One Week Down
The 2022 Budget Session of the Wyoming Legislature convened this week and there is a lot of work to do in a short amount of time.
Budget Sessions are 20-day sessions convened with the primary purpose to pass a budget. Non-budget bills can be introduced during a budget session, it takes a two-thirds majority vote to allow their introduction. Friday, February 18, was the last day for bills to be introduced.
A few highlights from the week include:
SF8: This bill would change which state agency is responsible for weed and pest control on state lands. State lands are currently in charge of managing weed and pest on state lands but this would move the responsibility to the Wyoming Department of Agriculture and the weed and pest division.
This bill has been heard on the floor of the Senate and has received three amendments related to the amount of funds that would be moved to the Department of Agriculture from the Department of State Lands. This bill has passed second reading and has one more reading on the Senate floor.
SF9: This bill gives the Wyoming Business Council a new tool called Industrial Revenue Bonds that - at no cost the taxpayer - can be used to improve our ability to process agricultural commodities in the state. Not only will this new capability create jobs in Wyoming, it will also give our farmers and ranchers more options to market their products.
This bill was placed on the consent list which passed third reading on Friday.
SF10: This bill grants the animal damage management board the authority to contract directly for predator services. This allows for more efficient management for doing business. This bill was placed on the consent list which passed third reading on Friday.
SF84: This bill aims to keep Wyoming fossil fuel producers working in the State. The bill comes as reports swirl about the U.S. Bureau of Land Management considering raising the oil and gas royalty tax rate from the current 12.5% to over 18% on minerals extracted on federal lands. SF84 has been introduced in the Senate and referred to the Senate Minerals Committee. I expect a final vote in committee on Monday.
Next week we will be taking on the budget even as we continue the work of discussing and voting on legislation. Stay tuned!