Legislature reconciles budget bills this week

Cheyenne, WY – Both houses of the Wyoming Legislature plan to work this week to reconcile differences in their budget bills.

The state doesn't have much extra money for lawmakers to spend this time around. That means that much of the budget discussion this session has centered on how to allocate the $350 million that the Joint Appropriations Committee has recommended for support of local governments.

The House and the Senate on Friday approved separate distribution plans for the money. They plan to work out the differences this week.

The House funding proposal would designate $40 million of the local government funding to reimburse counties and local governments for revenues they stand to lose from last year's permanent repeal of the sales tax on groceries.

The Senate, meanwhile, adopted a funding proposal on Friday that doesn't specifically designate money to cover the lost revenues from the food tax. The Senate plan calls for $200 million in direct grants to local governments that would include the lost food tax money.