SHERIDAN — With the 2015 legislative session in the rearview mirror, local representatives don’t just turn the page to the 2016 budget session, as some of the most meaningful work leading up to Feb. 8 will take place in committees.
Sheridan County legislators serve on a wide array of groups, each of which will serve different functions leading up to next year’s budget session.
Republican House Majority Leader Rosie Berger, House District 51, is on the Rules and Procedures Committee. This committee will not meet in the interim — its role is to discuss rule questions that pop up during the legislative session.
Berger also sits on the Management Council, Council of State Government West Executive Committee, National Conference of State Legislatures Executive and Redistricting and Elections committees and the Capitol Building Restoration Oversight Group.
HD 40 Rep. Mike Madden, R-Buffalo, serves on the Joint Revenue Committee with Sen. Dave Kinskey, R-Sheridan, of Senate District 22.
The board will look at local government funding issues as its top priority, namely the ability of municipalities to build and sustain financial stability and sales tax distributions back to local government entities.
Other topics include a revenue study, tax exemptions, investment of local government reserve funds and liens.
This committee is tentatively scheduled to meet May 19-20 in Rawlins and Saratoga.
Madden also serves on the House Rules and Procedures Committee, while Kinskey also serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Rep. Mark Jennings, R-Sheridan, will represent HD 30 on the House Revenue Committee and the Joint Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Interim Committee.
This joint committee lists its No. 1 priority as the Department of Insurance, including internal audit functions, an update of insurance laws, Pharmacy Act amendments and auditing procedures.
This committee will also look at election laws, mill levies and local government financing, downtown development, digital information privacy and more.
The first meeting is slated for May 21-22.
When he returns to work, Rep. John Patton, R-Sheridan, serves on the Joint Education Committee, House Rules and Procedures Committee, NCSL Education and Legislative Effectiveness committees.
Sen. Bruce Burns, R-Sheridan, will serve on the Joint Appropriations Committee. The SD 21 legislator and others on this committee should have their hands full, as the early schedule lists 12 priorities for review.
The Legislative Stabilization Reserve Account is ranked No. 1. The board will examine and consider LSRA size and its cash budgeting, preparation of temporary or prolonged downturn in revenues and other obligations.
The community college funding model, state accounts, Tobacco Trust Income Account, retirement system, local hospital funding and various other topics are scheduled for review.
Committee assignments come out at the beginning of each biennium following elections and new House and Senate leadership, so current legislators received their placements in 2014.
The next change is scheduled for November 2016 for the 2017 and 2018 sessions of the Wyoming Legislature.