State Workers May See Pay Increases

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Cheyenne - (KCWY) The budget bill that unanimously passed the Joint Appropriations Committee yesterday included just over 81 million dollars for raises to state employees.

"They love it, they absolutely love it. They are so happy that somebody is actually taking up their cause," said Representative James Byrd, A democrat serving Laramie County.

Governor Mead proposed a 2.5 percent increase in salaries each year over the next two years, but the appropriations committee cut it down to two-percent.

The governor and committee members agreed the increases are crucial.

"We are seeing a major turnover in folks because they haven't had a cost of living raise or adjustment,” said Representative Rosie Berger, the House Speaker Pro Tempore.

Representative Byrd says he would like to see a larger raise.

“I will be trying to replace the funds to the governor's full recommendation to the budget amendment," said Byrd.

Many legislators say these are simply adjustments for inflation which will directly affect LK-12 educators across the state and staff at the University of Wyoming.

"So they provide a lot of income for a lot of families across the state of Wyoming, “said Berger.

When the budget bill comes to the floor next week, Byrd says he will be listening closely to see if they put the half percent back.

"I don't think they are justified in peeling that extra half percent off considering the amount of money that we have."

Byrd says it's standard for some legislators to say we don't have money, but he says we have plenty of money to give them.