and by $25 for commercial snowmobiles. Most of these fees are used for the snowmobile trails grooming program.
HB 31 State parks-leases and concessions.
The bill would provide that fees received by the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources from leases and concessions would be deposited in a separate account for use by the Department for maintenance and signage at state parks, historic sites and similar facilities, (rather than deposited to the general fund).
SF 36 State parks maintenance funding.
This bill appropriates $29 million from the general fund to the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources for maintenance at state parks, historic sites and similar facilities. The bill also continuously appropriates funds deposited in the state parks maintenance account for the Department to use (as opposed to requiring a legislative appropriation).
LSO 180.C1 Outdoor recreation areas and facilities - fees.
The bill removes statutorily set fees for state parks, historic and similar sites and allows the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources to set fees by rules. The bill would also allow the Department to expend the fees for maintenance and signage based upon a continuous appropriation. The bill also allows the Department to establish additional amenities at the parks and historic sites; the additional amenities are to be set at an amount which overall makes the amenities self-sustaining.
LSO 194.C1 Game and fish electronic licensing
The bill authorizes the Game and Fish Commission to issue licenses electronically and to charge an additional fee for issuing licenses electronically. Only fishing, bird and small game licenses are contemplated to be included initially in the electronic system.
LSO 216.C1 Wildlife and natural resource funding act.
The bill establishes a wildlife and natural resource trust account and an income account. The trust account is intended to be perpetual and is initially funded by a $75 million appropriation. The income account receives income from the trust account earnings and may be expended by a seven member governor appointed board created under the bill for certain wildlife and natural resource purposes, intended to recognize and perpetuate Wyoming’s wildlife heritage. Both accounts may receive donations. The funding for the specified purposes may go to governmental and nonprofit organizations.
LSO 283.C2 Game and fish funding
The bill provides a general fund appropriation of $6,141,000.00 to the Game and Fish Commission to be used for specified existing programs, expansion of those programs and for new programs. Of this amount, $4,595,000.00 is to be used for existing programs which were identified by the Department as programs which should not necessarily be funded by hunting and fishing license fees. The remainder is to fund expanded or new programs meeting the same criteria (including additional authorized personnel).
LSO 284.C1 Regulation of bingo
The bill restricts bingo by requiring it to meet specified criteria. If the game does not meet the criteria it does not meet the bingo exception to the laws prohibiting gambling. The bill would require bingo to be played on a paper or cardboard card, using persons announcing the numbers drawn, with other restrictions such as local governments being able to restrict or prohibit bingo games. The bill requires 75 percent of all funds received by the organization conducting the game and not returned as winnings to be used for a benevolent purpose. The current provisions of the law allowing raffles and pull tabs to be conducted are not affected by the bill.
TRANSPORTATION, HIGHWAYS and MILITARY AFFAIRS
HB 8. Motor vehicle insurance
Increases minimum coverage requirements from 25/50/20 to 50/100/25 thousand dollars and requires PIP coverage for the policy holder.
SF 14. Graduated drivers’ licenses.
Creates restricted licenses for drivers under 18.
SF 32 Driver’s license-selective service.
Requires 18 to 25 year olds to show compliance with Selective Service registration before obtaining or renewing a driver’s license or state id.
LSO-112.C1. Uninsured motorists
Requires insurance companies to report lapses and cancellations of coverage to the Department of Transportation, which notifies local treasurers to pick up plates.
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