Public school employees could have their salaries cut by the Wyoming Legislature under a bill filed last week.

House Bill 233, sponsored by Rep. David Miller, R-Riverton, would allow the Legislature to make salary cuts to the University of Wyoming, Wyoming’s community colleges and K-12 schools.

If passed, the bill would go into effect on July 1, 2017.

Some members of the University of Wyoming Staff Senate penned an open letter to the sponsors of the bill, in which they expressed concerns about the ramifications of the bill.

In the letter, the UW staff members acknowledged that while Wyoming is experiencing a budget shortfall, UW staff are already compensated at a level that falls well below that of their peers at comparator institutions and at other Wyoming state agencies.

The letter said the funding shortfall demands an approach that identifies wasteful spending while preserving programs that lead to the growth of Wyoming’s human capital.

“We do not see UW staff salaries as wasteful spending, but instead see it as a multiplier of innovation and the engine of economic growth,” the letter read.

The letter asserted the bill is shortsighted and will cause a ‘brain drain’ of human capital that will further depress Wyoming’s economic condition.

The letter also invited state legislators to visit the campus, meet staff members and to speak directly to staff members regarding the impact of any similar legislation proposed.

The bill is co-sponsored by Republican Reps. Jim Allen, Scott Clem, Lloyd Larsen and Tim Salazar and Republican Sen. Ogden Driskill.