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Casper City Council gives staff green light to lobby for Wyoming liquor law changes and more

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City News)

CASPER, Wyo. — On Tuesday, the Casper City Council authorized a resolution signaling its approval for City of Casper staff to advocate that the Wyoming Legislature adopt certain measures that are part of the Wyoming Association of Municipalities’ legislative agenda.

The WAM agenda includes nine priorities for the Wyoming Legislature’s 2023 General Session, which is underway in Cheyenne. Three of the priorities WAM is supporting would involve modification to Wyoming liquor law:

  • Senate File 003 would modify retail liquor license fees.
    • The Senate passed this legislation on first reading on Tuesday.
  • Senate File 0012 would create a new tavern and entertainment liquor license.
    • This legislation has been introduced in the Senate and referred to the Senate Corporations Committee.
  • Senate File 0013 would amend rules for bar and grill liquor licenses, including provisions relaxing and eventually eliminating limits on the number of such licenses that can be issued.
    • This legislation has been introduced in the Senate and referred to the Senate Corporations Committee.

The WAM agenda also calls for passage of legislation related to abandoned buildings. House Bill 135 would create incentives for property owners to make improvements at abandoned and nuisance buildings. The bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives and referred to the House Corporations Committee.

Before advocating for the passage of House Bill 135, which hadn’t been filed when WAM’s agenda was set, City of Casper staff will review the legislation, a staff memo explained.

WAM is also advocating for increases to direct distribution payments the State of Wyoming makes to local governments.

The legislative agenda also seeks to find a representative or senator to sponsor the “Amendment A” program that would allow local governments to invest in equities as an interim topic ahead of the 2024 legislative session. Voters approved an amendment to the Wyoming Constitution during the 2022 General Election that removed a prohibition preventing cities and towns from investing in stocks. Before local governments can begin to do so, though, the Wyoming Legislature would need to adopt a law creating rules for how this could be done.

WAM is also advocating for the passage of House Bill 0046. The bill proposes appropriating $100,000,000 to create a trust fund to support WyoLink, the statewide public safety interoperable radio communications system. In addition, WAM supports passage of Senate File 022, which would direct $8.6 million toward operation and maintenance of WyoLink.

A staff memo explaining the WAM agenda that City of Casper staff have been authorized to advocate for can be reviewed below:


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