FIFTY-SIXTH WYOMING LEGISLATURE
APPROVED INTERIM COMMITTEE STUDIES
Topic #1: Waste Water Discharge in Powder River Basin.
· Issuance of waste water permits: surface landowner concerns.
· Monitoring wells - is the aquifer being depleted?
· Gathering systems, storage and reinjection.
Topic #2: Primacy Issues.
· Survey of people dealing with EPA and those with DEQ.
· Cost analysis.
· Number of people needed to assume primacy.
· Responsible agency: DEQ, Agriculture or Health.
Topic #3: Three Wind River Studies.
· Respond to Three Wind River Reservation Water Studies: Up-stream storage; Riverton east irrigation project; and Trans-basin diversion.
· Prepare legislation as required.
· Legal vehicle for a reservation application for state funds.
· Green River, Wind River Basin studies: Possible water storage projects.
· Water development and hydroelectric projects as relates to Wyoming Energy Commission.
· Water Resource Office at University of Wyoming.
JOINT JUDICIARY INTERIM COMMITTEE
Topic #1: Title 14 Revisions.
The topics to be studied include: the Juvenile Justice Act, including detention, multidisciplinary team (MDT) process and training, restraints/use of force, information sharing consent decrees, guardian ad litem issues, seriously emotionally disturbed/mental health and sanctions; protections, including adult protection services, information sharing, child protection/MDT, and service roles. Other potential subtopics include juvenile probation and children in need of supervision.
Topic #2: Incarceration of Persons with Mental Illness or Substance Abuse Issues.
Issues relate to the incarceration of persons having mental illness or substance abuse problems. May form Joint Subcommittee with the Joint Labor, Health and Social Services Interim Committee.
Topic #3: Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers' Retirement. (Assigned by Management Council)
Possible Additional Topics:
The Committee is interested in reviewing additional topics, including detoxification commitment, the Public Records Act/federal Freedom of Information Act, and felony record expungment.
JOINT APPROPRIATIONS INTERIM COMMITTEE
Topic #1: School Capital Construction.
The Committee is responsible for reporting to the 2002 Legislature with recommendations on K-12 capital construction projects for which funds were appropriated this session.
Topic #2: State Correctional Facility Issues.
The Committee will monitor issues at the state penitentiary. These include the life safety issues at the old facility, out-of-state housing of inmates, on-going construction of the new facility, and issues concerning staffing and salaries. Additionally, the Committee is tentatively planning several meetings around the state in order to allow new Committee members to visit the other correctional facilities and to discuss construction projects and other issues at those facilities.
Topic #3: Other Major Budget Issues.
The Committee will monitor major budget issues prior to next budget session. These include but are not limited to: implementation of salary increases; capital construction appropriations; Medicaid match rates; standard versus base budgets; and other budget issues that arise between now and next session.
· The Committee will receive several reports on various issues as required by statutes passed this session and will need to deal with those reports.
· The Committee is required to make recommendations on the external cost adjustment for K-12 financing by November 1 of each year.
JOINT REVENUE INTERIM COMMITTEE
Topic #1: Revenue Sources for Cities and Towns.
· Study of special districts.
Topic #2: Taxes Related to Electrical Generation.
· Unit tax on utility consumption.
· Incentives on property sites.
· Generation tax.
· Coordinate with Wyoming Energy Commission.
Topic #3: Telecommunications and All Taxation Aspects.
· In conjunction with Federal Telecom Sourcing Act.
Miscellaneous Topics (If time Permits):
· Sales/use taxation of oilfield equipment.
· Miscellaneous topics - Select Committee on Minerals:
o Valuation work report due to Revenue September 1, 2001.
o Severance tax prepayment statute.
o Minor recodification of fuel tax and components definitions.
JOINT EDUCATION INTERIM COMMITTEE
Topic #1: Graduation Standards.
Topics included in 2001 House Bill 0016 addressing concerns with statewide graduation standards.
Topic #2: Quality of Education Issues.
Education quality and innovation issues including merit pay, continuing contracts, charter schools and testing trends.
JOINT AGRICULTURE, PUBLIC LANDS AND WATER RESOURCES INTERIM COMMITTEE
Topic #1: Custom Range Permits.
Study custom range permits (interstate and intrastate) and the feasibility of having range regions for the use of brands.
Topic #2: Land Trusts.
Study agricultural land trusts, conservation easements for the purpose of preserving land for agriculture use and the interaction between agricultural land and wildlife.
Topic #3 Agriculture Operations.
· Study whether animal feeding operations and sugar beet operations are in need of assistance as well as what the impact would be on local communities in the event that these businesses were to go bankrupt. Included in this study will be a reevaluation of the grain act (W.S. 11-11-101 through 11-11-117) and how it fits in with warehouse and producer lien laws.
· Innovative programs that other states may have implemented to preserve agricultural lands and keep people in the agriculture industry.
JOINT TRAVEL, RECREATION, WILDLIFE AND CULTURAL RESOURCES INTERIM COMMITTEE
Topic #1: Use of State Parks.
· Includes management problems related to public use and access to state lands (not including state trust lands). Also included is the current management of state parks and habitat areas whether purchased with state or federal funds.
Topic #2: State Parks and Historic Sites General Study and Tour.
· Tours of specified parks and a review of the overall system to determine appropriate goals of the state park system.
