Legislative Report

Cheyenne, WY (KGWN) - The Capitol Square bill sails through the Wyoming House while a bill to raise state employee retirement contributions takes another step in the Senate.
NewsChannel 5’s Robert Geha reports from the State Capitol.
The bill to renovate the Capitol from top to bottom and add on to the Herschler building comes with a 259 million dollar price tag.
Even though, Senate File 103 passed the House unanimously 60-zip.
Longtime Taskforce on Capitol Restoration and Renovation member and former Cheyenne representative Pete Illoway says the design phase of the project, or Level 3, has not been decided yet.
He says that’s up to the architect who’s done several state capitols and the U.S. Supreme Court building.
Illoway says any directives from the Legislature on designs would be micro-managing,
a no-no at this stage.
The Senate has to agreed to minor changes made by the House before the Capitol Square bill heads to the governor.
The Senate passes the bill on a second vote to increase public employee contributions to their pensions and retirement accounts by three quarters of a percent.
House Bill 46 covers several retirement funds… and would also raise the state’s contribution by three-quarters of a percent.
House Appropriations Chairman Steve Harshman says the retirement system is 80 percent funded, which is darn good, but still 2 billion dollars under water.
He says the goal is 100 percent funded over the next 30 years.
The bill to help Game and Fish pay for 9 ½ million dollars in rising health care costs out of the general fund narrowly passes the House on a first vote.
But not after representatives put two million a year back in for Grizzly Bear management after defeating a committee amendment which took the Grizzlies out.
2nd vote on Senate File 45 Thursday.
First time I can remember that the Senate sent more bills to the House than the House sent to the Senate.
The Senate sent 84, House sent 74.
We asked Senate Majority Floor Leader Phil Nicholas why.
Budget negotiators from both chambers met today for the first time to hash out differences in their respective budgets.
They’re hoping to finish that up and get the 3.3 billion dollar budget to Governor Mead by end of the week.
I’m Robert Geha reporting from the State Capitol back to you.

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