WSCC 2017 Legislative Session Final Report

2017 WSC LEGISLATIVE STATUS REPORT (#9)
March 6, 2017

The 64th Wyoming Legislature convened at noon on January 9, 2017 and after a very long day, adjourned late on Friday, March 3, 2017. 485 total bills and resolutions were submitted by committees and individual legislators for the 2017 general session- they can be found here http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/billreference/BillReference.aspx?type=AL.

The Wyoming State Chamber of Commerce had a successful session with 4/5 of our priorities passing and becoming law. Sales from Remote Sellers, Inoperative Liquor Licenses, Liquor Dispensing Rooms and Franchise Business Relationships all passed. The only bill we were supporting that failed passage was the Film Industry Financial Incentive. A handful of proposed legislation that would have been harmful to Wyoming’s business community was defeated as well. Thank you very much to all WSC members that participated on legislative calls and weighed in on what was important to your members and your community. A huge thank you as well for those of you that answered our calls to action and helped get HB 19- Sales From Remote Sellers passed. This bill represents a significant step forward in achieving a level playing filed for our Wyoming Main Street businesses to operate on. The interim between now and the 2018 Legislative Budget Session will be a busy one. The legislature still has to balance a $400 million budget deficit with education funding. The current session generated very little new revenue and cuts alone cannot resolve the deficit. Proposed new revenue sources will be part of the interim discussion and this is likely to include discussions surrounding various taxes. Please remember that your voice is the most important one as it relates to proposed legislation and the positions that the WSC takes. The voice of the Wyoming State Chamber is growing. If you are not already engaged, please contact Heidi to participate in shaping the positions of the Wyoming State Chamber between now and the 2018 session.

Priorities

Support HB 19 Sales from Remote Sellers
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/HB0019.pdf
Bill would require out of state, online sellers, selling into Wyoming with more than $100,000 annually in sales or 200 transactions, to collect and remit Wyoming sales taxes. Status- passed the house and passed the senate. Governor Mead has signed the bill, which goes into effect on July 1, 2017. Thank you so very much for your outreach and tremendous help in getting this very important bill passed this year! A significant victory for Wyoming’s Main Street Businesses!

Support-SF 14 Inoperative Liquor Licenses
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/SF0014.pdf
Reduces the amount of time that owners of a full retail liquor license may remain inoperative.
Status-passed the senate and house. Awaiting Governor Mead’s signature.

Support- SF 45 Liquor Dispensing Rooms
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/SF0024.pdf
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 passed the house. Governor Mead has signed and the bill goes into effect on July 1, 2017

Support- SF 94 Franchise Business Relationships
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/SF0094.pdf
The bill would define a franchisee’s employee as their own and not the employee of the franchisor and would protect franchisors from unwarranted lawsuits, etc. It helps protect the franchise model of business.
Status-passed the senate and house. Governor Mead has signed.

Bills that have died

HB 49 Mountain Daylight Savings Time
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/HB0049.pdf
Would place Wyoming into the central time zone for the entire year.
Status-failed in House Minerals Committee

HB 85 Unemployment Compensation-Delinquent Employers
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/HB0085.pdf
Would allow delinquent employers to enter into an installment plan for up to 12 months when warranted.
Status- was not heard in House Labor Committee

HB 96 Microbrewery permits
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/HB0096.pdf
Authorizes microbrewery permit holders to dispense malt beverages in areas adjacent to their site as specified.
Status- Died on house floor-not heard in time for Committee of the Whole cutoff.

HB 102 Lodging Tax Rate
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/HB0102.pdf
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 127 Wind Energy Production Tax-2
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/HB0127.pdf
Would increase the tax on wind energy by 500%
Status- will be heard Monday, Jan 23 in House Revenue Committee

HB 140 Minimum Wage
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/HB0140.pdf
Amended to raise Wyoming State minimum non-tipped wage to federal level of $7.25/hr
Status- failed on First Reading in the house

HB 141 Daylight Savings Time Exemption
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/HB0141.pdf
Would exempt Wyoming from daylight savings time.
Status-failed in House Minerals Committee

HB 149 Lodging Tax Distribution
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/HB0149.pdf
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 169- Prohibited Firearms-Business and Commercial Establishments
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/HB0169.pdf
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-was never introduced in the house

HB 243- School Finance-Capital Construction Funding
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/HB0243.pdf
Creates a sales tax on most services.
Status-failed in House Revenue Committee

HB 234- Airport Support
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/HB0234.pdf
Would adjust the lodging tax split of 60/30/10 in applicable county to be 10/50 (for airport funding) 30/10
Status- was not considered in committee

