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January 15, 2009 3:42 am

Think the Wyoming Legislature has little to do with you?

Written by Tribune Staff

Look again

Bills before the 2009 Wyoming Legislature run the gamut this year, touching on just about every aspect of life in Wyoming.

If passed, measures before the Legislature this year would affect state residents in many ways, ranging from property tax relief (House Bills 37, 68, 87 and 138) to prohibiting smoking in enclosed public places (House Bill 31).

House Bill 30 would increase the state's minimum wage, particularly for people who wait tables at restaurants, while Senate File 39 would increase the income limit for families to qualify for the state's child health insurance program, and Senate File 43 would establish a state health-care reform project.

House Bill 40 would provide state-paid health-care coverage for legislators.

House Bill 115 would increase penalties for driving while under the influence, particularly for repeat offenders, while Senate File 61 would clarify deadlines for sex offenders to register, and would require them to register with county sheriffs rather than with the Division of Criminal Investigation.

House Bill 32 attempts to address federal issues with Wyoming's wolf-management statutes.

House Bill 11 would stiffen penalties for owners of dogs who chase wildlife, while Senate File 13 would allow the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission to close areas to antler collection.

House Bill 36 would restrict information that could be sold by telecommunication companies, and House Bill 49 would establish a year-long expiration date for unused marriage licenses.

House Bill 65 would allow customers to choose which companies they want to perform vehicle repairs covered by insurance.

House Bill 52 would allow some mineral royalties to be deposited into the Higher Learning Account to help fund Hathaway Scholarships.

House Bills 19 and 20 and Senate File 19 deal with costs and procedures for treating people with mental-health issues, and Senate File 17 would provide money to help pay for mental-health and substance-abuse programs.

House Joint Resolution 2 recognizes Interstate 80 as an important truck route that crosses the country and asks Congress to adequately fund needed reconstruction and maintenance on the federal highway.

These examples are only a brief introduction to the large number of bills waiting for lawmakers' attention over the next two months. As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 174 House bills, 107 Senate files and nine joint resolutions.

For more information on them, or to see the complete list of bills and files visit http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2009/Bills.htm.

The site also provides information on the latest actions taken on bills by the Legislature.