Updates from the Legislature

Submitted by Representative Tyler Lindholm, House District #1

Greetings from…Sundance! While the Wyoming State Legislature Budget Session is very close to wrapping up, we are not done yet. While the House and Senate agreed to a Budget, negotiations on funding for capital construction continued late into the evening on Saturday.

A compromise was reached, but there was not enough time to write the legislation and pass it before midnight on Saturday (and state statute prohibits the legislature from working on Sunday).

As a result, the legislature has recessed until Wednesday, when we will return to vote on capital construction funding and consider overrides of any vetoes done by Governor Matt Mead. The Governor has the authority to veto any bills passed by the legislature, as well as strike out individual lines of the budget.

The legislature can override these vetoes by a 2/3 majority vote. As of today, Governor Mead has not vetoed any legislation.

While the House and Senate passed a budget bill on Saturday, I ultimately voted against the legislation. The budget keeps funding levels for most state agencies largely level, with some increases to social services. Funding for capital construction and education will be voted on this week.

With reduced revenues still projected into the foreseeable future, I remain concerned we are spending more than we can afford. The legislature is continuing to dip into our savings to cover expenses instead of making reductions that will drive down our estimated $850 million deficit.

Without a change in direction soon, calls for tax increases will only grow louder. I will continue to work to reduce government spending and fight back against any efforts to increase taxes.

As you likely know, I was proud to champion a series of bills this session to help drive and support blockchain technology in Wyoming. On Friday, Governor Mead signed into law five important bills to empower blockchain entrepreneurs and innovators — House Bill 70, Open Blockchain Tokens Exemptions, House Bill 101, Electronic Corporate Records, House Bill 126, Limited Liability Companies-Series, and House Bill 19, Wyoming Money Transmitter Act-virtual currency exemption and Senate File 111, Property taxation-digital currencies.

I attended the bill signing with some of my colleagues in the House and Senate and even got to take home the pen the Governor used to sign the legislation into law!

This session we passed a number of bills to diversify Wyoming’s economy for the long-term, make government more accountable and efficient, ensure schools and local communities have the adequate funding they need and protect personal liberties and freedoms.

Among the important measures passed were bills to improve broadband access, add computer science to the state educational program, provide workforce training, encourage entrepreneurialism and innovation and defend Second Amendment rights.

It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the people of House District 1 this session. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at 307-282-0968 or email me at Tyler.Lindholm@wyoleg.gov. You can also find updates about my work during the interim on my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Tyler4HD1.