House discusses AML funds spending habits

Feb 21, 2012

Some members of the Wyoming House of Representatives are expressing concern about a bill that would change how the state spends its share of Abandoned Mine Lands money. 

The funds traditionally have been collected by the federal government and returned to states to reclaim abandoned mines.  The state has used AML money to pay for some energy related building projects in the past. But this year, the Joint Appropriations Committee wants to use it to fund other projects, such as ten million dollars for the renovation of the UW Arena-Auditorium in Laramie. 

The federal government has considered eliminating the program, and Moorcroft Republican Mark Semlek worries that unusual spending could hasten the removal of the funds. “My concern would be that our AML monies from the feds side are under assault more now than ever.  And I think we need to be very cautious about setting up a precedent of using these funds for projects that in my opinion at least, some are way out of the scope.”
 Other Representatives also expressed concern about some of the projects on the list and promised to try and remove them from the bill.  The measure will be debated two more times.