Bills Proposing Tax Increases, Legal Marijuana Die In Legislature

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

Measures proposing tax increases and marijuana legalization died in the House on Monday as a deadline for their first review passed.

The bills calling for fuel and tobacco tax increases and a proposal to examine the legalization of marijuana were victims of the “general file cutoff,” the deadline for the review of bills by the full House after they have been examined by committees.

The bills were among 23 that died Monday with no debate as the deadline passed.

The marijuana regulation bill, sponsored by Rep. Jared Olsen, R-Cheyenne, would have established requirements for the production, testing and sale of marijuana

The state Legislative Service Office estimated the taxes on legal marijuana sales would total about $45 million a year.

Representatives also failed to review a bill that would have directed the state public health officer to develop a report on allowing the use of marijuana in the state to treat medical conditions.

Two tax bills, one proposing an 9-cent per gallon increase on gasoline and diesel taxes int he state and one adding 84 cents in taxes on a pack of cigarettes, both died without review.

According to the LSO, the fuel tax increase would have raised about $60 million per year for the state, while the tobacco tax increase would have brought in an extra $7 million per year.

Other bills to die on Monday included one that would have applied sales taxes to digital streaming services, 

One bill that was debated on the floor Monday but killed in a vote would have created a training program for Wyoming students to teach them to recognize signs of suicidal tendencies among their classmates. 

The bill was brought to the House by freshman legislator Rep. Rachel Rodriguez-Williams, R-Cody, after it was killed by a committee during interim work.

“But what’s most important is that we’re building resiliency in our youth,” she said. “And we’re also teaching new skills. We’re teaching youth to recognize the signs and symptoms that come along with suicidal thinking.”

The bill was rejected in its first reading Monday by a vote of 26-32.

Wyoming’s Senate left no Senate files unexamined on its general file.

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