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Legislative session continues on at rapid pace

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Cheyenne – With crossover on Feb. 26, the Wyoming Legislature is moving forward with only a fraction of the nearly 400 bills offered during the 2024 Budget Session of the 67th Wyoming Legislature. 

“Session is going rapidly,” commented Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA) Executive Vice President Jim Magagna. “Legislators are focused on the budget right now. The House had more than 80 amendments on Feb. 21, and the Senate had huge numbers as well.” 

Wyoming Farm Bureau (WyFB) Director of Public and Government Affairs Brett Moline echoed Magagna’s thoughts, noting there have been both wins and disappointments during the session. 

Top priorities

Magagna noted most of WSGA’s priorities moved forward, with the exception of bills on eminent domain sponsored by the Ag Committee.

“Other bills, including the ones on state lands, are moving along fine,” he said. “One of the most important ones left to us is wildlife damage.”

While House Bill (HB) 60 made it out of committee without problems, there are concerns from the sportsmenʼs community.

“The bill provides landowners will get paid 150 percent the going rate for private leases for wildlife damage,” Magagna explained. “I think this will probably be reduced as the bill moves forward, which is understandable.”

Property taxes

A continuing hot topic this session is property tax bills continue to move forward.

Moline commented, “At least the majority of the property tax bills are going forward. We had hoped legislators would make up their mind, and instead of debating 12 bills, debate four or five.” 

Moline also noted instead of being assigned to the Senate Revenue Committee, these bills moved through Senate Judiciary, which was an interesting development.

Getting the most press currently, Wyoming Rep. Steve Harshman’s bill HB 203, Property tax reduction and replacement act, proposes to exempt the fair market value of a single family home valued at $200,000 or less in 2024 and $1 million or less each tax year thereafter from property taxes. 

At the same time, the bill would impose an additional two percent sales tax, increasing the state sales tax from four percent to six percent.

“On the property tax side, we see relief, but a lot of things farmers and ranchers have to buy – like pickups and equipment – are subject to sales tax,” Magagna said. “We’re concerned over time, a sales tax increase could be a pretty big burden.”

Further, Magagna noted the bill could set a precedent to increase sales taxes when there are challenges in revenue.

Moline noted, “There are good things and bad things for all of the property tax bills. We’ll see more of these bills continue to progress, but I hope we see them narrowed down.”

Other ag bills

Magagna further commented, on bills which deal with federal involvement in the state, saying there is more work to do in the interim. 

“We also got a bill out of the way which would have required more public disclosure on the initial non-negative brucellosis test,” he explained. “We were not in favor of the bill, and it’s gone for this year. There were a number of other bills that just didn’t make it beyond committee.” 

Moline noted water bills have gone forward, including Senate File 66, which addresses change in use, and bills about foreign ownership of land in Wyoming are in various stages of the process. 

“There are still some concerns these bills are unconstitutional,” he said. “We’d like to see this discussed more in the interim, so we can have a good discussion on the topic.” 

Legislative gatherings

Both the WSGA and WyFB hosted legislative receptions, inviting both members and legislators together to discuss issues important for their organizations. 

“Our meeting was pretty good,” Moline mentioned. “We had decent weather and good attendance.” 

While legislator attendance wasn’t what they hoped, Moline also noted one of the hardest parts of the shortened Budget Session is organizations must stack their receptions on top of one another to provide opportunities for their membership to interface with legislators. 

Magagna noted WSGA’s session was also well attended and a success.

“We can see some of the legislators are worn out. They worked until 11 p.m. or later on Feb. 19, and that’s tiring,” he said. 

Both organizations anticipate crossover, which will weed out a number of bills that haven’t completed the process in their House of Origin.

“There is still a lot of work to do,” Magagna concluded.

Follow the work of the 67th Wyoming Legislature at

Saige Zespy is a corresponding writer for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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