Legislature Round-up: Medal of Honor Highway, natural gas tax exemptions, ballot counting and more

Volunteer Candice Young processes a voter at the Industrial Building during the 2018 Wyoming Primary on Tuesday, Aug. 21, at the Central Wyoming Fairgrounds in Casper. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)P

The Wyoming Legislature took a number of actions on Friday, Feb. 22. Here is a round-up of some of Friday’s activity:

  • The House speaker signed a bill designating U.S. Highway 20 as “Medal of Honor Highway.” The bill states that 17 Medal of Honor recipients have called Wyoming home. The idea of a “Medal of Honor Highway” originated in Oregon, according to the bill. It says that U.S. Highway 20 is the longest highway in the nation and stretches through 12 states. The Senate president signed the bill on Thursday. The full bill can be viewed here.
  • The House passed a bill on first reading that would extend some severance tax exemptions to natural gas production. Crude oil extracted from “previously shut-in wells” is exempt from some severance taxes. The bill would give natural gas production a similar exemption and modifies the amount of time the well needs to have been “shut-in” from 2 years to six months to qualify for exemptions when they are re-opened. The Senate passed the bill on third reading on Feb. 6. Senate Floor bill 134 can be viewed here.
  • The House postponed the third reading of a bill that would give private schools the same rights as public schools when it comes to county zoning regulations. The bill would apply to building designs for schools of 50 or more students. It also requires a Wyoming non-profit corporation to own and operate the school. The House passed the bill on second reading on Feb. 21. The Senate passed the bill on third reading in January. Senate Floor bill 49 can be viewed here.
  • The Senate passed a concurrence vote for a bill that would authorize county clerks to request that voting ballots be sent to and counted at a central location. The Senate previously passed the bill on third reading Feb. 1 before it moved through the House. The House passed the bill on third reading Feb. 21 and sent it back to the Senate for a concurrence vote. A concurrence vote was needed because amendments not included in the version of the bill the Senate initially approved were added when it moved through the House. Senate Floor bill 99 can be viewed here.

All legislative action can be found at the State of Wyoming 65th Legislature website.