RMFU LegisLetter: Wyoming Lawmakers Get First Look At Bills

By Scott Zimmerman
RMFU Government Relations, Wyoming

The budget session of the Wyoming legislature convenes on Monday, Feb. 10. Governor Gordon will kick things off by addressing the members in his second state-of-the-state speech. Numerous bills sponsored by Joint Interim Committees have been introduced. These were drafted and finalized and do not need the two-thirds vote for introduction. Below is a list of bills Rocky Mountain Farmers Union will follow and comment on as necessary. Most are committee bills. I’ve also included several bills that will most likely receive the two-thirds introduction vote.

HB 13 Sage grouse mitigation credits
Sponsor: Joint Interim Minerals Committee
Action: Will be heard in House Travel
Position: Monitor
Summary: AN ACT relating to sage grouse; establishing a program for compensatory mitigation credits for conservation of the greater sage-grouse; creating an account; amending the duties of the board of land commissioners; requiring rulemaking; providing legislative findings; and providing for effective dates.

HB 14 Drilling units -risk penalties and mandatory royalties
Sponsor: Joint Minerals Interim Committee
Action: Will be heard In House Minerals Committee the first week
Position: Monitor
Summary: AN ACT relating to oil and gas; amending the calculation of owners’ shares for drilling units as specified; providing for the expiration of pooling orders under specified conditions; providing a royalty during payment of risk penalty; making conforming amendments; and providing for an effective date.

HB 29 Designation of migration corridors
Sponsor: Select Natural Resource Management Committee
Action: Will be heard in House Travel Recreation and Wildlife Committee
Position: Monitor
Summary: AN ACT relating to game and fish; providing procedures for the designation of migration corridors; requiring a report; and providing for an effective date.

HB 33 Agricultural land qualifications
Sponsor: Joint Agriculture Interim Committee
Action: Will be heard in House Agriculture Committee
Position: Support
Summary: AN ACT relating to agricultural land; increasing the production requirements for agricultural land qualification; and providing for an effective date.

HB 35 Wolf depredation compensation
Sponsor: Rep. Winter
Action:  Floor introduction vote
Position: Support
Summary: AN ACT relating to agriculture; recreating a gray wolf depredation compensation program; imposing additional duties on the department of agriculture; authorizing rulemaking; providing for termination of the program as specified; providing an appropriation; and providing for effective dates.

HB 36 Pesticide registration fee
Sponsor: Joint Agriculture Interim Committee
Action: Will be heard in House Ag Committee
Position: Support
Summary: AN ACT relating to food and drugs; increasing the pesticide registration fee; specifying distribution of the fee; specifying applicability; and providing for an effective date.

HB 38 Weed and Pest amendments
Sponsor: Joint Agriculture Interim Committee
Action: Will be heard in House Ag Committee
Position: Monitor
Summary: AN ACT relating to weed and pest control; amending provisions related to inspections and remediation of weed and pest infestations; and providing for an effective date.

HB 44 Daylight saving time preservation
Sponsor: Rep. Laursen
Action: Floor introduction vote
Position: Monitor
Summary: AN ACT relating to legal time; requiring an application for the state to transfer time zones as specified; establishing a new uniform state time; specifying contingencies; making legislative findings; and providing for an effective date.

HB 47 Local sales and use tax
Sponsor: Joint Revenue Interim Committee
Action: Will be heard in House Revenue Committee
Position: Monitor
Summary: AN ACT relating to taxation and revenue; authorizing an election on the question of permanently imposing a portion of the local general purpose sales and use taxes; decreasing the number of local entities required to approve provisions related to specified local sales and use taxes; increasing the amount of time between elections for specified local sales and use taxes; authorizing the implementation of an optional municipal sales and use taxes as specified; providing procedures; amending related provisions; specifying applicability; and providing for an effective date.

HB 63 Fuel tax
Sponsor: Joint Revenue Interim Committee
Action; Will be heard in House Revenue Committee
Position: Monitor
Summary: AN ACT relating to revenue for transportation purposes; increasing the fuel tax; amending certain distributions of fuel tax revenues accordingly; and providing for an effective date.

