Wyoming State Liquor Association Legislative Report March 16, 2008
The WSLA had a very successful 2008 Budget Session; all the bills we opposed were killed, and the bill we supported has been signed by the Governor. We had a very challenging year with many bills taking the WSLA on directly, and thanks to your grassroots support and the legislative clout of the WSLA, we made it. As always, feel free to contact the office with any questions at 307-634-6484 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. These are the top WSLA issues of the 2008 Budget Session; HB means House Bill, SF means Senate File.
SF 12 (Dispensing rooms – products sold) – sponsored by Sen. Ray Peterson and Rep. Owen Petersen – allows limited non-alcohol retail sales in Wyoming liquor retail establishments. SF 12 allows sales of t-shirts with the business name, pool and dart supplies and magazines and periodicals (including adult material). “Magazines and periodicals” was removed in House Minerals Committee, but replaced with “ newspapers, magazines and periodicals” on 2nd Reading. This bill is effective July 1, 2008. WSLA supports. Passed Senate and House and signed by the Governor into law.
HB 2 (Alcohol taxes to treat substance abuse) – would have increased the Wyoming malt beverage tax over nine times and also earmarked all the profits from the Wyoming Liquor Division markup on sales (almost $10 million) that currently goes to the General Fund. WSLA opposed. Killed on House Introduction.
HB 140 (Optional alcoholic beverage tax) – would have created a local option to increase the excise tax on alcohol for the funding of local alcohol abuse treatment of prevention programs. HB 140 could have increased the malt beverage tax by 12 times and the alcohol and wine tax by an average of 3 times. WSLA opposed. Died without House Introduction.
HB 87 (Smoke free – enclosed public places) – would have banned smoking in public places and Wyoming businesses statewide including bars, clubs and restaurants. The WSLA believes that the decision to go smoke-free should be the choice of the business or the consumer, or at the very least the city or town, but certainly not a state mandate. WSLA opposed. Killed on House Introduction.
SF 20 (Bar and grill liquor license) – would have changed the formula for the number of “bar and grill“ liquor licenses allowed by Wyoming municipalities. Not only would it change the formula agreed upon two years ago, but it would allow up to 12 bar and grill licenses to be issued in a “downtown development district.” WSLA opposed. Killed on Senate Introduction.
HB 166 (Minimum wage) – would have increased the minimum wage in Wyoming to $7.25 by 2009 and would have increased the tip credit minimum wage for employees from $2.13 to $3.50 per hour. WSLA opposed. Died on House General File.
HB 165 (Bar and grill licenses – downtown revitalization) – would have allowed cities and towns with a “downtown development district“ to receive an additional 4 bar and grill liquor licenses. WSLA opposed.Died on House General File.