LEGISLATIVE UPDATE 2021

Your Wyoming Public Employees Association Lobbying for You

Our political activities take place year round -- not just during legislative sessions.  Several joint and interim committees meet throughout the year. We also attend and testify before the the Compensation Commission and Wyoming Retirement System Board  meetings around the state.  However, our most effective political action takes place during elections when our members educate and interview candidates. We endorse those that support Public Employees and we can contribute to their elections only through our Political Action Committee.  Please consider contributing.

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Legislative Committee Chairs

 

The following House Committee Chairs have been made for the 2021-2022 biennium:

Judiciary: Representative Jared Olsen - Chair

Appropriations: Representative Bob Nicholas - Chair

Revenue: Representative Steve Harshman - Chair

Education: Representative Jerry Paxton - Chair

Agriculture, State and Public Lands & Water Resources: Representative John Eklund - Chair

Travel, Recreation, Wildlife & Cultural Resources: Representative Jamie Flitner - Chair

Corporations, Elections & Political Subdivisions: Representative Dan Zwonitzer - Chair

Transportation, Highways & Military Affairs: Representative Donald Burkhart - Chair

Minerals, Business & Economic Development: Representative Mike Greear - Chair

Labor, Health & Social Services: Representative Sue Wilson - Chair

The following Senate Committee assignments were made for the 2021-2022 biennium:

Judiciary: Senator Tara Nethercott - Chair

Appropriations: Senator Drew Perkins - Chair

Revenue: Senator Cale Case - Chair

Education: Senator Charles Scott - Chair

Agriculture, State and Public Lands & Water Resources: Senator Brian Boner - Chair

Travel, Recreation, Wildlife & Cultural Resources: Senator Affie Ellis - Chair

Corporations, Elections & Political Subdivisions: Senator Ogden Driskill - Chair

Transportation, Highways & Military Affairs: Senator Bill Landen - Chair

Minerals, Business & Economic Development: Senator Jim Anderson - Chair

Labor, Health & Social Services: Senator Fred Baldwin - Chair

LONGEVITY DRAFT BILL TABLED

Longevity was raised briefly before the Joint Appropriations Committee on January 22, 2021 as the last item for Committee consideration. Chairman Representative Bob Nicholas (R) moved to table the bill indefinitely. Senator Mike Gierau (D) seconded. The motion passed on a vote of eight ayes and three noes. Voting aye was Mike Gierau, Bob Nicholas, Mark Kinner, Floyd Larsen, Andy Schwartz, Evan Simpson, Clark Stith and Tom Walters. No votes were cast by Larry Hicks, Dave Kinsky and Cheri Steinmetz. Co-Chair Drew Perkins (R) did not cast a vote as the motion passed without his vote.

WPEA lobbyist Ken Decaria was in attendance to testify on this legislation assisted with talking points provided by WPEA Executive Director Betty Jo Beardsley. Decaria was not required to testify due to the quick action taken by Chair Bob Nicholas. Contact Representative Bob Nicolas and thank him for his efforts on this bill. 

Unfortunately, Senator Hicks is sponsoring SF0097 State employee longevity pay-prospective repeal. WPEA will fight to block the introduction of this bill.

WPEA BILL WATCH LIST

The list of bills WPEA is following continues to grow as the Session proceeds. WPEA will continue to update the bill status as it changes. Look for updates weekly. Below is the list with the current bill status. Please note that several bills have been added to the list:

HB0002 School buildings and facilities study (Placed on General File)

HB0005 School buildings major maintenance (H Introduced/Referred to H04 Education)

HB0009 Short time compensation program (Senate President signed HEA NO. 0015 2/5/21)

HB0026 Fuel tax (H Received for Introduction)

HB0034 Youthful offender program - amendments (S 2nd Reading: Passed)

HB0036 Management Council membership (H Received for Introduction)

HB0052 Wyoming school protein enhancement project (Referred to HO5 Appropriations)

HB0055 Tobacco tax (H Placed on General File)

HB0061 School finance recalibration (H Introduced/Referred to H04 Education)

HB0074 Elected officials - removal (H Received for Introduction)

HB0076 Uniform statewide payment procession (H Received for Introduction)

HB0077 School district reorganization (H Received for Introduction)

HB0081 School finance litigation (H Received for Introduction)

HB0089 School finance amendments (H Introduced/Referred to HO4 Education)

HB0107 Retirement system-efficient disbursement method (H Introduced/Referred to H02 Appropriations)

HB0114 Property tax assessment (Introduced/H Referred to HO3 Revenue)

SF0002 School facilities project prioritization (S Referred to S04 Education)

SF0009 State employee moving expenses (S Introduced/Referred to S08 Transportation)

SF0020 Public records – personnel files (S Introduced/Referred to S01 Judiciary)

SF0035 State budget department (S Introduced Placed on General File)

SF0057 School finance – dates for fund transfers (H Placed on General File)

SF0063 PWMTF reserve account – distribution timing (H 2nd Reading: Passed)

SF0065 Government waste, fraud and abuse (Introduced/Referred to S01 Judiciary)

SF0073 Tolling authority for I-80 (Introduced/Referred to S08 Transportation)

SF0077 Legislator salary restrictions (S Received for Introduction)

SF0079 Medicaid billing for school-based services (S Introduced/Referred to S02 Appropriations)

SF0086 Attorney general-elected officials (S Introduced/Referred to S07 Corporations)

SF0094 Prohibiting coerced vaccinations (S Received for Introduction)

SF0095 Election of state health officer (S Received for Introduction)

SF0097 State employee longevity pay-prospective repeal (Bill number assigned 2/17/21)
 

Tracking On Other Bills and Legislative Drafts 

HB0107 is a bill that has been introduced and referred to H02 House Appropriations Committee. The bill would give the State Auditor the ability to consider alternate ways of executing pension payments instead of state auditor warrants.

21LSO-0238 Cost of Living Adjustment is a draft similar to HB112 in the 2020 session that would authorize two one-time "13th check" COLA payments based on time since retirement. One payment would be an appropriation and the second would come from the pension fund.

21LSO-0202 Fire A is draft legislation to resolve the funding situation for the closed pension plan. Plan assets could be exhausted in as little as 5-6 years with 273 pensioners still in the plan. This draft r3evives the issue with a fix with some state money, contributions from nine employe4rs and adjustments to the required 3.0% COLA

21LSO-0499 Wyoming Retirement System - post-retirement deferral is legislation that would required WRS developing and implementing an option for an existing retiree to pause their benefit and resume it later on a larger amount.

 

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