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October 2017 Legislative Update

The Wyoming Retail Association monitors and engages in all business related legislative issues at the state and federal level, to protect and promote Wyoming’s retail industry. As Wyoming continues to grapple with a $400 million education-funding deficit, the Wyoming Legislature will continue to explore all options to offset the shortfall. Your association is monitoring and participating in these discussions as we head towards the 2018 Legislative Budget Session, set to convene on February 12, 2018.

Federal Issues


Tax Reform: Congress released an outline of their tax-reform plan earlier this month, offering some of the first concrete details of a proposal they hope can accelerate American economic growth. Republicans have set an ambitious goal to pass a bill before the end of the year to reduce tax rates and scrap most deductions. The framework features dramatically lower rates for most households and businesses and the WRA has signed onto a letter spearheaded by the US Chamber supporting these efforts and is closely monitoring this important issue.


State Issues

Online Sales Tax Collection
As of July 1, 2017 all online retailers selling into Wyoming with more than $100,000 in annual sales or more than 200 transactions annually are statutorily required to collect and remitting sales tax, just like their Main Street counterparts. The passage of HB-19 Sales From Remote Sellers was a significant victory for the Wyoming Retail Association and for Main Street Retailers across our state. While many vendors licensed and began collecting and remitting the owed tax, several of the largest online only retailers entered into a lawsuit with the State of Wyoming over the bill. The South Dakota Supreme Court just heard that state’s case related to the issue and is expected to petition the US Supreme Court to hear the case later this Fall.  Should the South Dakota case hit any unexpected hurdles, the Wyoming bill was written as a perfect vehicle to get the issue in front of the US Supreme Court.  Stay tuned to the WRA e-newsletter as this critical retail issue continues to unfold. 

 

Liquor Licenses and Fee’s

The Joint revenue Committee is considering several bills drafts aimed at raising taxes and fees on the sale of liquor, beer and wine in Wyoming.

The first measure would increase the maximum profit to the state from alcoholic liquor sales. This measure establishes sales must be made at prices sufficient to return the cost of merchandise and all expenses of operation together with a profit, not to exceed seventeen and six-tenths percent (17.6%) twenty and six-tenths percent (20.6%).  You can view the draft bill here http://legisweb.state.wy.us/InterimCommittee/2017/03-1106APPENDIXK.pdf

The second measure would increase the tax on malt beverages to four and three-fourths cents ($.0475) per liter (33.8 ounces). You can view the bill draft here http://legisweb.state.wy.us/InterimCommittee/2017/03-1106APPENDIXM.pdf

 

Tobacco Taxes

There are currently two bills seeking to raise taxes on tobacco products.

The first would raise the tax on cigarettes and would increase the percentage of distribution to local governments.  The bill draft can be found here.  http://legisweb.state.wy.us/InterimCommittee/2017/03-1106APPENDIXE.pdf

 

The second bill would raise the tax on all tobacco products and would divert a percentage of the taxed collected to support school funding in Wyoming.  The bill draft can be found here http://legisweb.state.wy.us/InterimCommittee/2017/03-1106APPENDIXF.pdf


Pharmacy
During the 2017 Legislative General Session the Wyoming Pharmacy Act was amended and updated in numerous chapters. The proposed language related to bio similar was problematic for WRA pharmacy members. We were able to work with the bill sponsor and other interested parties to have the bio similar language removed with an agreement that we would work with the Wyoming Board of Pharmacy on agreeable language to be proposed for the 2018 session. The Joint Labor, Health and Social Services Committee agreed to sponsor the bill as a committee bill for the upcoming session.  At their September meeting the Wyoming Board of Pharmacy approved our recommended language and the language will be considered as a bill during the 2018 budget session.  The BOP held a public comment period on the following proposed rule changes.  All proposed rule changes were approved as written.

 

 Ch 2: General Practice of Pharmacy

Proposed changes to this chapter include further developing regulations for electronic records for dispensed prescriptions. Rules regarding disposal of medication are based on changes in federal rules. Regulations describing the process to transfer a prescription are clarified. The return of prescription drugs to a pharmacy after dispensing is revised. Fees and late fees for new types of distributors are listed based on changes to federal regulations. Ancillary drug supplies for nursing homes and other facilities are revised. Procedures to follow when a pharmacy closes are changed based on information from the DEA.

 Ch 8: Wholesale Distribution Regulations

Definitions have been updated based on the federal Drug Quality and Security Act of 2013 (Title II DQSA). Descriptions of several additional license types under this chapter include medical oxygen distributors, outsourcing facilities, third party logistics providers and wholesale distributors of prescription drugs for non-human use. The sections describing “pedigrees” and electronic track and trace requirements are deleted as required by the federal DQSA and state Enrolled Act No. 82, WY Senate, 2017.

 Ch 14: Telepharmacy

Revisions have been included based on Enrolled Act No. 49, Senate, 2017 to define “adequate supervision” and remove the requirement for a telepharmacy to be in a medical clinic or community health center. The restriction of twenty-five miles from a retail pharmacy has been reduced to ten miles with exceptions as enacted. Requirements for video and audio communication systems are clarified. The type of dispensing systems to be utilized has been expanded and record keeping is revised. The statutory requirement for on-site inspections by the pharmacist from the parent pharmacy is listed.

 Ch. 18: Prescribing by Pharmacists

A new chapter was adopted by emergency rule and is proposed in regular rule-making to comply with Enrolled Act No. 50, Senate, 2017 regarding the “Emergency Administration of Opiate Antagonist Act.” Pharmacists are authorized to prescribe naloxone and the rules list the requirements to safely do so. Requirements include counseling the patient or caregiver on when and how to use the rescue product including seeking medical care as soon as possible.

Joint Revenue Committee-Interim
The Joint Revenue Committee has two sets of meetings left in the 2017 interim.  They will meet in Cheyenne on November 4-5, 2017 and again in Cheyenne on December 4-5, 2017.  The committee is exploring the possibility of a handful of proposed new taxed.  Please review the November agenda closely and let us know if there is a topic for the WRA board to consider taking a position on. The agenda for the November meetings can be found here
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/interimCommittee/2017/03AGD1106.pdf

 

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Wyoming Retail Association (WRA)
P.O. Box 1003, Cheyenne, WY 82003  Phone: (307) 634-8816, Fax (307) 632-0249