On March 6, the Wyoming state legislature wrapped up its annual legislative session. Because it was a budget session, it lasted a quick 20 days, but in that time an inflation adjustment bill passed the state House in part because of the Wyoming Coalition for Retirement Security (WCRS) and hard-working retired public employees from across the state.
In Wyoming, the state’s retired public employees have not seen an inflation adjustment to their pension payments in 12 years. In that time, the cost of everyday necessities like groceries, medical care, gas, housing, and other expenses has only gone up, further harming retirees’ spending power.
Last year, an inflation adjustment bill was introduced in the state House, but it died in committee.
This year, the WCRS organized early and often to emphasize the importance of granting an inflation adjustment. Retired public employees like Verna Kay Garcia went to the state capitol in Cheyenne to personally share their stories with legislators.
Other retirees, like retired firefighter Kevin Reddy, wrote op-eds in news publications across the state to spread the word about why receiving an inflation adjustment is important to them.
With the help of these advocates, the coalition, and the support of Speaker of the House Steve Harshman, the bill sailed through committee and passed the state House of Representatives by a vote of 32 – 24 on February 27.
Unfortunately, the state Senate did not take up the legislation towards the end of the legislative session.
We will continue fighting for Wyoming’s retired public employees and for an inflation adjustment to ensure retirees are not left behind.