And So it Begins… Budget Session

Strip mall serves as home of Wyoming representatives

Today, February 8, 2016, the budget session begins. WDI will follow the proceedings in the house and Senate located in the Jonah Business building. The location is historic because it will be the first time in Wyoming history and probably in the United States that a legislature meets in a private building. According to one legislators Facebook page, “it looks strip mall-ish”. Businesses also occupy the building such as Allstate, Cigna, Trihydro, Social Security Administration. The seating chart of the house places several legislators being a column. WDI wonders what will happen with their bills.

This session will be a battle on the budget. Lawmakers are facing large revenue decreases, while professional bureaucrats demand spending increases. Legislative leadership wants to continue pet projects like capitol renovation, school construction, and construction at the University of Wyoming. Looming in November is an election for 60 House seats and 15 Senate seats.

Republicans met in caucus before the Superbowl on Sunday. Speaker of the House, Kermit Brown and President of the Senate, Phillip Nicholas emphasized the “need” to continue the Capitol Square Project costing over $300 million. Bills are being drafted to cut the scope of the project to just the Capitol. Other members of the House are looking for other ways to cut spending, like sticking the the standard budget that continues providing government services at the same level as today.

The legislative session convenes today at 10:00 AM

Tentative House Bill Introductions:
HB0037 Controlled substances.
HB0038 Property offenses.
HB0046 Investment of worker’s compensation account.
HB0013 Public records-student communications.
HB0015 Education-school safety and security.
HB0019 Statewide student assessment.
HB0041 Omnibus water bill-construction.
HB0032 Insurance regulation parity.
HB0033 Insurance-audited annual financial reports
HB0034 Insurance-corporate governance annual disclosure
HB0044 E911 task force.
HB0055 Nurse Licensure Compact-1
HB0056 Advanced Practice Nurse Licensure Compact.
HJ0001 Labeling for genetically engineered items.

Tentative Senate Bill Introductions:
SF0002 Attorney general opinions-legislative request.
SF0005 Pesticide education funding.
SF0007 Landfill remediation priority list.
SF0008 Bicycle and pedestrian system task force.
SF0009 Railroad quiet zones.
SF0011 Youth challenge program.
SF0014 Student data privacy and transparency.
SF0018 Competitive bid specification requirements.
SF0020 Sales and use tax remedy revisions.
SF0021 Mineral tax archaic provisions.
SF0023 NRC agreement state amendments.
SF0026 Lapsing of appropriated funds-amendments.
SF0028 Carbon capture, storage and sequestration permit.
SF0029 Legislator participation in state benefit plans.
SF0030 Initiative review process.
SF0031 Omnibus water bill-planning.
SF0032 Alternative school accountability.
SF0033 Vehicle registration-shell businesses.
SF0034 Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act.
SF0035 Referendum-circulator payment.
SF0036 LLC member and manager liability.
SF0037 Boards and commissions party affiliation.
SF0038 Data management policies.
SF0039 Cease and transfer priority list.
SF0042 Occupational Therapy Practice Act.
SF0043 Workforce Investment Act statutory reference amendments.
SF0044 Obsolete statutory language-health care.
SF0045 Rural health care districts-authority.
SF0047 Juvenile sex offender-risk assessment.
SF0048 Criminal justice-reform.
SF0049 Direct primary care-insurance exemption.
SF0053 2016 Large project funding.
SF0056 Dietitian reimbursement.
SF0057 Freestanding emergency center.
SF0058 Involuntary hospitalization and treatment.
SF0060 Public health nursing.
SJ0001 Right of privacy and right to know.