New laws explained and moves to bring in more companies

Thayne Peterson, area attorney, explained Tuesday night some of the new laws passed by the 2019 Legislature. PIONEER PHOTO/Virginia Giorgis

LYMAN — Some of Wyoming’s new laws, which went into effect July 1, and the economic development co-ordination between Uinta County and south Lincoln County were discussed Tuesday night at the Lyman Town Hall.

Only a few people attended the program, which was sponsored by the Bridger Valley Chamber. Valley attorney Thayne Peterson emceed the event about the laws passed by the 2019 legislature. One of the new laws allows the grounds to terminate parental rights of the father if he raped the woman. There were also changes in providing protective custody, giving grandparents more legal standing in cases of problem families.

Some of the other changes due to the new laws were also discussed. One included the state setting up a 3-judge panel for the Chancery courts. They will travel the state and deal with business law problems.

Peterson spoke about the state setting up a hemp crop and said some Bridger Valley growers had expressed interest in the new crop. He said hemp was “not smokeable marijuana.” Danny Eyre, HD19, noted, growers who get involved in hemp would be required to have their products tested to assure it is in the acceptable realm.

In the education realm, as for the “accreditation for teachers and schools,” some additional flexibility was added. This was to provide more local control and not so much “top down” regulation.

The state also set up some rules for coal-fired plants. If a company wanted to retire the energy plants early, which utilize coal, the company must offer the plant for sale. According to Eyre, this was seen as a way to extend the life of the plant and would affect “millions of dollars and lots of jobs.”

In the education realm, as for the “accreditation for teachers and schools,” some additional flexibility was added. This was to provide more local control and not so much “top down” regulation.

The second portion of the evening provided information on the joint effort of the Uinta County and South Lincoln County economic development committee. According to Owen Petersen, the two counties were working to try to bring additional industry or development to the area.

Some ideas focused on widening the wind turbine industry so more back-up services are provided in the local area, bringing in call centers, increasing areas of industries, services and tourism.

One of the comments from the floor was based on the lack of people-power as the areas don’t have a large population base.

It was also stated, the Wasatch Front is one of the fastest growing areas in the United States and the area could draw on its growth by marketing this area as the “Wasatch Frontier.”

One idea kicked around was the 1-cent increase in sales tax. It was stated this is being talked about in Evanston and in Mountain View. Questions from the floor asked about if this would go to a vote from residents and how the money would be divided up for the entities – county, Evanston, Lyman and Mountain View. This would raise Uinta County’s sales tax to 6-cents.

It was stated the extra 1-cent facilities tax is currently being utilized in Sweetwater County , bit a check with the Wyoming Dept. of Revenue Thursday morning showed Sweetwater is at the same 5-cent sales tax as Uinta County.

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