Short Legislation Overview from the 2015 Session
Bills that have been signed by the Governor into law (HB is a House Bill, SF is a Senate File):
HB 47 (Shipment of wine) increased the amount of wine that is allowed to be “direct shipped” to Wyoming consumers from both in-state and out-of-state wineries from 18 to 36 liters. The WSLA supported this legislation provided that it remained at 36 liters, which is still well on the low end of the amounts that the 39 states that allow it.
HB 82 (Brewery and microbrewery licenses-definition) increased the cap for the qualification for Wyoming microbreweries from 15,000 barrels to 50,000 barrels. The WSLA supported this bill.
HB 96 (Catering permit limitation) removed the cap for catering permits for use at the University of Wyoming, in particular the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center. This bill will allow Laramie liquor retailers to expand their catering operations to further serve events at the University. The WSLA supported this bill.
HB 111 (Resort liquor licenses) allows holder of resort liquor licenses to “sub-lease” their food and beverage operations, providing an opportunity for independent owners/operators to operate in these businesses. HB 111 also further defined the qualifications for resort liquor licenses. The WSLA supported this bill.
SF 144 (Microbreweries -minimum barrel requirement) lowered the “floor” for the qualifications for microbreweries from 100 to 50 barrels. This bill was primarily in response to seasonal operations who had difficulties with hitting the 100 barrel mark when only open a few months out of the year. The WSLA supported this bill.
Bills that didn’t make it:
HB 24 (Minimum wage) would have raised the minimum wage in Wyoming to $9.00 an hour and the “tip credit” minimum wage to $5.00. The WSLA opposed this bill, and it was killed in the House Revenue Committee.
HB 140 (Malt beverage tax) would have increased the state excise tax on malt beverages to 19 cents a gallon, an over 800% increase. The WSLA opposed this bill, and it was killed in the House Revenue Committee.
HB 141 (Malt beverage tax – repeal) would have eliminated the state excise tax on malt beverages (see related article). The WSLA supported this bill, but it died waiting for a Senate Revenue Committee hearing.
HB 173 (Tobacco tax revisions) would have increased the state excise tax on cigarettes from 60 cents to $1.25 and increased the state excise tax on many other tobacco products from 10% to 20% of the retail price or 20% to 46% of the wholesale price. The WSLA opposed this bill, and it was killed in the House Revenue Committee.
SF 2 (Bar and grill liquor licenses) would have increased the number of bar and grill liquor licenses for every municipality and county in Wyoming. Since new licenses are due to be authorized in 2015 (see related article) the WSLA opposed this bill, and it was killed in the Senate Transportation Committee.
SF 106 (Powdered alcohol) would have banned the sale and possession of powdered alcohol in Wyoming (see related article). The WSLA supported this bill, but it was killed on the 3rd Reading in the House.
SF 131 (Minimum wage – staged increase) would have increased the minimum wage in Wyoming in staged increases from $7.75 in 2015, $8.50 in 2016, $9.25 in 2017 and $10.00 in 2018. The WSLA opposed this bill, and it was killed in the Senate Minerals Committee.
Other bills of interest:
HB 81 (Wyoming lottery distributions) extended the funding stream sunset for the Wyoming lottery from 2019 to 2022. This bill has been signed by the Governor into law.
HB 174 (Nicotine products regulation) requires that the liquid nicotine containers used for e-cigarettes have child-resistant packaging and adds further definitions for other nicotine related products. This bill has been signed by the Governor into law.
HB 218 (Minimum wage – federal minimum amount) would have made Wyoming’s minimum wage reflect the federal minimum wage. This bill died without a Committee hearing.
SF 130 (Lottery commission reporting requirements) requires the Wyoming Lottery Corporation to give quarterly reports to the Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Interim Committee in addition to the existing requirements of those reports being given to the Department of Audit and the Joint Revenue Interim Committee. This bill has been signed by the Governor into law.get_template_part('template-part-inline-editing','childtheme'); ?>