Wyoming digest

Feb 17, 2017 From wire reports

Phony service animals could become crime

CHEYENNE (AP) -- A Wyoming lawmaker wants to make misrepresenting a pet as a service animal a crime.

The Senate Travel Committee on Tuesday advanced a bill that would criminalize pet owners calling their dogs' service animals in order to bring them places like restaurants, stores or rental properties. The bill already passed the Wyoming House.

Rep. Landon Brown, R-Cheyenne, sponsored the bill. He says misrepresenting pets delegitimizes actual service animals and endangers the people they assist.

Anyone found misrepresenting their pet would be guilty of a misdemeanor and could be fined up to $750.

Flooding concerns ease in B.H. Basin

CHEYENNE (AP) -- The danger of flooding on the Bighorn River in northern Wyoming has lessened.

The National Weather Service says ice jams on the Bighorn had thinned considerably Thursday although a flood advisory remains in effect along parts of the river because of the unpredictability of river ice.

About 100 state National Guard personnel and firefighters are helping fill and place sandbags to shore up flood-prone areas along the river at Greybull in Big Horn County.

Rapid snowmelt and ice jams caused the Bighorn River to flood parts of Worland in Washakie County last weekend.

Cigarette tax increase downed

CHEYENNE (AP) -- A Senate committee killed a bill Thursday that would have raised the state tax on cigarettes by 30 cents a pack and helped offset some of the state revenue being lost from the energy industry downturn.

House Bill 151 failed on 3-2 vote in the Senate Revenue Committee on Thursday after one committee member, Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander, switched his vote to "no" when the initial vote had the bill passing. The bill had passed the state House on a close vote earlier.

Wyoming now levies a tax of 60 cents per pack, raising about $20 million a year in state and local tax revenue. The bill would have raised the tax to 90 cents, adding about another $10 million a year. The state would have received nearly $8 million of the increase.

Some state lawmakers turned to a cigarette tax increase as a way of helping to cope with the huge losses in oil, coal and natural gas state tax revenue.

Two hospitalized in Casper shooting

CASPER (AP) -- Two people were hospitalized after a shooting at a residence in the northern part of Casper.

Police say a man and a woman, both in their mid-40s, suffered traumatic injuries in the shooting Thursday night.

The police department says it does not believe there is any threat to the community.

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