SUMMARY OF 2002 INTERIM COMMITTEE SPONSORED BILLS
All of the following, except as noted under the Appropriations Committee, Education Committee and the Select Water Committee, have been approved for introduction, by a Committee. Not all drafts are in final form or have been assigned a House Bill or Senate File number at this time. If no House Bill or Senate File number appears, the number referenced is the 2003 LSO number. Some changes may still need to be made to LSO numbered drafts depending on the latest Committee action.
This summary has been prepared solely to provide a very quick overview of bills being sponsored by the various committees. In order to keep the overview short, the summaries are acknowledged to be incomplete and absolutely make no attempt to address all aspects of the bills. The entire bill must be read if a person wishes to know its full contents and effect.
Joint Judiciary Committee
LSO 0009 Title 14 revisions
This bill adopts the Uniform Parentage Act, and makes comprehensive amendments to the Juvenile Court Act and to child protection and the Child in Need of Supervision (CHINS) statutes. Most notable are changes to the composition and duties of multidisciplinary teams appointed in juvenile matters, changes in timelines for procedures and the roles of various parties representing juveniles under the law.
LSO 0010 Uniform Trust Code
This bill adopts the Uniform Trust Code with amendments proposed by the Wyoming Estate Planning Council, including incorporating the Uniform Trustees' Powers Act and the Uniform Prudent Investor Act into the Uniform Trust Code. The bill would also amend the Wyoming Rule Against Perpetuities by significantly extending the amount of time that can be considered in determining whether a trust is valid.
SF 16 Prison construction program
This bill provides an appropriation to the Department of Corrections to begin a request for proposal (RFP) process for the construction of two new 400 bed medium security prisons in the state and to expand existing correctional facilities to provide specified services.
LSO 0099 Probation and parole services by contract
This bill authorizes the Department of Corrections to contract with other public or private entities to perform various probation and parole services such as counseling and testing for drugs, etc., but is not intended to allow enforcement of probation and parole by those contractors.
SF 17 Adult Community Corrections Act revisions
This bill clarifies that the provisions of the Adult Community Corrections Act apply to adult facilities only, amends contract provisions as they relate to community corrections boards and amends eligibility requirements for inmates to be transferred to a community corrections program from a state correctional facility.
Joint Revenue Committee
HB 13 Fuel tax revision
The bill revises Title 39 fuel tax provisions to conform to the rest of Title 39. The bill clarifies the fuel tax rate in one single provision for both gasoline and diesel fuels.
HB 14 Property tax relief program-extension
The bill extends the property tax relief program for 5 more years to expire on January 1, 2008. The property tax relief program provides a partial refund of the previous year's property taxes to income-eligible recipients.
HB 17 Sales tax-vendor licenses
The bill provides the Dept. of Revenue with a means to revoke a sales tax vendor's license which is inactive for a period of 3 consecutive years.
LSO 0097 Tobacco tax
The bill increases taxes on cigarettes from 12 cents per pack to 60 cents per pack. The revenue collected from the increase in tax is distributed to the Wyoming tobacco settlement trust fund and the substance abuse control plan.
HB 27 Specific purpose excise tax
The bill authorizes a county to increase its optional specific purpose excise tax to 2 percent. However, the total optional tax imposed by a county with the general revenue and specific purpose tax must not exceed 2 percent.
LSO 0091 Natural gas valuation
The bill provides a valuation method (proportionate profits) to be used to value natural gas which is produced and processed by the same person for taxation purposes.
HB 16 Excise taxes-fuel tax exemption
The bill corrects an inadvertent error committed during the recodification of Title 39 and clarifies that the LUST fuel tax and the temporary 2 cent fuel tax are subject to the sales/use tax (the taxes were inadvertently exempted during recodification).
HB 15 Severance tax-uranium
The bill extends the uranium severance tax exemption from 2003 through 2009.
LSO 0226 Sales & use tax-farm implements exemption
The bill grants a sales and use tax exemption for farm implements.
HB 25 Fuel tax distribution
The bill distributes fuel taxes to counties based on a formula of population and county roads, eliminating that portion of the old formula based on total area and assessed valuation of the county.
Joint Agricultural, Public Lands and Water Resources Committee
SF 23 Regulatory Takings Act-amendments
This bill creates an office of an advocate in the governor's office for citizens and small businesses to help them in the event of a governmental taking. The bill would make governments responsible for paying when a taking occurs. Agencies would pay for takings from their budgets. The advocate can also assist citizens in claims against the federal government.
