The legislature adjourned sine die on Thursday, wrapping up the 2022 60-day session. They passed a supplemental budget that includes the negotiated COLAs and lump-sum payments for all our state contracts, targeted pay increases for specific job classifications based on recruitment and retention needs, and investments in our community and technical college system. The legislature also passed bills to support the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, add a Roth option for deferred compensation plans, and allow legislative staff to unionize.
Here are some of the budget details:
3.25% COLAs for all state employee WPEA members, effective July 1, 2022.
Lump-sum payments, as negotiated by WPEA members, for General Government and Higher Ed contracts, effective July 1, 2022 (details vary depending on the contract).
Funding for classification-based salary adjustments for employee recruitment and retention, based on the results of the 2020 state salary survey.
PERS 1 retiree benefit increase of 3% (up to $110 per month).
Support for increased access to financial aid resources at community & technical colleges, including hiring outreach specialists at the colleges and grants for colleges to partner with community-based organizations to increase access to financial aid.
Compensation support to shore up college budgets while tuition revenue bounces back.
Department of Natural Resources
The budget for DNR eliminates a proviso that restricted how wildfire response money could be spent. Previously, DNR could only use those accounts to pay for direct fire suppression costs, and had to pay “indirect and administrative expenses” out of other accounts. Now, DNR will be able to pay all costs related to wildfire response out of the money appropriated for wildfire response.