Wyoming Education Bill Heads To State Senate
House Bill 236 was approved on third and final reading by house members on Tuesday. The final version of the house bill includes a 0.5 percent sales tax that would go into effect once the state's ''rainy day fund" is reduced to $500 million. The vote in favor of the bill in the House Tuesday was 43-16.
That fund currently stands at $1.6 billion, but it is being used to help make up shortfalls in education funding.
The inclusion of a sales tax in the bill has been an ongoing issue. The bill at one point included a two-cent sales tax, then a 0.5 percent tax, then no tax and finally the version of the bill that includes the lower sales tax figure.
Laramie County Republican rep. Dan Zwonitzer says at current spending levels, the "rainy day fund" could drop to the $500 million amount that would trigger the sales tax in about three years.
But Zwonitzer also says he expects the Senate to make major changes in House Bill 236.
If that happens a six-member conference committee would then meet to hammer out a compromise that both houses can support.
Zwonitzer says the final version of the bill may end up looking very different from the bill that the house signed off on.