Hello House District 40:
Week five of the 2023 General Session of the 67th Wyoming Legislature is complete. We discussed a lot of subject areas this week. Notable bills addressed by the House of Representatives this week include the following:
HB 276 - Shed antlers and horns conservation stamp. This bill requires shed antler hunters to have a conservation stamp in order to collect shed antlers between May 1 and June 30. I amended the bill on third reading so that it would only apply to non-residents.
HB 127 - Health care facilities and clergy. This bill provides that a health care facility shall not prohibit a clergy member from visiting a patient or resident in that facility unless the clergy member refuses to follow the requirements of that the health care facility.
HJ 002 - Constitutional amendment-residential property class. This bill was an attempt to allow the residents of Wyoming to amend the Wyoming Constitution to provide meaningful property tax relief. It would have created a separate class of property for residential property so that citizen’s homes could be taxed at a lower rate. Ultimately, this bill was defeated by the House Freedom Caucus, therefore denying voters the opportunity to have their voice heard on this topic. I am unsure why the Freedom Caucus members voted against this important bill.
HB 98 - Property tax-homeowner’s exemption. This bill provides a homeowner’s exemption for residential property tax. The amount of the exemption passed by the House was $50,000. According to testimony on the floor, this bill will provide an annual tax relief of $270 to $330 based upon each county’s mill levy. This bill provides a band-aid for a much larger issue, but will provide immediate relief to our residents and I was glad it passed the House.
HB 152 – Life is a human right act. I voted in favor of this bill that passed the House with a vote of 46 – 16. I have concerns about both the constitutionality of parts of this bill and the original provision that would have repealed Wyoming’s abortion trigger ban law. I believe Wyoming’s current abortion ban that is working through the courts is the best vehicle we have for protecting life. This is why I brought and the House passed an amendment that HB 152 would only go into effect if the existing abortion trigger ban is ruled unconstitutional. This is a compromised approach which allows us multiple opportunities to protect the most life possible.
As always, I want to hear from you and can be reached at
Rep. Barry Crago represents House District 40 in the Wyoming State Legislature.
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