Wyoming Public Employees Association

Legislative Update

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Legislative Wrap-Up

The Budget Session has ended. State budgets largely stayed intact, with the exception of Education, which took a 27 million dollar cut on the last day of the session. The cut is even larger than it sounds when you start to count matching federal dollars that won't be received. This will certainly have an effect upon our School District Number One members, not to mention the children of Wyoming. In the first year it is a relatively modest 8 million dollar cut statewide. The second year though, School District Number One, is set to receive a 4.9 million dollar cut. However, if it weren't for the actions of the House the cuts would have been much worse. We just received the budget numbers for School District Number One, as we have been preparing to enter contract negotiations for our units. So, we'll have more soon on the outcomes in Education and other areas as all of the dust settles. We successfully lobbied for the passage and defeat on bills and amendments in your interests, but despite these victories I think we are all happy to put that session behind us ................................................................................................................... 3/12/2018 General Appropriations were adopted on Saturday. Starting Wednesday night at 5:30 the House comes back into session to take up bills concerning K-12 Education, Capital Construction and others where there has not been agreement. The Senate comes back on Thursday to do the same. There will likely be line item vetoes to be considered then too. For the good news: Our supported "Move over Requirement" for safer Wyoming highways and safer WYDOT personnel passed and is awaiting signatures............................................................................................................ 3/9/2018 Something resembling a budget deal has been reached. Difficult to describe as a good idea, but one year under the House plan and the second under the Senate plan. Described by Sen. Bruce Burns as a decision for "splitting the baby" as in a misapplication of the wisdom of Solomon............................................................................................................... 3/7/2018 Budget Bill currently at a standoff - no concurrence between House and Senate version of the bill. Gives previously killed amendments a chance to come back and haunt us or can kill good amendments. For example: HB109, Sen. Perkins' amendment on Senate side to employers to pay up to 100% of increased retirement contribution has been defeated, because of a lack of concurrence on the House side. 3/2/18 HB 36 ENG Move Over Requirement. 15 Minutes After Noon Recess 9-Minerals, Business & Economic Development in Rm. S18 Please call or write to support! ..................................................................................................................... 3/1/18 End of the Day

HB 0074 Investments task force. Appropriations S Received for Introduction 02/20/2018, no schedule listed at this time

HB 0109 Public employee retirement plan-contributions. Appropriations S 2nd Reading:Laid Back* see below 03/01/2018, no schedule listed at this time

HB 0110 Wyoming retirement plans-member accounts.Appropriations S COW:Passed 03/01/2018, no schedule listed at this time

*What is Laid Back?
A motion to lay back a bill may be made and must carry by a majority of a quorum. The bill may be on General File in Committee of Whole, or on Second or Third Reading. It may be laid back to a specified position for a specified time. In this case we expect the bill to come up on 3/2/2018. Sen. Drew Perkins will be offering an amendment to allow employers to pay any portion of the employee contribution This amendment is intended for school districts which vary from the employer paying nothing to paying the entire contribution. This would allow them to continue this flexibility in their block grants

2/26/18 We are at half-time for the legislative session. From the 330+ numbered bills that were proposed for introduction, fewer than half remain.

Several of the bills we are watching are still moving forward. We are working on an updated list. The next step for many of these will be heading to a conference committee. So far the members for this committee have not yet been assigned.


Amendments: Thank you for calling your legislators to vote NO on any amendments to Section 304 of the Budget Bill. These were all defeated!


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Last Alert: Please contact your legislators to vote NO on any changes to the existing language of section 304. Current proposed amendments will dramatically increase the cost of health insurance for our members.

SF-0001 and HB-0001, these are the general appropriations for each chamber. There are numbered sections that run into the 400's for each section of State government. Section 304 deals with health insurance for state employees and retirees.

There are at least three proposed amendments on the House side, and we expect nearly identical amendments on the Senate side, that would increase cost for employees or retirees. As of 2/26/2018 these amendments have failed. However, it is still possible for some to be revived in conference committees.

One of our members has also suggested watching this Senate amendment. This amendment passed. While it doesn't increase the deductible now, it studies the impact of a $1000.00 increase, and the intent clearly is to increase the deductible to $1000.00 in the future.

SF0001S3002

[BUDGET AFFECTED]

Budget(s): Section 006. ADMINISTRATION AND INFORMATION
(Employees; Group Insurance)

* * * * * * * * * *

The employees; group insurance division shall report to the joint appropriations committee not later than November 1, 2018 on the feasibility of and estimated savings that would result from an increase to each health care deductible option in the amount of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) for plans administered by the employees; group insurance division.;
To the extent required by this amendment: adjust totals; and renumber as necessary. BEBOUT

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