HB 81 Emergency water projects account
Sponsor: Select Water Committee
Action: Will be heard in House Ag Committee
Position: Support
Summary: AN ACT relating to funding for emergency water projects; creating an emergency water projects account; authorizing emergency water project grants and loans; providing a continuous appropriation and providing an additional appropriation; providing for administration; and providing for an effective date.

HB 88 Livestock board investigators
Sponsor: Rep. Sommers
Action: Will be heard in House Ag Committee
Position: Support
Summary: AN ACT relating to livestock board investigators; authorizing payment of livestock board investigators from the inspection account and from animal remedies registrations; increasing the animal remedies registration fee; creating an account; and providing for an effective date.

HB 97 Omnibus water bill construction
Sponsor: Select Water Committee
Action: Will be heard in House Ag Committee
Position: Support
Summary: AN ACT relating to water development projects; authorizing construction of designated water projects; describing projects; specifying terms and conditions of funding for projects; providing appropriations; providing for a sponsor’s contingency fund; modifying project descriptions, amounts and terms of appropriations for specified prior projects; transferring funds from the Buffalo Bill dam account to water development account II; and providing for an effective date.

HB 111 Split Estates -measure of damages 3
Sponsor: Rep. Clausen
Action: If introduced, will be heard in House Minerals Comm.
Position: Monitor
Summary: AN ACT relating to oil and gas; amending provisions related to surface damage and disruption payments; and providing for an effective date.

HB 116 Split Estates – good faith negotiations
Sponsor: Rep. Clausen
Action: If introduced, will be heard in House Minerals Committee
Position: Monitor
Summary: AN ACT relating to oil and gas; authorizing surface owner objections for an operator’s failure to comply with requirements to negotiate in good faith; specifying procedures; amending notice requirements; and providing for an effective date.

SF 31 University of Wyoming – land grant mission report
Sponsor: Joint Agriculture Interim Committee
Action: Assigned to House Ag Committee
Position: Support
Summary:  AN ACT relating to education; requiring a report from the University of Wyoming; and providing for an effective date.

SF 41 Animal damage management funding
Sponsor: Jt. Agriculture Interim Committee
Action: Assigned to Senate Ag Committee
Position: Support
Summary: AN ACT relating to wildlife; increasing the request for funding for animal damage management from the game and fish commission; requiring the game and fish commission to recommend expenditures; clarifying who can request funding; establishing a fee for animal damage management funding; repealing provisions related to the wildlife damage management stamp; and providing for an effective date.

SF 61 Omnibus water bill -planning
Sponsor: Select Water Committee
Action: Assigned to Senate Ag Committee
Position: Support
Summary: AN ACT relating to water development projects; authorizing specified level I and level II studies; providing appropriations; requiring reports; providing for the reversion of unexpended funds; authorizing unobligated funds to be used to complete other designated projects as specified; providing an appropriation for the office of water programs; and providing for an effective date.

SF 66 Retiring electric generation facilities – financial assurance
Sponsor: Sen. Driskill
Action: Up for introduction vote
Position: Monitor
Summary: AN ACT relating to environmental quality and public utilities; requiring deposits of financial assurance for retiring facilities as specified; defining terms; making conforming amendments; and providing for effective dates.

SF 74 Permit not required for using a de minimis amount of water
Sponsor: Select Water Committee
Action: Assigned to Senate Ag Committee
Position: Monitor
Summary: AN ACT relating to water; eliminating permitting requirements for the beneficial use of a de minimis amount of water; and providing for an effective date.

SF 75 Instream flow application process
Sponsor: Select Water Committee
Action: Assigned to Senate Ag Committee
Position: Monitor
Summary: AN ACT relating to water; amending the instream flow application process; requiring a hearing and providing for an effective date.

SF 81 Livestock brand administration
Sponsor: Joint Agriculture Interim Committee
Action: Assigned to Senate Ag Committee
Position: Support
Summary: AN ACT relating to brands; amending provisions related to the rerecording of brands; authorizing the extension of the rerecording period for up to fifty years; repealing the provision for permanently recorded brands; and providing for an effective date.

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.