2019 WRA LEGISLATIVE SESSION UPDATE (#7)

FEBRUARY 19, 2019


 The 2019 general session enters its seventh week today and is scheduled to run through Wednesday, February 27, 2019, with five additional days available if needed. The final count for bills and resolutions listed on the Wyoming Legislature website this session is 499. Bills can be found here

https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019

Your association is very closely monitoring bills related to Wyoming’s retail industry and is engaging as necessary.

To be most effective in protecting and promoting our industry at both the local and state level we will need your help throughout the session. Please keep a very close eye out for any “calls to action.” These typically require immediate action, will be simple to read and will include all of the information that you will need to engage. We only use the call to action when absolutely necessary so when you see one please take a moment to read it and engage. Our greatest strength is your voice and you will be needed this session to help support our initiatives.


Key dates
     • Wednesday, February 20 Last day for Bills to be reported out of Committee in second house.
     • Thursday, February 21 Last day for Committee of the Whole in the second house.
     • Friday, February 22 Last day for Second Reading in the second house.
     • Monday, February 25 Last day for Third Reading in the second house.
     • The session is scheduled to conclude on Wednesday, February 27 at midnight.

The following list is comprised of the bills currently listed, related to the retail industry in Wyoming. This list will be updated weekly. Please watch the WRA legislative update every Monday for up to date information on our legislative priorities.

** CALL TO ACTION** HB 220- Retail Fairness Act-WE MUST KEEP PRESSURE UP!
Four weeks ago HB 220- Retail Fairness Act was rushed through the house process and was heard in the Senate Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee last Thursday. The committee will continue discussion as 4pm today-Tuesday, February 18, 2019. HB 220 will create a new 7% corporate income tax on retail and hospitality businesses with 100 shareholders or more. We are working tirelessly to slow this bill down and to defeat it and we have made some progress in the Wyoming Senate. It will either pass or fail this week- we need your help!

PLEASE ACT TODAY!
Please follow this link to email senators and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon- let them know TODAY to OPPOSE HB 220!

https://www.votervoice.net/NRF/campaigns/63129/respond


Bills we are supporting


HB 69-Collections of Sales Tax by Marketplace Facilitators
https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/HB0069
Would require online marketplace facilitators (Amazon, Etsy, Ebay, etc) to collect and remit sales tax on sales into Wyoming.
Status-Passed the house and senate and signed into law by Governor Mark Gordon!

SF 81- Electronic Bicycles-Regulation
https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/SF0081
Bill would define regulation and establish classes of electronic bicycles
Status- Passed the senate and senate committee. Being debated on second reading in the house.


Governor’s recommended supplemental budget request of $2.5 million for the Wyoming Office of Tourism.


Wyoming’s marketing program currently ranks 29th in the nation, well below most of our competing surrounding states. This funding is a stopgap that will aid in elevating marketing resources and driving more visitor traffic to Wyoming until an alternative funding source is passed. Status-Joint Appropriations Committee denied the $2.5 million request and approved $500,000. There are no further amendments to the tourism budget.


https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/HB0001

HB 63- Pharmacy Benefit Managers-Prescription Cost Notification
https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/HB0063
Would prohibit Pharmacy Benefit Managers from penalizing or prohibiting pharmacies from disclosing prescription cost or affordable alternatives.
Status-Passed the house and senate and signed into law by Governor Mark Gordon!

Bills we are opposing


HB 220 Retail Fairness Act
https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/HB0220
Bill would create a new 7% corporate income tax on retail and hospitality business with 100 or more shareholders
Status-Passed the house and assigned to Senate Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee. The bill was heard in the Senate Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee last week. The committee will debate the bill again today at 4pm. Please see the call to action above!



Bills we are monitoring (If you would like WRA to take an official position on any of our monitoring positions please email WRA Director Chris Brown at chris@wyoretail.org)


HB 66- Lodging Tax https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/HB0066
Creates a 5% statewide lodging tax as an alternative-funding source for growing the visitor economy through the Wyoming Office of Tourism. 3% would be dedicated to funding the Wyoming Office of Tourism. The other 2% would replace 2% of local option lodging taxes across Wyoming eliminating the need to vote on them every four years. Local option lodging tax boards will still have the ability to vote on up to an additional 2% every four years. The hospitality industry has been working on the alternative funding initiative for more than 2 years and is supporting this bill as long as the funding derived from the tax remains dedicated to funding tourism at a significantly more competitive level with our surrounding states. Status-Passed the house and passed senate committee. Will be heard on senate floor this week.


