Steve Harshman

Governor Matt Mead said that Wyoming is strong and getting stronger.  During his annual State of the State address before the legislature, Mead urged lawmakers to invest in Wyoming.

"This investment should include increased support for local government, funding to complete a unified network, increased funding for school and courtroom security, for the elderly and those with developmental disabilities and for upgrading state institutions and facilities.  Pay raises for teachers,UW, and other state employees."

The Wyoming House is wrapping up work on an enormous education accountability bill.  During second reading debate on the bill, Casper Republican Steve Harshman added a massive amendment that clarifies a number of standards lawmakers want students to meet including writing.  Harshman says it also notes that the ACT will be the way the state will track students who are high school juniors and, overall,he says the bill has clear goals.

A bill that funds the construction of new schools in the state has received final approval in the Wyoming House of Representatives.  This despite an effort by the House Education Committee Chairman to remove some money from the bill.  Lingle Republican Matt Teeters complained that lawmakers are building some schools too big and have obligated too many schools to be built.

Retirement Bill Fails

Feb 16, 2012

The Wyoming House of Representatives has defeated a bill that would have changed the state retirement system.  Cheyenne Republican Bryan Pedersen wanted those hired after July first 2014 to be entered into a 401K style retirement plan versus the current defined benefit plan. 

The reason for the defeat is because Pedersen believes the current state plan will run out of money. 

However, opponents questioned Pedersen’s numbers and his timing, and Casper Republican Steve Harshman says it’s too big of a change in a short budget session.

An effort to enhance graduation requirements has failed.  Lingle Republican Matt Teeters, who chairs the House Education Committee, offered a bill that would have added some graduation requirements for those in high school.

“This bill would suggest that we would have four years of math and four years of science added to those requirements.  Just the fact that of having that student enrolled in those extra classes  their senior year, prevents that institutional loss that we see when seniors take their senior year off.”