CHEYENNE - District No. 3 Sen. Cheri Steinmetz provides a legislative update on Friday, Jan. 18:
"The second week of the 65th General Session of the Wyoming State Legislature concluded today with 345 bills having been filed, 131 in the Senate and 214 in the House of Representatives.
Senator Cheri Steinmetz (R-Lingle) serves on the Senate Agriculture, State and Public Lands & Water Resources Committee and the Senate Transportation, Highways & Military Affairs Committee. In addition, Senator Steinmetz is working to move forward legislation that will help improve safety on Wyoming’s waterways, ensure the longterm financial health of county fairs, protect the integrity of Wyoming elections and bolster Wyoming education opportunities.
Senate File 40, Operation of motorboat, would amend the alcohol concentration level that constitutes operation of a motorboat by an intoxicated person, making the legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) levels the same as for motor vehicles. The legislation was introduced in the Senate and is awaiting further consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Ensuring the safety and well-being of Wyoming families is one of our most important duties,” said Senator Steinmetz. “Senseless boating accidents involving alcohol claim the lives of Wyoming citizens every year. Senate File 40 simply puts in place the same legal limits for BAC levels we have for motor vehicles.”
Senator Steinmetz is also sponsoring Senate File 41, County fair endowment, which authorizes each county to establish a county fair endowment fund. Earlier this week, the legislation was approved unanimously by the Senate Agriculture, State and Public Lands & Water Resources Committee and passed on Second Reading in the Senate. Upon Third Reading in the Senate, and approval, the bill will next go to the House of Representatives for consideration.
“Wyoming people are very generous and are continually looking for ways to give and improve their communities. County Fairs are a storied part of Wyoming history and an important economic driver,” said Senator Steinmetz. “They are where our children grow up, show their livestock and compete for blue ribbons. We must make certain our county fairs have the tools they need to be economically viable for the long-term while alleviating some of the financial pressures at the local level through philanthropy.”
Senate File 94, Secretary of state-nomination qualifications, is also sponsored by Senator Steinmetz. The bill would authorize the Secretary of State to refuse to file nomination applications to run for elected offices should the applicant fail to meet the qualifications to run. Senate File 94 has been filed in the Senate and is awaiting a hearing in the Senate Corporations, Elections & Political Subdivisions.
Senator Steinmetz is also working to shepherd through the legislature Senate File 99, Voting systems and ballots. The bill would authorize the counting of ballots at a central counting location as well as alternative methods of voting. This bill will be heard in the Senate Corporations, Elections & Political Subdivisions.
“Protecting the integrity of our electoral process is essential,” said Senator Steinmetz. “We must do everything we can to ensure fair and honest elections and that all candidates are held to the same qualification standards.”
Senator Steinmetz also introduced an amendment to Senate File 16, Community development districts, to ensure a fair election process and that districts have the resources they need to conduct an adequate and accessible voting process. Senate File 16 would authorize municipalities to create community development districts to support infrastructure building. Senator Steinmetz successfully ushered through an amendment to make certain that elections held concerning these community development districts are done in accordance with Wyoming election law and that resources be provided for an adequate voting process.
Senator Steinmetz is also advocating for Senate Joint Resolution 4, State-federal school trust lands exchange. This resolution calls on the United States Congress to enact legislation requiring the exchange of certain landlocked state trust lands in Wyoming. As the state faces an education funding shortfall, it is more important than ever that Wyoming have the ability to recognize the full value of state trust lands.
Senator Steinmetz is a co-sponsor of Senate File 9, Audit Requirements for special fire and water districts. The bill would exempt fire protection districts and water and sewer districts from the audit requirements of the Uniform Municipal Fiscal Procedures Act audit requirements and permit them to operate under a tiered system of reporting requirements designed to reduce the cost to smaller districts so that limited funds can be used for services rather than reporting requirements.
Citizens interested in following the work of the Wyoming State Legislature can listen online, track bills and contact their legislators at www.wyoleg.gov."