Get Adobe Flash player

Lobbyist update for LWV Wyoming 8-21-15

Tobacco Tax

The Legislative Management Council will be taking up a request from Joint Appropriations and Joint Revenue to assign a study of tobacco taxes to Revenue. Recall that last session, House Revenue shot down a tobacco tax bill after excessive arm twisting by the tobacco lobby. Labor Chairman Harvey, the sponsor, argued that it was one proven way to save health care costs. Perhaps her arguments have gained traction in these days of reduced revenues. Management Council meets 8 a.m. Aug. 31 in B63 of the Herschler Building in Cheyenne.

Medicaid Expansion

Joint Labor is meeting Aug. 24-25 in Lovell. Medicaid expansion is NOT on the agenda, but we are all watching to see if it comes up.

Joint Corporations is meeting Sept 8-9 in Buffalo. We also are watching for possible legislation to expand Medicaid eligibility, although none is posted on the agenda.

Elections

Joint Corporations, meeting Sept 8-9 in Buffalo, has issued an agenda that lists “change in party affiliation.” Draft legislation is not available at this time. We need to watch closely to prevent restrictions on election day registrations. There have been attempts in the past to lock in a party registration days or weeks or months before an election.

Capitol Renovation

A new construction manager has been hired by the Legislature to oversee the Capitol-Herschler renovation, and a lot of the discussions apparently are moving to a smaller group of lawmakers and behind closed doors. A subcommittee of leaders will hash things out and make recommendations to the Oversight Group. Some groups have expressed hope that they are not tempted to streamline the deliberative process by taking it out of the public eye. The Capitol Building Restoration Oversight Group meets 1 p.m. Sept. 1 in B63 of the Herschler Building.

The Liberty Group has been very critical of the spending increases but has misconstrued several things, most significantly the impact of adding the Herschler Building and its long list of problems.

Most residents of the Capitol and half the Hershler Building agencies have relocated. We are not sure if the future residents of the Capitol and the new Herschler addition have been finalized. There was talk that Superintendent of Public Instruction Balow would move to the new Herschler executive tower and she would have at least temporary offices in the Capitol during legislative sessions. But apparently all that is still in play. We still are not sure what kind of offices will be in the Capitol for the other elected – besides the governor, of course.

Find meeting info and agendas on the calendar maintained by the Legislative Service Office http://legisweb.state.wy.us.