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BREAKING: Wyoming Governor – No Way For More Pay; Mead Opposes Salary Increases

Tom Morton, Townsquare Media
Tom Morton, Townsquare Media

Gov. Matt Mead doesn’t want a pay raise, despite a lawmaker’s bill to give him and the other four statewide elected officials one.

A governor doesn’t threaten to veto bills, Mead said after signing a proclamation in support of the Wyoming Rescue Mission’s work with the homeless in Casper.

But Mead hates the idea of House Bill 175 considering the daunting tasks facing the Legislature to fund education, and making cuts and finding revenues for other programs.

“But I would like to say, I really dislike that concept, and would not approve of it,” he said.

Friday, Rep. Dan Zwonizer, R-Cheyenne, introduced HB175 to give the governor a $60,000 raise. It would have given $27,000 raises to the secretary of state, superintendent of public instruction, state treasurer and state auditor.

The House Corporations Committee recommended and passed the amendment by a 6-3 vote on Tuesday. The amended version would give the five statewide elected officials raises of $8,000 each.

According to the bill’s fiscal note, the raises would be not benefit the current office-holders, including Governor Matt Mead. Rather, the raises would go into effect for officials inaugurated in January 2019.

The pay reductions and theĀ  2019 date did not assuage the outrage on social media.

Mead was more subtle in his opposition, with a philosophical spin on public service.

“I don’t think we should be doing that for a couple of reasons,” he said.

“I think it should be: You go in, you do your service,” Mead said. “You can’t say, ‘Well, I should make this I would make this in the private sector.’ That’s not the choice. You’re making a choice and it’s a choice to serve the people of the state of Wyoming.

Raises can sway the reasons why people go into public service, and HB175 doesn’t help, he said.

“It always has to be, ‘I want to serve, and it may be a financial sacrifice,'” Mead said. “But the opportunity to serve the people of Wyoming is a privilege, and it is not paid in dollars. It is paid in having the opportunity to do better for your state, so I would be totally opposed to that.”

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