Legislative Roundup: Search and rescue immunity bill moves forward
JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Rep. Keith Gingery’s bill to grant search and rescue volunteers immunity from on-the-job lawsuits has moved from committee to a House floor vote early next week.
As Gingery expected, the second half of the bill was struck down. That part would have granted local sheriffs the power to set an amount for the reimbursement of costs associated with a rescue mission in certain situations.
Some members of the Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions committee felt that people in need of rescue might be deterred from calling for help knowing they could be billed for their own rescue. The bill was amended to exclude that section.
Fuel Tax bill passes House today
HB 69 passed the third and final reading in the House today on a 35 to 24 vote. The legislation passed second reading on Wednesday, 34 to 26. An amendment to reduce the 10 cent increase to five cents per gallon was shot down yesterday.
The bill is now headed to the Senate side.
At least two other bills, dealing with funding mechanisms for the Highway Department, were tabled until lawmakers see what happens with the fuel tax hike. An additional 10 cents per gallon is estimated to cost the average family that drives 20,000 miles a year about an extra $8 a month. The tax increase is expected to bring about $72 million in revenue for state and county roads.