Bonner was elected to the position in 2008. He said it takes a while to get established in the Legislature.
“I think the district is best served by turning now to someone younger who can commit to gaining the experience to be effective,” he added.
Bonner turned 72 in March, and would be 74 before the next term is over.
“There is a reason that there are only a handful of House members who are over 70 years of age, and two of them have already announced they are stepping aside in this election cycle. It’s a demanding job,” Bonner said.
Bonner has served in public office for 22 years with only a short break — four years in the Legislature (by the end of 2012), 12 years on the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees and six years on the Powell City Council.
He is the publisher of the Powell Tribune.
“I will continue to work hard for the people of the district and the state for the balance of my term, through the end of 2012,” Bonner said.
Bonner said he had hoped to see some projects through during his time in the Legislature.
“I wanted to see a solution to highway funding in Wyoming, and we didn’t get there,” he said.
However, Bonner will work with the Joint Revenue and Joint Transportation committees this summer to look for long-term answers to Wyoming’s highway funding issues. A plan will be proposed to the 2013 Legislature.
Bonner said he also regrets that the Legislature didn’t work toward health care solutions.
“Our Legislature in effect has said, ‘Let’s go on hold until we hear about the constitutional issues with the Affordable Care Act,’” Bonner said.
Bonner said the Legislature doesn’t face easy times ahead with falling energy prices in a slow-growth economy.
He noted that the Legislature left Cheyenne with $1.5 billion in liquid assets for the state.
“I’m afraid it’s going to be needed if natural gas prices remain in a funk,” Bonner said.
Earlier this year, the Legislature and Gov. Matt Mead directed state agencies to prepare for 4 percent cuts. Last month, Mead told state agency directors to get ready for 8 percent budget cuts in the fiscal year that starts July 2013.
“Wyoming is fortunate, and Wyoming is sitting on a surplus and looking pretty good — but it’s not all as rosy as it may appear,” Bonner said. With declining revenues, the state is approaching a tipping point “where we will need to make some real tough decisions for government across the board,” he said.
The filing period for state, U.S., county and city offices opens May 17.