HB 5 Ethanol tax credit-extension
This bill amends the tax credit to allow additional ethanol producers to get the credit. Although there is presently only one producer in the state, there has been discussion about new producers using wood to make ethanol.
SF 6 Veterinary Practice Act-amendments
This bill amends the Veterinary Practice Act. It expands the number of members of the board. Certain provisions are clarified. One change is to allow nonveterinarians to perform veterinary services under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. The board is also given authority to require continuing education.
SF 7 Food safety-license revocations
This bill clarifies existing law and broadens the scope of offenses needed for license suspension/revocation. It also conforms terms to existing terminology.
SF 8 State land sales-amendments
This bill removes the requirement that state lands must be auctioned off on the courthouse steps.
SF 9 Agricultural producer's liens-eliminating repeal
This bill eliminates the sunset date of the agriculture producer's liens statutes.
HB 9 Animal damage management program-amendments
This bill appropriates $250,000.00 to the animal damage management program, extends the program and repeals its sunset date.
Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee
LSO 0046 Game and fish restitution payments
Restitution payments for Game and Fish violations currently go to the general fund. This would place them in the Game and Fish Fund.
LSO 0047 Game and fish commission compensation
Increases commission member salary from $20 to $75 per day. Increases overall maximum salaries from $1,200 to $4,000. Authorizes payments for meetings other than commission meetings.
LSO 0048 Preference points for hunting licenses
Authorizes the establishment of preference point systems for nonresident deer, elk and moose. Allows the Commission to set a fee by rule for the new program of up to $50 for each species. The Commission may also provide for an "in-lieu" fee (i.e., payment for a point rather than applying for a license). Increases the nonresident big horn sheep and moose preference point fee from a statutory set amount of $7 to a fee established by the commission of up to $50.
HB 36 Game and fish financing
The bill generally increases hunting and fishing license fees by 20%. Youth licenses and a limited number of other fees are not increased. The draft also increases the landowner coupon from $11 to $13 and sets resident application fees at $4 ($3 currently) and nonresident application fees at $12 ($10 currently).
HB 34 Limited quota hunting licenses
Currently, a percentage of nonresident licenses for deer, elk and antelope are "set aside" for a special draw, with nonresidents who desire paying an extra fee to be in the "special draw". The draft increases the "special draw" licenses from 20% of deer, 30% of antelope and 40% of elk licenses, to 40% for all three species. The draft also doubles the fee for the special drawing to $400 for elk and $200 for deer and for antelope.
HB 31 Lifetime conservation stamp
The bill doubles the lifetime conservation stamp to $150. The annual conservation stamp fee was increased in 2001, but the lifetime fee remained unchanged.
HB 30 Hunting and fishing license selling agents
The draft doubles the fee hunting and fishing license selling agents receive from $.25 and $.50 for licenses and stamps sold to $.50 and $1.00. The fee would also become an "add-on" to the cost of a license under the draft. Currently, the fee is deducted from the price of a license or stamp. The bill makes the fee an optional charge, at the discretion of the selling agent.
HJ 1 Wyoming territorial prison state park
This is a resolution which acknowledges past state and local support bringing the Territorial Prison State Park and Historical Site to the current status, the benefit of the Park, and proposes continued state support for the Park.
LSO 0208 Recreational vehicle gas tax distribution
Current law provides for a snowmobile gas tax distribution. This distribution has been studied and the proposed legislation provides for a formula more closely approximating snowmobile gas usage. The legislation also removes the motorboat gas distribution sunset and provides for a new gas tax distribution to the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources for other "off-road" recreational vehicle use. The legislation does not increase the gas tax but takes a portion of the gas tax otherwise distributed to the Department of Transportation and to local governments.
HB 32 State parks-special events
Currently the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources has no authority to charge fees for special events and no budget to fund such events at state parks. When special events are held, a nonprofit organization is formed, entrance fees are waived and gate receipts are used to fund the event by the nonprofit organization. The legislation would explicitly allow waiver of the normal fee and charging of a special event fee at most State Parks, regardless of whether a third party group was involved. The fees charged would be deposited in the enterprise fund and used for special events, rather than deposited in the general fund and capital construction account as daily fees are under current law.