HB 71-Equal Pay Penalties
https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/HB0071
Would amend penalties for equal pay provisions.
Status-Passed the house and senate. Awaiting Governor’s signature.


SF 45-Emergency Administration of Opiate Antagonist-Revisions
https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/SF0045
Would define the terms, entity and opioid for purposes of emergency administration of opioid antagonist.
Status-Passed the senate and house committee. Awaiting hearing on House Committee of the Whole.


SF 46-Opioid Prescription Limits
https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/SF0046
Would limit the amount of opioids that may be prescribed.
Status-Passed the senate and house committee. Awaiting hearing on House Committee of the Whole.


SF 47- Controlled Substances Education and Administration
https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/SF0047
Would require boards regulating health care to require continuing education related to controlled substances, would require electronic prescriptions for controlled substances and would require practitioners to search the controlled substance prescription-tracking program.
Status-Passed the senate and house committee. Awaiting hearing on House Committee of the Whole.

SF 101- Wage Offset for Employee Theft
https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/SF0101
Would allow businesses to withhold earnings from an employee that has been found guilty of theft from their employer.
Status- Passed the senate and assigned to House Revenue Committee.


Bills that have died

HB 14 Mountain Daylight Time https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/HB0014
Bill eliminates daylight savings time and would put Wyoming in a different time zone than our neighboring states for a significant period of time each year. The bill would not go into effect until three adjoining states agreed to do the same.

HB 64-Indexing Fuel Taxes
https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/HB0064
Would index Wyoming’s fuel tax to the Consumer Price Index (CPI)

HB 67-Sales Tax Revisions
https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/HB0067
Would remove the sales tax exemption on home-prepared foods, data centers and manufacturing. The bill would reduce the state sales tax to 3.5% and would create a tax on most services.

HB 72- Wage Transparency
https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/HB0072
Would prohibit employers from barring employees from disclosing wage information and would prohibit employers from requiring employees to waive wage disclosure rights.

HB 93-Tourism Improvement Districts https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/HB0093
A tourism improvement district, or TID, is a mechanism for funding local tourism promotion activities. An assessment is placed on tourism businesses within a designated geographic area and the funds raised through the assessment are used for specific tourism marketing purposes. The bill will be written as enabling legislation, meaning that it allows for the conversation about Tourism Improvement Districts in your communities but it does not create or mandate anyone to utilize a TID.

HB 119-Sales Tax Recovery-Statute of Limitations
https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/HB0119
Would amend the sales tax audit statute tolling time period to one year


HB 200-Wyoming Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/HB0200
Would specify accommodations needed to be made for medial needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth and related conditions

HB 218-Tobacco Tax
https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/HB0218
Would increase the sales and use tax on all tobacco products


HB 273- Minimum Wage
https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/HB0273
Would increase the state minimum wage to $8.50/hr and increase it to $10.00 over a 5-year period.

SF 12-Business Licensing Fees
https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/SF0012
Would increase the filing fees for corporations

HB 93-Tourism Improvement Districts https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/HB0093
A tourism improvement district, or TID, is a mechanism for funding local tourism promotion activities. An assessment is placed on tourism businesses within a designated geographic area and the funds raised through the assessment are used for specific tourism marketing purposes. The bill will be written as enabling legislation, meaning that it allows for the conversation about Tourism Improvement Districts in your communities but it does not create or mandate anyone to utilize a TID.

SF 16-Community Development Districts
https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/SF0016
Authorizes municipalities to create community development districts through specific assessments.

SF 48- Unemployment Compensation-Seasonal Employees
https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/SF0048
Would define unemployment benefits for seasonal employees



Stay Engaged with the 2019 Legislative General Session!

Click here for a list of all legislators’ emails, which is their preferred method of contact.

During the session you can contact a legislator to leave a message by calling the Senate receptionist at 307-777-7711 or the House receptionist at 307-777-7852.

To check on committee schedules, view bills, listen to live broadcasts of the legislative session or find out how individual legislators vote, log on to the Legislative website at https://www.wyoleg.gov/

To view the Citizens Guide to the Legislature please click here 

If you have any questions, please contact Chris Brown at 307-634-8816 x 207 or chris@wyoretail.org