Legislature weekly roundup-Week 2
By House Rep. Jon Conrad
District No. 19
The House debated extensively on a number of matters including,
Suicide Prevention - I spoke in favor of HB0065 stating “Suicide not only impacts that person, but their families, their communities and their employers…Although we can debate the value of the money, I encourage all of us to think about our Wyoming values.” Permanent funding for the 988-lifeline had firm and vocal support, but others urged House members to reject the bill. Those of us in support continue to work on funding for this critical issue.
3rd Reading: Passed
HB0016 State land leasing - improvements deals with leases on state lands and improvements made to the land by the lessee. The bill would provide primary leaseholders with fair compensation from the Office of State Lands when the lease is lost, or the property is sold. Additionally, the legislation would raise the limit on the price of improvements on a property leased by the state without needing approval from the Office of State Lands. This Bill is a positive step for our Agriculture community.
3rd Reading: Passed
HB0017 State lands - grazing of non-owned livestock would provide more definitive language in the law regarding subleasing on public land. The bill would not count running cattle for another person on a state land grazing lease as a sublease, as long as the number of animals does not exceed the current agreement in the lease. This Bill is a positive step for our Agriculture community.
3rd Reading: Passed
HB0069 - Coal-fired facility closures litigation funding-amendments. This Bill originated out of the Minerals Committee and one which I spoke on and for. This Bill provides funds that allows the Governor to litigate against the Federal Government, other States or local governments that impermissibly impede Wyoming’s ability to export coal, or that cause the early retirement of coal-fired generation facilities located in Wyoming or that result in the decreased use of Wyoming coal or the closure of coal-fired electric generation facilities that use Wyoming coal. This legislation is critical on behalf of our soda ash industry, coal usage (Kemmerer) and future coal mines (Haystack Mine near Evanston), etc.
My respective Committee Reports.
05-Agriculture, State and Public Lands & Water Resources. I presented HB0093 - Omnibus water bill-construction of state lands and investments on the Floor which passed the Committee as a Whole. We continue to work on HB0022 - State land lease deficiencies-cure process. providing for notification of noncompliance in a state land lease renewal; providing opportunities for compliance; conforming time frames for lessee compliance; and providing for an effective date. This is a significant issue that requires resolution to ensure those with leases do not lose their lease based on restrictive requirements for renewal. Additionally, HB0021 - State lands-use of land qualification requirements. This legislation would require an applicant to have actual and necessary use of state lands to be qualified to lease state lands; making conforming amendments.
09-Minerals, Business & Economic Development. HB0067 - Special license plate decals-women veterans which passed Committee. HB0043 - Winter Road closures passed Committee but failed in the Committee as a Whole. HB0094 - Board of parole-Wyoming residency, requiring a year of Wyoming residency for appointment passed the Committee. HB0136 - Capital construction amendments passed the Committee. HB0153 - Worker’s compensation competitive coverage did fail and will not move forward. Finally, HB0159 - Department of fire protection and electrical safety fees passed unanimously.
I testified on and for HB0039, Verifying the veteran designation on a WY driver’s license. This passed the Transportation Committee and heads to the Floor.
As noted prior, it is critical to ensure your voice is heard (cell phone below), to make constituency and fact-based decisions and votes, that I understand your opinions regarding such. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to your hearing from you all and look forward to week three. Please forward as applicable.
Jon R. Conrad — Representative HD19