LSO 0229 Motorboat gas tax distribution
Under current law a percentage of gas tax is distributed to the State Parks and Cultural Resources Department to use for boat ramps and activities associated with boating. The amount is based upon a statutory formula, attempting to approximate the amount of gas used in motorboats. That distribution is to sunset in 2003, and this bill would eliminate the sunset.
Joint Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee
LSO 111 Outdoor lighting tariffs
This bill requires electric utilities to offer tariffs for outdoor lighting apparatus designed to minimize light trespass.
LSO 0112 Outdoor lighting
This bill gives counties and cities authority to regulate outdoor lighting.
LSO 0114 Property tax administration
This bill provides enforcement provisions to ensure special districts report formation and boundary changes to the county assessor and the Department of Revenue. This bill also provides for the mapping of all special districts.
LSO 0082 Fire prevention and safety
This bill adopts the International Code for the state's minimum fire standards and adopt standards applicable to the propane industry. The bill repeals the hospital exemption and thereby subject health care facilities to the state fire marshal's authority. This bill also makes changes affecting plan reviews and enforcement authority over school buildings and school capital construction.
LSO-0113 Campaign finance reporting
This bill requires candidates to file a statement of receipts seven days prior to the election and modifies enforcement provisions for failure to file.
Joint Transportation and Highways Committee
SF 19 Multi-lane highways
This bill provides an appropriation of $20,000,000 from the general fund for multi-lane highways.
HB 18 Fuel tax increase
This bill provides for a three-cent tax increase on fuel to construct and maintain multi-lane highways with exemptions. This would generate about $20,000,000 a year for multi-lane highway maintenance and construction.
HB 22 Funding for multi-lane highways
This bill provides a revenue source of $14,000,000 annually to construct and maintain multi-lane highways from the royalties and minerals revenue sources.
HB 20 Diesel fuel-unlawful use
This bill raises fines for the unlawful use of diesel fuel. The Department of Transportation is given the authority to collect fines as an administrative matter rather than the unlawful use being a misdemeanor.
HB 23 Law enforcement interstate mutual aid
This bill allows the state to enter into agreements with adjacent states for law enforcement purposes. The agreements are to be used for emergency or unusual situations.
SF 15 Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Act
This bill provides advanced training for volunteer and paid firefighters responding to spills and accidents involving hazardous materials. Under certain circumstances, persons are required to pay the costs of cleaning a hazardous materials spill.
SF 11 Public health measures
This bill clarifies the authority of the state health officer in emergency situations as determined by the governor. The duties of the state health officer are also expanded for emergency situations once the governor has declared an emergency.
HB 19 Emergency Management Assistance Compact
This bill regarding the Emergency Management Assistance Compact [EMAC] allows states to receive from, and provide assistance to, other states during emergency situations.
SF 10 Public records-security exceptions
This bill is in response to the events of September 11, 2001. It is intended to prevent terrorists from using the public records act to obtain information helpful to their attacks. Under the bill building plans and other records may be excluded from public access.
SF 18 Public safety communications
This bill augments present communication statutes and expands them to more groups than just law enforcement. It also expands the advisory group.
LSO 0250 Management of WEMA
This proposed legislation places direct supervision of the emergency management agency with the Governor's office instead of the military department.
Joint Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee
SF 4 Mining council revisions
This bill makes revisions to “clean up” various statutory provisions. The revisions modify the quarterly meeting requirement for the state mining council; modify mine foreman provisions; delete references to the unit foreman; and repeal certain mine exemptions.
SF 3 Mining council-experience credit for mine foreman
This bill reduces the experience credit allowed for a mining engineering degree from two years to one year towards the three year practical experience requirement needed to apply for a mine foreman certificate.
SF 5 Mining council-decertification
This bill modifies the Council’s disciplinary procedures to give the Council the authority to suspend a certificate or temporary permit issued by the Council; allows suspension without a hearing if a serious threat to health and safety is present; and specifies that the Council has authority to dismiss complaints without a hearing.
HB 2 Banking-revisions
This bill makes revisions to “clean up” existing statutory provisions and applies to several different areas of the banking statutes, including ATMs, branch banking, bank service organizations, trust business, penalties and bank holding companies.
HB 6 Trona valuation
This bill sets an industry factor for trona valuation to replace the complex industry factor calculation currently used to determine value.
HB 8 Coal valuation-intercompany/affiliate sales
This bill modifies the method currently used to value non-arms length sales of coal by using the arms-length price of comparable coal produced from the same mine and sold or used under comparable terms. The bill provides that if a price for comparable coal is not available from the same mine, the price for comparable coal from mines in the area can be used.
