budget

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead presented his 156-million dollar budget to the Joint Appropriations Committee and said that he wants to focus on a number of building projects in an effort to invest in Wyoming.

Mead argued that the state has enough money to pay for his budget, but Casper Representative Tim Stubson says he’s not so sure.

“The governor’s focus on one time spending is appropriate.  I don’t think there will be enough to cover all of his requests as well as legislative priorities, so there’s going to have to be some trimming along the way.”

The Wyoming Air National Guard's 153rd Airlift Wing could lose approximately 210 airmen and four aircrafts from their active duty associate unit sometime after October of this year.

The associate Air Force unit, the 30th Airlift Squadron, would be closed under the President's 2015 budget proposal.

Adjutant General of the Wyoming National Guard, Luke Reiner, says "the 30th Airlift Squadron is a vital component to our national defense and has made the Wyoming Air National guard stronger by its presence."

This week President Barack Obama unveiled his budget, which the Wyoming congressional delegation says would cripple the state's economy. Matt Laslo has the details from Washington. 

The Wyoming House of Representatives again discussed whether to provide money to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department for health insurance and for management of grizzly bears. 

Wednesday the House voted down an attempt to remove the Grizzly funding and Thursday the House defeated an amendment that would have removed health insurance funds.  House Floor Leader Kermit Brown says the additional money is needed because lawmakers won't approve license fee increases.

The Wyoming House and Senate approved their versions of the state budget on Friday and will now work on reaching a compromise to send to the Governor.  One of the entities that received a lot of attention was the University of Wyoming.  Senate Appropriations Chairman Eli Bebout said that UW was treated well.

“We made some cuts, that’s what we do.  But we gave some endowment money, we are moving ahead on a tier 1 Engineering College, we did the double-A, looking at the Corbett pools, we did that endowed chair for petroleum engineering.”

The Wyoming House and Senate finished up budget work today. Leaders in both bodies say they probably spent more than they should, but they are generally satisfied.  Senate Appropriations Chairman Eli Bebout says they addressed some important needs including funding for public employee raises and the University of Wyoming.  Bebout remains concerned about the future, but he says this budget is more encouraging than past ones.

creative commons

Wyoming lawmakers are voting on the state budget this week and are considering proposals to strengthen the energy industry in the state.

15 million dollars is proposed for a facility to study the capture, sequestration, and management of carbon emissions from a coal fired power plant.  Senator Jim Anderson of Glenrock says it’s important to the future of Wyoming Coal.

“Perhaps bring Wyoming into a new era and it would certainly in regard to our reliance on coal and other things that are carbon based be a blessing if in fact we could do this.”

In a letter signed by 16 senators and himself, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi has asked the federal Committee on Appropriations to continue funding the Payments in Lieu of Taxes – or PILT - program. The program contributes money to counties with federal lands within their borders. The payments help make up for what counties lose by not being able to collect taxes on those lands.

Wyoming’s two U.S. Senators plan to vote against a budget compromise that will be taken up by the Senate on Wednesday.  Senator Mike Enzi spoke out against the deal on the Senate floor.  Enzi says it cuts too little, if anything.

“We talk about how we have reduced the deficit.  Reduced the deficit?  Yeah, that means we used to be overspending a trillion dollars a year and now we are only overspending $500 billion, which is half a trillion.  That’s still overspending,” says Enzi.

Wyoming Senators Oppose Budget Deal

Dec 17, 2013

Wyoming’s two U-S Senators plan to vote against a budget compromise that will be taken up by the Senate on Wednesday.  Senator Mike Enzi spoke out against the deal on the Senate floor.  Enzi says it cuts too little...if anything.

“We talk about how we have reduced the deficit.  Reduced the deficit?  Yeah, that means we used to be overspending a trillion dollars a year and now we are only overspending $500 billion, which is half a trillion.  That’s still overspending.”

Last week Wyoming governor Matt Mead released his proposed budget for the next two years.  The governor joins us to discuss something he did not recommend and discusses other topics, such as whether he will run for re-election. 

The photo is courtesy of the Cody chamber of Commerce.

In the governor’s budget last week, one area that didn’t get a lot of attention is a proposal to increase funding to communities and counties by $175 million.  That would be a $40 million increase over his previous proposal.  40 percent of that money would go for infrastructure, such as roads, but the rest would go into operations.  If approved, it would come at a time when most local governments are dealing with less revenue.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

BOB BECK: Governor Matt Mead says he’s tried to make local government funding a priority since he took office.

Bob Beck

The main revenue forecasting arm for the state of Wyoming called 2013 a solid year economically.  Thanks to investments it means the state raised almost 350 million dollars over projections.  But the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group or CREG says while this is great news, problems may be on the horizon. The legislative committee tasked with developing the state’s budget wants to be cautious.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports…

http://townmapsusa.com/d/map-of-buffalo-wyoming-wy/buffalo_wy

After a lengthy discussion, the Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee voted to support a two-percent external cost adjustment for public schools. 

The external cost adjustment would address inflation issues within the school funding model, and is used by most districts to pay for salary increases.  Lawmakers have been reluctant to support an ECA over the last several years due to budget concerns, and the appropriations committee was told that spending for education in Wyoming remains among the top 10 in the country. 