· Review of the original tribal grant of lands included in Hot Springs State Park.
· Local projects for prioritization of possible state assistance.
· Review of the concessionaire program at Hot Springs State Park for possible application to other parks.
Topic #3: Tourism.
The Committee will be seeking a report from the Business Council's tourism division, and reviewing expenditures for and benefits from tourism and will follow up as necessary.
Topic #4: Landowner/Wildlife Interactions.
Within this topic are the issues of compensation payments to landowners for damages; and public access for hunting and fishing, including review of access to private lands under the fee program previously authorized. It is envisioned this will be a two year project.
JOINT CORPORATIONS, ELECTIONS AND POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS INTERIM COMMITTEE
Topic #1: Election Code Revisions.
Review of issues related to the election code. These will include such subjects as the dates of state and county central committee organizational meetings, contests for election of U.S. presidential electors. Also review recommendations from the national panel of state elections officers as well as those from county election officers.
Topic #2: Public Service Commission - Regulation of Utilities.
Review of several areas regulated by the Public Service Commission. Study will include among other things a review of the telecommunications act, with focus on the universal service fund and other regulated utilities.
JOINT TRANSPORTATION AND HIGHWAYS INTERIM COMMITTEE
Topic #1: Extreme Weather and Chain Laws.
· Regulating and handling of traffic in extreme weather conditions and the effect of the present chain laws and whether they need to be revised in order to help alleviate the effects of extreme weather in Wyoming.
Topic #2: Four Lane Highway System.
· Feasibility of adding an additional system of four-lane highways to the existing state highway system.
· Possible tour of the proposed sites with WYDOT and public hearings.
Availability and accessibility of RV disposal
· Highway beautification, signage, etc.
Topic #3: Public Safety Communications for Emergency Services.
· An extensive study of public safety communications; city, county and state emergency services [includes fire, ambulance, game and fish, etc., services] and what needs to be accomplished, if anything, to coordinate and upgrade the local and state systems.
· Education regarding these services will also be considered.
· Information will also be gathered regarding railroad transportation performances and the effects of the movement of oversized and overweight trucks.
JOINT MINERALS, BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INTERIM COMMITTEE
Topic #1: Better define gathering and transmission for both royalty and taxation in valuing natural gas, oil and condensate. The Committee initially will focus on these issues as they relate to coalbed methane.
· The topic involves three issues: 1) According to the Department of Revenue, audits of producers indicate different points of valuation and custody transfer are being used; 2) There has been litigation regarding claims by private royalty owners and the state that producers are deducting costs not entitled to deduction for royalty payment purposes; and 3) The peculiarities of coalbed methane (CBM) gathering and transmission present a new set of problems which need to be addressed.
· The Committee will review these issues, including reviewing the cases, to determine what, if any, legislation is needed to clarify the point of valuation for tax or royalty purposes.
Topic #2: Regional Haze.
According to DEQ, under federal law Wyoming will need to make decisions regarding this issue before the Fall of 2003. DEQ will advise the Committee regarding the requirements and options under the federal regulations governing regional haze. The Committee can then weight its options: 1) Pursue legislation needed for Wyoming to fall under a particular regional haze federal regulation; 2) Not pursue legislation which would result in the state falling under different federal regulations.
Topic #3: Distribution of Severance Taxes on Certain Natural Gas Wells.
Administrative problems arise in distributing severance tax collected from natural gas wells less than 2,000 feet in depth pursuant to W.S. 39-14-211(j). That provision requires that one-half of the 4% severance taxes collected from shallow wells be deposited in the permanent Wyoming mineral trust fund. The Department of Revenue is unable to enforce the provisions at this time. The Committee will review the specifics of this issue and recommend any legislation needed to address it.
Items for the Committee to Monitor:
· Implementation of the voluntary remediation of contaminated sites legislation with respect to "orphan" site remediation.
· Wyoming Energy Commission (SF 185). Under the bill, the commission is to provide a preliminary report to the Committee by December 15, 2001.
JOINT LABOR, HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES INTERIM COMMITTEE
Topic #1: Health.
Health issues are undergoing rapid change as a result of cost escalation, federal legislation and court decisions. Additionally, the Wyoming Legislature has established a one year sunset on nursing home care which necessitates the Committee's continued work on Medicaid/insurance, the elderly and long term care. Issues include:
· Prescription drugs.
· Mental health parity insurance and correctional mental health.
· Substance abuse prevention and treatment.
· Consultation with the Miner's Hospital Board.
Topic #2: Social Services.
· The Committee has statutory responsibility in the realignment of agencies into the Department of Workforce Services.
· Proposed regulations regarding child care may necessitate legislation.
Topic #3: Labor.
· Two issues dominate Workers' compensation - (a) implementation of the new North American Industrial Classification System was deferred for interim work as it is complicated; and (b) workers' compensation coverage as it impacts the University of Wyoming (HB 95) arose as a problem during this session. The Employment Department has identified several statutory changes needed to solve administrative problems.
· Management Council directed the Committee to review the constitutional provision prohibiting actions against negligent employers in light of 2001 HJ 7, which failed in the general session.
The following Committees to continue with their regular duties:
Management Audit Committee
Select Committee on Capital Financing and Investments
Select Committee on Legislative Facilities
Select Committee on the Legislature
Select Committee on Tribal Relations
Select Committee on School Capital Construction