HB 35 Wyoming business council annual report
This bill repeals certain non-codified benchmarks used to measure the effectiveness of the economic development act in the Council's annual report including; sector growth/decline in primary industries, fiscal stability and balanced revenue, workforce skills and education, primary school enrollment, infant mortality rate, crime rate and air quality. The bill would also repeal the sale/use tax rebate program for the motion picture industry.
HB 4 Wyoming technology business center
This bill provides an appropriation from the general fund to the University of Wyoming to construct the Wyoming Technology Business Center; the University is required to raise matching funds.
Joint Labor, Health and Social Services Committee
HB 12 Malt beverage excise tax
This bill increases the malt beverage excise tax from the equivalent of $.02/gallon to $.08/gallon. The revenues resulting are continuously appropriated to the Department of Health to implement the substance abuse control plan.
SF 22 Nursing education
This bill creates a loan and loan forgiveness program for students attending nursing education programs at Wyoming institutions or a doctoral level program out of state. The loans awarded under this program would be forgiven if the student works as a nurse in the State for a specified period of time.
LSO 0158 Noneconomic damage awards-constitutional amendment
This proposed amendment to the Wyoming Constitution would authorize the Legislature to limit the amount of noneconomic damages a plaintiff could receive as a result of a personal injury lawsuit.
SF 20 Group insurance plans
This bill removes limitations on organizing as a group to obtain group health insurance coverage. Under current law, a group is not allowed to obtain group health insurance coverage for its members if it was formed primarily for that purpose.
SF 13 Intergovernmental transfer program
This bill authorizes the Department of Health, Medicaid Program, to accept intergovernmental funds from hospital boards under a transfer program to leverage federal Medicaid funding. The result would be that a participating hospital would receive a higher reimbursement rate for Medicaid patients treated at the hospital.
LSO 0162 Cigarette tax-2
This bill increases the cigarette tax from a current level of $.12/pack to $.72/pack of cigarettes. The revenues resulting from the increased taxes are distributed under a formula to the Department of Health: for the child health insurance program; the prescription drug assistance program and the pharmacy plus program, if enacted into law; the substance abuse control program; and the Medicaid program to increase the reimbursement rate to medical providers. The balance of the increased revenues would be distributed to cities, towns and counties under the current formula for distribution of cigarette taxes.
LSO 0163 Tobacco taxes
This bill increases the noncigarette tobacco tax by 50%. The revenues resulting are continuously appropriated to the Department of Health to implement the substance abuse control plan.
LSO 0187 Medicaid pharmacy plus program
This bill authorizes the Department of Health to apply to the federal government for a demonstration waiver program to allow qualified individuals to participate in a pharmacy plus program. The program is intended to assist low-income seniors with payment and management of prescription drug costs to the extent no federal legislation is enacted to assist with the high cost of prescription drugs. The bill would provide an appropriation to implement the program as specified.
LSO 0188 State employees-sick leave reimbursement
This bill amends policies for reimbursement of state employees for unused sick leave upon separation from the State.
LSO 0201 Workers' compensation-professional athletes
This bill authorizes professional athletes to be covered under the workers' compensation program as specified. The bill also would set the presumed salary the athlete would be receiving at the time of work-related injury for purposes of determining benefits and contributions.
SF 14 Unemployment insurance-benefits operation amendments
This bill clarifies the duties of the Department of Employment and the Department of Workforce Services with respect to an individual's reporting responsibilities; eliminates an archaic cap on the weekly benefit amounts a worker may receive; amends eligibility requirements for unemployment insurance benefits; amends disqualification provisions for other benefit payments received; increases offset collection procedures and eliminates the delinquency rate for reimbursable employers.
LSO 0203 Unemployment insurance-tax operations
This bill reduces the taxable wage rate on which employers pay unemployment tax, reduces the adjustment factor threshold used to compute the tax, eliminates the tax diversion into the unemployment trust fund and increases the amounts flowing into the employment support fund.
SJ 1 Equalization of tax treatment-resolution
This resolution to the United States Congress petitions Congress to equalize the tax treatment of employer-provided and individually-purchased health insurance under the U.S. Tax Code. Currently, employers can deduct the full cost of employee health insurance provided by the employer, but individuals who purchase health care coverage for themselves may not deduct the costs of coverage.
