Here are a few thoughts on the latest bills posed on Wyoleg.gov.
Please reach out to your legislators and tell them to stop the shenanigans. No new taxes, free Wyoming from the clutches of the Feds, protect life, and quit lying to us about the purpose of bills. HB-162 and HJ-5 are the more classically deceptive kind of bait and switch legislators practice.
HB 138 Tax on unearned income – This would put a tax on unearned income greater than $200,000. It’s like they don’t understand “NO NEW TAXES!” A friend noted, “Passing this bill is the big lift. Next year, amending to $100,000 is easy. Then, $50,000. Before you know it, Wyoming has a real income tax.”
HB 157 Healthcare professional education endowment: Rep Harshman wants to create another boondoggle trust fund. Sure the purpose may be noble, but when Wyoming struggles to meet its bills as the national war on coal continues, we have no extra money to spend.
HB 162 Medical treatment opportunity act – Medicaid expansion by another name. The legislature has said no for eight or more straight years. Enough is enough. This bill shouldn’t make it past first reading.
HB 161 Wyoming’s tomorrow scholarship program: Geesh, do the legislators not understand Wyoming’s budget is in bad shape because of excessive spending on education? Here is yet another education-related spending bill when the state has NO MONEY! The Hathaway Scholarship will have to be enough until Wyoming either diversifies its economy or mineral recovery makes a comeback.
HB 169 Alcoholic liquors-markup amount: This bill wants to increase the state’s money from alcohol sales. While I’d prefer the state get out of the booze business altogether, this is another tax on Wyoming citizens. We need to repeat it, “NO NEW TAXES!”
HB 170 Wyoming economic development zones: The whole state is an economic development zone. Why do we need to create a false classification that puts one set of Wyomingites against another just because they live in a particular area? This will only lead to more spending and, like most of the state’s economic development, be a waste of taxpayer dollars.
HB 171 Executive branch funding restoration – Yikes, Thiry million MORE for the Governor to spend. What about saving money? Isn’t the Wyoming budget woefully out of balance and in need of severe spending cuts? Until we bit the bullet and face the fact we can’t keep spending, we will only kick the can down the road, again.
HJ 5 Protecting Wyoming citizens’ voices – As usual, the bill’s name is just the opposite of its intent. This is a “repeal Citizens United” measure. But, the Wyoming Education Association will get a pass. Why our legislators do not understand free speech is free speech. It does not matter if it’s done collectively by an organization (an incorporated person), a non-profit (another incorporated person) via donations from citizens or if it is done by a citizen (natural person)? It’s still free speech. It’s like the Democrats are writing these bills. Oh wait, let’s see, Barlow, Duncan, Oakley, Sweeney, Zwonitzer, and Wasserburger, never mind, the Democrats are.
HB 141 Transfer of Federal Lands – Time to put Wyoming on even footing with the state east of Colorado. The federal government should have no right to own land in Wyoming except to further the common defense and other constitutional uses.
HB 161 Human life equality-prohibiting discriminatory abortions: Stops abortions simply because the child is diagnosed with a disease or other attribute. Great pro-life bill, must pass.