Bryan Pedersen

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Bryan K. Pedersen
Wyoming State Representative from Laramie County
In office
2005 – 2006 in District 9
In office
2009 – Incumbent in District 7
Personal details
Born (1975-01-27) January 27, 1975 (age 39)
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Sara B. Pedersen
Children Brock and Dane Pedersen
Residence Cheyenne, Wyoming
Alma mater University of Wyoming
Occupation Financial consultant
Religion Lutheran

Bryan K. Pedersen (born January 27, 1975) is a financial consultant with RBC Wealth Management in Cheyenne, Wyoming, who is a Republican member of the Wyoming House of Representatives. In 2010, he won a second two-year term in District 7. Pedersen served in District 9 from 2005 to 2006.[1]

Background[edit]

A Cheyenne native, Pedersen is a graduate of the University of Wyoming at Laramie.[1] He is the son of Leonard S. and Sandra R. Pedersen of Cheyenne.[2] He and his wife, Sara B. Pedersen, have two young sons, Brock and Dane.[3] Pedersen is Lutheran and serves on the United Way board in Cheyenne.

Previous campaigns[edit]

In the 2008 campaign, Pederson won the Republican nomination over Jeff Matthews, the health and safety director of the Red Cross of Wyoming. He then defeated the Democrat Ken Tuma of Cheyenne in the general election.[4] In the 2004 campaign in District 9, Pedersen defeated the Democrat Ruth Bell.[5]

State finances[edit]

In an interview with the Wyoming Tribune Eagle on announcement of his re-election bid, Pedersen said that a potential drop in coal leases and assessed property values pose problems for the 2013-2014 state budget. He also foresees lower natural-gas prices and reduced federal grants from Washington, D.C., that could lead to a "pretty negative budget." If the grim scenario develops, Pedersen said that legislators must set firm spending priorities. The 2011-2012 budget was approved in 2010.[3]

Pedersen serves on the House Appropriations Committee and the Select Committee on Capital Finance and Investment. He has worked on issues relating to the state retirement system, developmental disability, and community college funding. Pedersen noted that $100 million to $130 million of the state's 2011-2012 budget came from one-time federal stimulus money. Of that amount, $35 million is allocated to Medicaid. Legislators may use more than $100 million from the state's general fund or from its budget reserve for the 2013-2014 biennium budget, he explained.[3]

During boom times, Wyoming state government receives more funds than is required for regular operations. The Permanent Wyoming Mineral Trust Fund and the Permanent Land Funds hold money from both severance taxes on minerals and receipts from the sale and lease of state lands. In 2009, less than half of the total $5.8 billion in those funds was invested in stocks or hedge funds, a rate much less than in other states, including New Mexico and Alaska. Pedersen has urged the state to place as much as 80 percent of its permanent money into alternative investments. Similar strategies have led to much greater returns for endowments at major universities, including Yale and Harvard. "Now that our toes are wet, we need to jump in and embrace modern fiduciary practices. The state exists in perpetuity. We need to be capitalizing on investments that are in line with our time horizon," said Pedersen, who also serves on a Wyoming State Senate select committee on investment strategy.[6]

Pedersen's colleague, State Representative Jack Landon, Jr., of Sheridan, questions how the state will fund government if its coal, petroleum, and natural gas become depleted. "Once that coal or oil or gas has left, we’ll never see that again. What we’ve done is we’ve taken some of the family wealth of Wyoming [the two permanent funds], and we’ve tried to capture some of the value of those assets, not only for this generation, but for future generations."[6]

In 2012, Pedersen proposed that beginning July 1, 2014, new state employees be channeled into a revised retirement plan similar to the 401k program in order to compensate for projected future funding shortfalls. The plan drew the opposition of a fellow Republican legislator, Steve Harshman of Casper, who believes that Pedersen's proposal is beyond what is required to make sure the retirement system is solvent. Members of the Wyoming Senate Appropriations Committee are considering another plan which would remove cost-of-living allowances for certain retirement plans, limiting future benefit increases, and authorizing a study to recommend additional adjustments.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Legislator Information: Rep. Bryan K. Pedersen". legisweb.state.wy.us. Retrieved May 3, 2010. 
  2. ^ People Search and Background Check
  3. ^ a b c "Becky Orr, "Bryan Pedersen will run for re-election to House District 7"". Wyoming Tribune Eagle, May 1, 2010. Retrieved May 3, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Jared Miller, "HD7 Republicans disagree on health care"". Wyoming Tribune Eagle, August 6, 2008. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
  5. ^ "2004 Legislative Voter Guide". wyovoters.org. Retrieved May 3, 2010. [dead link]
  6. ^ a b "Ben Gose, "Should Wyoming Rethink Investments?"". Wyoming Tribune Eagle, July 29, 2009. Retrieved May 3, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Trevor Brown, "Future of pension system uncertain"". Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Retrieved February 11, 2012.