LSO 0219 Health care commission
This bill establishes a health care commission within the Governor's office and provides an appropriation for the implementation of the duties of the commission. The purpose of the commission would be to develop strategies to improve health care and reduce health care costs in the State.
LSO 0225 Child health insurance
This bill amends the child health insurance program authorized by the Legislature in 1999. The program, as initially created, provided a Medicaid "look-alike" program for children in families having incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL) and a private voucher system for children in families with incomes up to 150% of FPL, the latter of which was never implemented because no insurer expressed an interest in administering the program. This bill would replace the existing program with a single, private payor program.
LSO 0281 Department of workforce services
In the 2002 Budget Session, the Legislature passed a bill creating the Department of Workforce Services and transferring programs from the Departments of Family Services, Employment and Education. The Governor line-item vetoed portions of the bill that provided for the transfer of specified programs. This bill would transfer those programs approved by the Legislature, but vetoed by the Governor, in the last Session.
LSO 0282 Prescription drugs technical assistance
This bill creates a prescription drug consumer information and technical assistance program within the Department of Health to assist Wyoming residents by providing advice on the prudent use of prescription drugs and how to access government and private prescription drug programs and discounts. This bill also provides an appropriation to implement the program.
LSO 0296 Employee insurance participation-feasibility study
This bill authorizes a feasibility study to determine ways to improve employee participation and involvement in health care and health insurance decision making. The bill also provides an appropriation to the legislative Management Council and allows the Council to assign the study at its discretion.
LSO 0327 Medical injury actions-collateral source payments
This bill requires a separate court hearing to determine if collateral source payments have been received by a plaintiff in a medical liability lawsuit and requires that the court deduct from an award made in the lawsuit those amounts received from collateral sources as specified in the bill.
LSO 0328 Medical damages-structured payments
This bill requires the court in a medical injury lawsuit to structure periodic payments if the award in the lawsuit provides for future damages in excess of $100,000.
LSO 0330 Medical injury-expert witnesses
This bill specifies the qualifications of, the role of, and the scope of testimony allowed by an expert witness in a medical injury lawsuit. The Board of Medicine would have some authority over the actions of a physician licensed in another state who testifies as an expert witness in Wyoming.
Select Water Committee
LSO 0341 Omnibus water bill-planning
The bill is the annual legislation authorizing certain water projects recommended by the Wyoming Water Development Commission and approved by the Select Water Committee. The projects are in various phases of planning and development. Once the planning and development phases are done, then the project moves on to the construction phase.
LSO 0342 Omnibus water bill-construction
The bill is the annual legislation authorizing water project construction recommended by the Wyoming Water Development Commission and approved by the Select Water Committee. The bill authorizes appropriations and imposes terms and conditions on the construction projects. The projects have all been through the previous planning and development phases.
Select Committee on Capital Finance and Investments
LSO 0221 Capital construction financing
This bill creates a state capital financing commission which will have most of the revenue bonding authority currently held by the state loan and investment board and the bonding authority of the school capital facilities commission. It increases revenue bonding authority and provides for revenue streams to support the additional authority, repeals the state building commission and places its authority with the new commission and other state entities, and provides an appropriation and personnel for the new commission.
LSO 0217 Tobacco securitization
The state of Wyoming receives annual payments from a settlement agreement ending litigation between state governments and the major tobacco manufacturers. This bill authorizes a mechanism by which the state may sell its right to receive future settlement payments for a specified period in exchange for a lump sum amount. The lump sum payment is to be spent on capital projects. Other revenues which would otherwise be available for those projects will be deposited into the permanent mineral trust fund, with earnings on those amounts being distributed as specified.
LSO 0243 Revenue bonds-municipal improvements
This bill expands existing municipal revenue bonding authority to include land and equipment for incinerators and municipal dumps.
LSO 0390 Legislatively designated investments
This bill "cleans up" some obsolete provisions relating to legislatively designated investments.
Joint Appropriations Committee.
The Committee will have a supplemental budget bill. Other bills have been requested for consideration by the new Committee and the Committee has additional meetings scheduled.
Joint Education Committee
The education committee still has meetings scheduled and has not formally moved to sponsor any particular piece of legislation. It is likely that the committee will sponsor an "omnibus" education bill including numerous items. The committee has or will be considering the following issues this interim:
School Finance Studies required by law:
Federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 Implications