HB 267 LLC and Corporation License Fees
Raises license fees on LLC and Corporation License Fees fro $50.00 annually to $75.00 annually
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/HB0267.pdf
Status-died in Senate Corporations Committee

HB 269 Prohibited Question on Job Applications
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/HB0269.pdf
Bill would prohibit employers from asking about applicant’s criminal history on job applications.
Status-never introduced in house

HB 290- State Lodging Tax
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/HB0290.pdf
Would create a 1% statewide lodging tax with 100% collections going to Game and Fish.
Status- was never heard in House Revenue Committee

Support- SF 24 Film Industry Financial Incentive Program
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/SF0024.pdf
Extends the sunset date for the Wyoming Office of Tourism’s Film Industry Financial Incentive Program
Status- Died on the house floor. The bill did not make the cut off for general file.

SF 71 Electricity Production Standard
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/SF0071.pdf
Bill would require utility companies within the state to provide electricity that comes from “eligible resources” listed as Coal, hydroelectric, natural gas, nuclear, and oil. Electricity from renewable energy sources like rooftop solar or backyard wind projects would also be permitted. The bill would require 95% of all electricity in the state to be derived from “eligible resources” by 2018 and 100% by 2019. Any utility company who violates the proposed new renewable energy law would be fined $10 for every megawatt of non-conforming electricity provided to Wyoming residents. Status-failed in Senate Corporations Committee

SF 159 Tax Reform 2020
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/SF0159.pdf
Creates a tax reform committee to study Wyoming’s tax structure.
Status- Status-was not heard in Committee of the Whole

Bills that we are monitoring

HB 71 Unemployment Insurance-electronic communications
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/HB0071.pdf
Would allow Unemployment Insurance notifications to be delivered electronically through email as specified.
Status- passed house and passed the senate. Governor Mead has signed.

HB 80 Transportation Network Companies
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/HB0080.pdf
Would allow companies like UBER to operate in Wyoming
Status-passed house and passed the senate. Governor Mead has signed.

HB 82 Local Option Sales and Use Taxes
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/HB0082.pdf
Would allow local option sales and use taxes to be voted on for increase during a non-renewal year without the threat of losing the tax entirely. Local option sales and use taxes would still be all or nothing voting on renewal year. Status-passed house and senate. Governor Mead has signed.
HB 84- Workers Compensation-Delinquent Employers
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/HB0084.pdf
Would allow delinquent employers to enter into an installment plan for up to 12 months when warranted.
Status- passed house and passed the senate. Governor Mead has signed

HB 92 Payment of Wages Upon Termination-Time Limits
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/HB0092.pdf
Would allow employers to pay final pay based upon a collective bargaining agreement between the employer and employee.
Status- passed house and senate. Governor Mead has signed.

HB 114 Service and Assistance Animals
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/HB0114.pdf
Establishes a penalty for those falsely impersonating a Service Animal in a business
Status-passed house and senate. Governor Mead has signed.

HB 253 Economic Development Account Funding
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/HB0253.pdf
Would add $25 million from the LSRA account to the Large Project Economic Development Account. $5 million would be earmarked for telecommunication broadband services.
Status-passed the house and senate. Awaiting Governor Mead’s signature.

HB 236- School Finance-Omnibus Education Funding
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/HB0236.pdf
Omnibus education funding bill that includes increase in sales and use taxes as specified.
Status-passed house and senate. Awaiting Governor Mead’s signature.

SF 53 Veterans Hiring Preference
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/SF0053.pdf
An act relating to veterans; specifying the hiring preference in public employment for veterans and surviving spouses of deceased veterans; eliminating the residency requirement for the preference; amending archaic language; and providing for an effective date.
Status-passed senate and house. Awaiting Governor Mead’s signature.

SF 70 Manufacturing Machinery Exemption Sunset
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/SF0070.pdf
Extends the sunset on the sales and use tax exemption for manufacturing machinery by 10 years
Status- passed senate and house. Awaiting Governor Mead’s signature.

SF 155 Bar and Grill Liquor License Increase
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Introduced/SF0155.pdf
Would increase Bar and Grill Liquor Licenses as specified (amended to allow up to 6 new licenses)
Status- passed senate and passed house. Awaiting Governor Mead’s signature.

Thank you again, so very much for participating in the 2017 Wyoming Legislative General Session. We hope that you found the weekly legislative updates informative. These updates are for you and we are always open to suggestions and comments that will keep legislative updates beneficial to our membership. If you have any comments or suggestions please contact Chris Brown at chris@wywagan.org