CASPER, Wyo. — From prohibiting government entities lower than the state from regulating rental agreements to setting aside $1.2 million to defend and prosecute lawsuits for laws impeding Wyoming’s ability to export coal, lawmakers in Wyoming’s 67th Legislature worked on dozens of bills this week and considered others that have been making their rounds through committees.
The following is not an exhaustive list of bill activity this week in the Legislature, but features many bills that would impact a significant portion of Wyoming’s population. To track all bills in the Wyoming Legislature, click here.
- House Bill 0216: This bill will prohibit cities, towns, counties and other political subdivisions from authorizing, regulating or governing the ownership and leasing of rental properties. Regulation would fall to the State of Wyoming and apply to rental properties rented for six months or more. The bill was introduced by Rep. Dan Zwonitzer (R) and on Tuesday, Jan. 31, was referred to the House’s Revenue Committee.
- House Bill 0069: This bill, sponsored by Rep. Lloyd Larsen (R), would set aside $1.2 million from the general fund to intervene in, defend and prosecute lawsuits against the federal government, its agencies and other states and their agencies for laws that would impede Wyoming’s ability to export coal or cause the early retirement of coal-fired generation facilities. Lawsuits could also be the result of decreased use of Wyoming coal or the closure of coal-fired electric generation plants that use Wyoming coal. The bill passed the House on a 55–5–2 vote and was introduced in the Senate on Tuesday, Jan. 31. A meeting by the Senate’s Minerals, Business & Economic Development Committee was scheduled for noon today.
- House Bill 0073: This bill would require a municipality to obtain written approval from a simple majority of all landowners in an area before annexation. It passed the Wyoming House on a 39–22–1 vote and was introduced in the Senate on Tuesday, Jan. 31. It’s been referred to the Senate’s Corporations Committee. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Clarence Styvar (R).
- House Bill 0090: This bill would prohibit certain sex offenders from petitioning to be taken off a sex offender registry. The bill passed the House on a 33–28–1 vote and was introduced in the Senate on Tuesday, Jan. 31. The bill was referred to the Senate’s Judiciary Committee. It is sponsored by Rep. Christopher Knapp (R).
- House Bill 0111: This bill would add fentanyl to the list of controlled substances that qualify for a child endangerment offense, and it would strike language that excludes a prescription exception for child endangerment offenses. The bill passed the House on third reading Friday, Jan. 27, and was introduced in the Senate on Tuesday, Jan. 31. It is sponsored by Rep. Ember Oakley (R).
- House Bill 0256: Introduced on Wednesday, Jan. 25, and referred to the Revenue Committee on Monday, Jan. 30, this bill seeks to create a property tax holiday for 2023. The holiday would reduce tax on property for industrial purposes by 16.67% and 33.33% for all other properties. It would also reduce by 16.67% the monthly payment on ad valorem tax on mineral production. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Tony Locke (R).
- Senate Joint Resolution SJ0005 will recognize and congratulate the Air Force on its anniversary and draw attention to its connection to Wyoming. The bill received unanimous support from the Senate’s transportation committee and was passed by the Committee of the Whole. On Friday, Jan. 27, the Senate also passed it on its second reading. It was received by the House for introduction on Monday, Jan. 30.
- Senate Joint Resolution SJ0009 seeks to create Article 1, Section 40 of the Wyoming Constitution. It would state that “The right of individual privacy is essential to the well-being of a free society and shall not be infringed.” SJ0009 was introduced by Sen. Chris Rothfuss (D). The bill was scheduled for a Senate Floor session today.
- House Bill 0107: This bill would have put the Wyoming Attorney General position to a vote of the people whereas the position is currently appointed by the governor. The first election for attorney general would have been 2026 but on Tuesday, Jan. 31, the House did not consider HB0107 for introduction. It was sponsored by Rep. Scott Heiner (R).
- House Bill 0110: This bill would have created the Juneteenth state holiday. Juneteenth has been celebrated by a handful of states and became a federal holiday in 2021. It is celebrated on June 19 in recognition of the day enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, received news they were free. That news came three years after the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. Introduced by Rep. Landon Brown (R), the bill was not considered for introduction on Tuesday, Jan. 31.
- House Bill 0237: Known as the “Beer Freedom Act,” this bill would have repealed the state excise tax on malt beverages. Sponsored by Rep. Cyrus Western (R), it was introduced in the House on Wednesday, Jan. 25. On Tuesday, Jan. 31, it was not considered for introduction.
- House Bill 0224: This bill, introduced by Rep. Daniel Singh (R), would have prohibited state government officials and election officials from soliciting, taking or otherwise accepting private funds to conduct elections. The House on Tuesday, Jan. 31, did not consider it for introduction.