CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon’s office announced on Monday, April 12 that the governor has signed House Bill 254 into law. The bill will impose an additional $5 fee on top of the cost of various driver’s license and learner’s permit fees in the state in order to help pay for the replacement of an aging transportation information record system.
Replacement of the state’s current Revenue Information System (RIS) is expected to cost about $80 million, a number which has ballooned by $10 million since estimates in spring 2020.
The existing system is based on “antiquated” COBOL technology which was developed in the 1980s, according to the Wyoming Department of Transportation.
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The system is used to for transportation-related records such as drivers license information, driving records and vehicle registration. It is used by law enforcement agencies across the state as well as county clerks and treasurers offices in all 23 counties. WYDOT says that several federal agencies and third-party vendors also contract to use the system.
The new law will establish a special account where revenues from the $5 fees will be deposited to go toward replacing the aging system. In addition to fees for the system imposed on top of driver’s license fees, the new law will allow donations, grants and federal funds to go toward updating the system.
Some fees which would otherwise go toward the motorcycle safety education program account will instead go toward replacement of the computer system.
The new law requires the Wyoming Department of Transportation to replace the computer system by July 1, 2027.
As the bill worked through the Wyoming Legislature, it saw a number of amendments in both chambers. Because the bill started in the House of Representatives, it had to return to the House after the Senate passed the bill on third reading.
But the House’s initial concurrence vote failed 3-54, sending the bill to a Joint Conference Committee to try to come to an agreement both chambers could live with.
Both chambers agreed to the Joint Conference Committee changes on Wednesday, April 7. The House’s 32-22 vote was as follows:
- Ayes: BANKS, BROWN, BURKHART, CLAUSEN, CLIFFORD, CONNOLLY, CRAGO, DUNCAN, EKLUND, EYRE, FLITNER, HALLINAN, HARSHMAN, HEINER, HENDERSON, KINNER, LARSEN, L, MACGUIRE, MARTINEZ, NICHOLAS, OAKLEY, OBERMUELLER, O’HEARN, PAXTON, PROVENZA, ROSCOE, SCHWARTZ, SHERWOOD, SIMPSON, STITH, SWEENEY, WILSON
- Nays: ANDREW, BAKER, BEAR, BLACKBURN, FORTNER, GRAY, HAROLDSON, HUNT, JENNINGS, BARLOW, KNAPP, LAURSEN, D, NEIMAN, OLSEN, SOMMERS, STYVAR, WALTERS, WESTERN, WHARFF, WINTER, YIN, ZWONITZER
- Excused: BURT, GREEAR, NEWSOME, OTTMAN, WASHUT, WILLIAMS
The Senate’s 19-11 vote was as follows:
- Ayes: ANDERSON, BALDWIN, COOPER, DOCKSTADER, DRISKILL, ELLIS, FURPHY, GIERAU, KINSKEY, KOLB, KOST, LANDEN, NETHERCOTT, PAPPAS, PERKINS, ROTHFUSS, SCHULER, SCOTT, WASSERBURGER
- Nays: BITEMAN, BONER, BOUCHARD, CASE, FRENCH, HICKS, HUTCHINGS, JAMES, MCKEOWN, SALAZAR, STEINMETZ