The Wyoming Legislature opened its month-long budget session yesterday and heard both the State of the State and State of the Judiciary addresses.
Both Governor Mark Gordon and Wyoming Supreme Court Chief Justice Kate Fox both told lawmakers that attracting and keeping employees has become difficult after years of state budget cuts.
Governor Gordon said “from our troopers, snow plow drivers, social workers, and others, Wyoming is struggling to staff the very agencies that provide the services the people of Wyoming need.
He went on to say that 90% of state employees are making less now that their peers in other states were making 5 years ago with 30% needing second jobs to make ends meet.
Because of that, Gordon said he was making pay raises for state employees his priority for the session.
. Gordon and lawmakers have outlined a proposed $2.8 billion dollar budget for fiscal 2023-24.
While that’s less than the last budget of $3 billion dollars, it’s $400-million dollars more than what was left after cuts to that budget made by Gordon amid the COVID-19 pandemic and falling revenue from fossil fuels.