The Wyoming Senate Education Committee voted to remove a tax measure from a comprehensive education bill and added some more cuts.
The bill is the House solution to a projected $400 million shortfall in education funding. It originally imposed a half percent sales tax after the legislature’s reserve account dropped below $500 million.
Cheyenne Senator Affie Ellis opposed keeping that in the bill. She said that future legislators should get to decide if there should be a tax increase. Laramie Senator Chris Rothfuss disagreed, saying that a tax increase is actually needed immediately.
Wyoming Education Association President Kathy Vetter is disappointed with the committee’s work.
“This bill has more cuts, a larger dollar amount in cuts, and it took all the revenue out. So, it is mostly looking at cutting education without looking at different ways to fund it.”
Vetter added that many teachers have been disappointed with the wide range of cuts this session.
“Well, it has been called the education session, and some people are feeling a bit beat up.”
The bill now moves to the full Senate for further debate.