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WRA Legislative Update - January 14, 2013
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WRA Works on 2013 Wyoming Legislative Session

How does the Wyoming Retail Association see the upcoming 2 month Wyoming Legislative Session affecting retailers?

Your association, with your feedback, has met this year with the Governor, congressional delegation and many legislators in order to determine how to make your voice heard and make Wyoming a business friendly state for retailers. Certainly everyone’s priority is to get back to a healthy economy with high employment.

The session began January 8 and ends around March 1 and all new bills must be introduced by January 23 in the Senate and January 28 in the House—that is only 2 and a half weeks after the session begins. A bill must PASS out of its House of Origin by February 4, only 3 weeks after the session begins. That is why if we ask for your feedback during the next two weeks; we need it almost IMMEDIATELY

Special attention is being paid to the Wyoming House of Representatives where 17 of the 60 members are new and only 62% have served for 2 or more years. Your association has visited with almost all the new members.

At the state level, WRA seeks every opportunity to promote reasonable government regulation and object to overly burdensome laws and regulations in workers compensation, unemployment, sales tax collection, labor laws and much more. This session there will be legislation offered in all those areas.

Sometimes one of our segments needs additional help—this year it is the pharmacy sector. Pharmacies are expanding their role in health care and so WRA is advocating for bills to allow a greater age range for immunization and to permit some other selected administration of medication. (See House Bills 93 and 94 below)

While Wyoming is not having the extreme budget crisis of other states, Wyoming’s executive and legislative branch leadership are reigning in expenses by reducing the budget allocations of all agencies by an average of 6.5% (some more and some less). WRA is keeping an eye on this process to make sure critical business infrastructure is kept in place. In that vein, WRA supports a user fee to maintain Wyoming highways in the form of an increase in the gasoline tax (practically the lowest in the country.) If everyone doesn’t share the burden of maintaining our highways, other taxes, including sales and business taxes, will have to assume the burden.

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 http://legisweb.state.wy.us

You can also comment on bills online by visiting http://legisweb.state.wy.us/postcomments/onlinehotline.aspx.

House

HB 52 Workplace Safety Discount – Provides for a discount in worker's compensation premiums for employers who participate in the workplace safety contract program. Sponsored by: Rep. Lubnau, In Committee, SUPPORT

HB 69 Highway Funding – Raises the state’s fuel tax ten cents per gallon with the proceeds going to highway maintenance. Sponsored by: Revenue Committee, In Committee, SUPPORT

HB 70 Vehicle Registration Fees – Raises registration fees on several classes of vehicles across the board. Sponsored by: Revenue Committee, In Committee, Monitor

HB 77 Wyoming Lottery – Establishes a Wyoming Lottery Board and system, with proceeds going to local governments around the state. Need to make sure commission to retailers is high enough. Spnsored by: Rep. Zwonitzer, Dave, In committee, MONITOR

HB 79 Collection Of Unpaid Wages – Clarifies that accrued vacation does not count in unpaid wages if the written policy of the employer specifically prohibits such payment. Sponsored by: Rep. Stubson, On House Floor, SUPPORT

HB 93 Medication Administration By Pharmacists – Allows registered pharmacists to administer medicationsas authorized by the Board of Pharmacy and with physicians prescriptions. Sponsored by: Rep. Reeder, In Committee, SUPPORT.

HB 94 Immunization By Pharmacists – Allows registered pharmacists to administer immunizations to anyone age 7 or older. Currently age is 19 or older. Sponsored by: Rep. Reeder, In Committee, SUPPORT

HB 101 Worker’s Compensation appeals – Restricts reviews of appeals by the State Supreme Court. Sponsored by: Rep. Zwonitzer, Dan, In Committee, MONITOR

Senate

SF 68 Sales Tax – Zapping – Prohibits use of Automated Sales Suppression devices, or “zappers” which skim off sales tax revenue. Sponsored by: Joint Revenue Interim Committee, In Committee, SUPPORT

SF 73 Unemployment insurance-federal compliance – Clarifies the conditions under which an employer’s UI account can be charged for errors in compliance, On Senate Floor, MONITOR

SF 100 – Sales Tax Overpayment Refund – Provides that the lookback period for sales tax audits for overpayment and underpayment shall be changed from 3 to 5 years. In Committee, OPPOSE

SF 109 – Highway and Road Funding – Severance tax – Transfers 50% of the funding going to the permanent mineral trust fund into a fund to funds the highways. In Committee, MONITOR

To view any of these bills, please go to http://legisweb.state.wy.us/lsoweb/session/BillsInfo.aspx

 

 

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