Legislative Report: Senates Validates Marriage Bill [AUDIO]
The governor signs more bills Friday, including one that many Albany County lawmakers say will be a game changer for that county. The Senate gave final approval to the "validity of marriage" bill. Amy Richards has these stories and more in Friday's Legislative Report.
This Legislative Report is brought to you by Hilltop National Bank.
Gov. Matt Mead signed original House Bill 117 into law today. The bill will give a sales tax exemption to data centers built in Wyoming. Verizon is looking at possibly building a mega data center in Laramie and several Albany County lawmakers said House Bill 117 will help a great deal. Rep. Glen Moniz:
Rep. Glen Moniz, development incentive:
"We're just hoping this bill as it passed will assist in us acquiring the data processing stuff we need in the state all along the I-80 corridor it will be I think a benefit to any community and we're looking forward to it progressing."
Rep. Kermit Brown says the bill is a step towards diversifying the economy not only in Albany County but the state as well.
Rep. Kermit Brown, good as it gets:
"We want the businesses that are clean; we want the high paying jobs that go with them. We don't want any of the industrial sort of stuff that's messy and environmentally destructive and brings with it a whole bunch of social problems, and I tell you, this is a dream. This is as good as we're going to get."
The Senate passed the "validity of marriage" bill on a 16-14 third-reading vote today. The bill would not recognize gay marriages from other states in Wyoming. the bill was amended to allow those who have civil unions in other states access to the courts. Sen. Drew Perkins who voted for the bill explains why he supported it.
Sen. Drew Perkins, equal footing:
"What 74 does if it's signed and becomes law is it would put and treat everyone similarly situated equally, so what that means is if you went to another state and got married, or, a same-sex marriage or a plural marriage, and came to Wyoming that that's not going to be recognized. You're going to be on the same footing as everyone in Wyoming."
Sen. Cale Case says the bill doesn't do what the supporters think it does and sends a bad message about Wyoming.
Sen. Cale Case, intended fix:
"Bad bill, bad policy, and it doesn't fix what the people bringing think it'll fix. It doesn't fix, ensure the definition of marriage we already have a law in Wyoming has marriage between a man and a woman."
That bill must go back to the House to see if that chamber concurs with changes made by the Senate.
The Senate also passed House Bill 111 on third and final reading today. (Friday.) Josh Carnahan, president of the Association of Builders and Contractors says the bill tightens up existing law regarding residency requirements for Wyoming businesses.
Josh Carnahan, president ABC:
"While our economy is a lot better than surrounding states, we see a lot of contractors coming into Wyoming to do business. Well, under the current law, they can actually just come up here and one person can be considered a business. They don't have any legitimate presence; they rent an office space, and if they're bringing employees in, they're bringing them across the border and then they're sending them home on the weekend. This bill does away with shingle hangers and invites businesses into Wyoming to set up a legitimate presence and do business with the state."
Lawmakers are off on Monday for the Presidents Day holiday. With the Legislative Report, I'm Amy Richards for K2 Radio News.