UW Trustees request $13M for pay raises

Jul 26, 2013

The University of Wyoming’s Board of Trustees decided Friday to ask the state for $13.3 million to cover merit-based raises for faculty and staff.


Former University President Tom Buchanan tried unsuccessfully to secure raises in the past, and Board President David Bostrom says UW is now seeing an “exodus” of high-performing employees.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming has not given a pay raise to its faculty and staff in four years now and the board of trustees is concerned that scrimping on salaries has begun to adversely affect the education the university offers.  David Bostrom, the president of the UW Board of Trustees, says that employee salaries don’t just need to compete state-wide but must also compete nationally and internationally within their fields.

Rebecca Martinez / Wyoming Public Media

The Fremont County Board of Commissioners is hoping the State Loan and Investments Board will approve its application for a $2.6 million dollar grant to build a Riverton justice center.

It would cover half the cost of a new building to house offices for the sheriff and county attorneys, as well as a circuit court.

Riverton Circuit Court Judge Wesley Roberts says the small pre-fab building they’re currently using has long been insufficient.

Wallpaperslot.com

Grand Teton National Park says that because of the federal sequestration, it will be hiring fewer seasonal workers this summer and will be making cuts to emergency response teams.

The park was instructed to trim its budget by $700,000 for the next six months. Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott says the changes will be noticeable.

“We know there will be delays in responding to search and rescue, as well as medical emergencies and law enforcement,” Scott said.

She says they will also have fewer fire fighters.

Cheyenne Regional Airport could lose its air tower as a result of the federal sequester. The Federal Aviation Administration is losing funding for 100 towers nationwide, each of which serve airports with a limited number of flights.

David Haring is director of aviation at the airport. He says the airport will continue to operate… but losing the air tower is a big deal, because it’s an important safety tool.

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead has line item vetoed three areas of the state supplemental budget.  The governor vetoed a section that involved the management of surplus state money and he vetoed a section that required state agencies to consider more budget cuts.  Mead says it doesn’t make sense for agencies to re-do that exercise, especially since it’s possible that the state may get more revenue.

The Wyoming House and Senate have reached a budget agreement on a $78 million supplemental budget and will send it to the Governor for his consideration.  While there was no discussion in the Senate, several representatives in the House were concerned that instead of cutting government…the legislature is spending more.  But House Appropriations Chairman Steve Harshman says most of the money is one-time spending.

As the Legislature irons out the final details of the State budget, the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee says lawmakers were forward-thinking with the budget. 

During a news conference, Senator Eli Bebout of Riverton said the spending reductions and cuts to some agencies were needed to get the budget in shape for future spending. 

An attempt to remove funding from the University of Wyoming’s College of Engineering failed in the state House of Representatives. 

Jackson Representative Keith Gingery fought to remove $55 million that will be spent to upgrade the UW College of Engineering, because the state has other needs.     

State lawmakers have started reviewing the proposed supplemental state budget.  The budget features an average of six and a half percent cuts and limits new spending.

House Appropriations Chairman Steve Harshman says the legislature will have some money that can be added to the budget if needed.             

“So after accounting for other bills with appropriations in them, today there is 13 million dollars on the table for saving or spending.  And the smallest supplemental budget in a decade…in ten years…in terms of expenditures.”

The legislative panel responsible for drafting a supplemental Wyoming state budget bill recommends that lawmakers reject Gov. Matt Mead's proposal to cut the flow of energy revenues going into permanent savings and school construction.

Mead wants Wyoming to build up its so-called rainy day fund in case the state needs ready cash to deal with projected flat energy revenues in the years to come.

Wyoming Legislature set to convene today

Jan 8, 2013

The Wyoming Legislature is set to convene at noon today for the first day of its general session, which is set to run through early March.
 
Lawmakers generally take care of housekeeping matters on the first day and won't get down to business until after Gov. Matt Mead delivers his annual state of the state address tomorrow morning.
 

Wyoming House Speaker-elect Tom Lubnau says crafting a supplemental state budget will be the "overriding concern" as lawmakers open the 2013 session tomorrow

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State financial analysts are warning that Wyoming needs to brace for flat revenues for years to come, given the slumping national demand for coal and increasing natural gas production in other states.

Gov. Matt Mead presented a budget proposal to lawmakers last month calling for cutting state agency budgets by an average of 6.5 percent.

Irina Zhorov

As the legislature considers cutting budgets next month, some members are taking issue with comments that the state has doubled its budget over the last ten years.  Incoming House Appropriations Chairman Steve Harshman says the state spent money on things ranging from the Hathaway Scholarship to improving neglected infrastructure across the state.  Harshman says some of that spending also went into funds that should help the state in future years.

Last week, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead released his proposed budget and he will present that budget to the legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee on Monday.  The budget features some cuts and a couple of policy decisions.  The Governor joins us now.

This week Governor Matt Mead is submitting his proposed budget to Wyoming legislators.  The budget will include some spending priorities, but will also feature a wide range of budget cuts, some as high as eight percent.  K-12 education has been viewed by lawmakers as untouchable due to the fact that the state lost an expensive lawsuit over school funding.  But Mead believes some adjustments can be made in the amount of spending that goes into new schools.

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