The Wyoming lottery bill makes history again. The fuel tax bill is debated in the Senate and Legislative leaders give their take on how the budget and the rest of the session is going so far.
The Senate passes the fuel tax bill on a first vote. House Bill 69 would raise the gas tax a dime a gallon generating $70 million a year for road maintenance and construction. An amendment to exclude cars and light trucks failed. Second vote Wednesday.
The Wyoming lottery bill on a roll as it squeaks out of the Senate Travel and Recreation Committee Tuesday 3-2. It's the first time a lottery bill has gotten this far. House Bill 77 provides for a state lottery and allows Wyoming to join the Powerball if approved by the lottery corporation the bill creates.
Money from lottery sales would go to cities and counties. One study shows revenues of $8-10 million a year. Another study shows $20-40 million a year. Opponents say a more realistic return would be closer to North Dakota's $6 million in revenues a year. One of the concerns Governor Mead and others have about a lottery is the social costs, both in gambling addiction and lower income folks spending too much on lottery tickets.
A bill that would give employers more incentive to make their workplaces safer passes a second Senate vote, that's House Bill 52.
House Bill 79, which amends the definition of unpaid wages to exclude accrued vacation, just the opposite of what the law is now, also passes a second Senate vote. Final vote on both bills Wednesday.
Over in the House, Representatives pass the gun silencer bill on a second reading, but Senate File 132 would prohibit silencers when hunting big game animals. Last house vote Wednesday.
Legislative leaders from both parties give an update on how this general session has been going from the budget to where to place future savings, but the big topic is education and both the House and Senate have selected their conferees to hash out the major differences in the budget. It could be done early next week.