Sundance Times - Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

By Chip Neiman
Marjority Floor Leader 

From the Desk of House Majority Floor Leader Chip Neiman


March 9, 2023

With the 67th General Session of the Wyoming Legislature complete, I am encouraged by the good work that has been done for the people of Wyoming and am especially heartened at the prospect of being home and seeing my family, friends and neighbors after a 40-day Legislative session. Thank you, for this honor to serve you.

I would like to highlight a few notable bills and new laws that I followed closely throughout the session:

HB0152 has been an important a priority of mine the entire session. Designed to address ongoing litigation that has suspended last year’s abortion trigger ban, this bill gets in front of potential lawsuits. Although it has had a number of stops and starts throughout the process, this legislation still strengthens and identifies the definition of when life begins. Key to the heart of its intent, the bill puts forward a new legal definition that distinguishes abortion from health care in Wyoming. HB0152 has passed the House and Senate and is awaiting further action by the Governor.

SF0133 prohibits biological males from participating in female sports. As a father with a daughter and granddaughters, I want all girls in Wyoming to be able to compete on a level playing field in sports. This bill has passed the Senate and House and awaits further action from the Governor.

As I have mentioned in previous updates, HB0103, known as the “crossover bill,” would stop residents from changing party affiliation or canceling their voter registration any time after the nomination period opens for candidates. This bill is now Wyoming law.

HB0099 provides immediate property tax relief by opening up the eligibility process of an existing property tax program to more Wyoming residents. The bill counters rising home values due to inflation by broadening eligibility for tax refunds to more qualifying residents. The bill bumps up eligibility to 125 percent of median income and allows for a refund of up to 75 percent of a residential property owner’s tax bill.

Joint Resolution 3 will go before Wyoming voters in the general election in 2024. If approved, the resolution would authorize the Legislature to create a subclass of owner-occupied primary residences. Creating this subclass is critical for the Legislature’s capability to bring bills in the future that could result in more meaningful property tax relief for Wyoming citizens. This resolution was signed by Governor Gordon on March 3.

HB0100 directs the Department of Revenue to enlist an outside consultant to conduct a study on the statutory, regulatory and procedural changes necessary to convert Wyoming’s residential property tax system to a system based on the acquisition value of the property. This bill was signed by the Governor and I look forward to an in-depth analysis on how best to further provide meaningful property tax relief to the people of Wyoming.

Finally, when it comes to saving and spending, my view is that the Legislature should be budgeting like a Wyoming family would. Although I am pleased with the amount of money HB001 saves, I believe the spending components of the bill do not reflect the realities Wyoming families face day-to-day. I don’t know one person who is able to spend twice as much as they save. That’s what this bill does, and that’s why I voted no.

To my family, I do not have the words to adequately express my thanks for taking charge while I have been away. To my wife Joni, my son Preston and daughter-in-law Doni, my daughter Hailey and son-in-law Jared, and to my grandkids, Evelyn, Jayden, Lucille and Shaye, thank you for all you did while I was in Cheyenne. I cannot thank you enough for all of the sacrifices you made while I was working on behalf of District 1.

It is my privilege to serve you as I continue to fight to ensure Wyoming remains the best place on earth. Please email me at [email protected] with your views, questions or concerns.


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