budget cuts

A group called Protection and Advocacy, which advocates for people with disabilities, has sent a letter to Wyoming, expressing concern over potential budget cuts for developmental disabilities.

Gov. Matt Mead has called for all agencies to prepare for 8 percent budget cuts. The Department of Health has not yet specified what it would cut, but Protection and Advocacy CEO Jeanne Thobro says she’s concerned that Wyomingites with developmental disabilities could lose vital services.

Despite concern about the Wyoming economy, a new report from the state economic analysis division actually shows that things have greatly improved in the last year.  Jim Robinson, a Senior Economist with the division, notes that sales tax numbers are up about 12 percent from a year ago; oil and gas jobs have increased and despite lower than expected gas prices, rig counts are virtually the same as 2011. 

Budget cut proposals to be considered

May 23, 2012

       All state agencies have submitted their proposed budget cuts and now it’s up to Gov. Matt Mead and the Wyoming Legislature to develop a plan about how they would go about reducing state agency budgets if revenues fall below projections next year. 

 The University of Wyoming says it will have to cut positions as part of its eight-percent budget cut sent to Gov. Matt Mead this week. 

The governor requested the proposed cuts because of concerns about a reduction in revenue due to falling gas prices.  They are for the budget that begins in July of 2013.  University Spokesman Chad Baldwin says with 75 percent of U-W’s budget tied to salaries, he says they have no choice but to cut some positions.

     The University of Wyoming is joining other state agencies in trying to determine how it will trim eight percent from its budget.  U-W Provost Myron Allen says an eight percent cut most certainly means that some positions will have to be eliminated.  However, Allen says it’s still too early to say if U-W will have to eliminate degree programs.

“I’d prefer not to implement across the board reductions, so there probably be some programs that are hit a lot harder than others.  But whether we will have to eliminate some programs, I don’t know yet.”

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead says all state agencies should be prepared to cut budgets by eight percent next year.  Falling natural gas prices are to blame.  Wyoming House Appropriations Chairman Rosie Berger said it’s due to Wyoming having a minerals based economy.  When natural gas prices drop, the state loses millions.  Berger said the good news is that agency heads have awhile to prepare.

The Wyoming Legislature begins budget work

Feb 21, 2012

    The Wyoming House and Senate have begun discussing the 3-point-2 billion dollar state budget.  It will cover a biennium, or the next two fiscal years.  House Appropriations Chairman Rosie Berger says they are trying to pass a flat budget this year and limit future spending.  Senate Appropriations Chairman Phil Nicholas says agencies will be asked to reduce their budgets by four percent in the second year of the biennium and another four percent in the following year.

UW Trustees discuss proposed budget cuts

Dec 13, 2011

    The University of Wyoming says reductions in staffing and student support are among the scenarios they are considering if the legislature decides to cut its budget this year.  

U-W and other state agencies have been asked to explain what reductions of two, five and eight percent would mean to their budgets.  At the high end, U-W President Tom Buchanan says the cuts would be severe.  In the two percent scenario, Buchanan says reductions not connected to academics would be made.   But he admits that will change if the cuts are more than that.

Governor Matt Mead presented his budget to the Joint Appropriations Committee and re-asserted his position that the state does not need to hurry to cut budgets.

Senate JAC Chairman Phil Nicholas has suggested cuts of five to eight percent are needed, so that the state can start setting aside money for future needs.  Governor Mead says they should decide what government services are critical and determine what money the state would need to fund those services.

Governor Matt Mead is telling state agencies to prepare for budget cuts.  The governor claims that Wyoming’s future revenues are expected to flatten out or even decrease in the next few years. Mead says the budget he’s preparing for next two years takes that prediction into account.

“The fact is over the last decade our spending on the standard budget has more than doubled," the governor said. "Over that period of time, the state of Wyoming has done some tremendous things, but we can’t continue to double it every ten years.”

Top Wyoming lawmakers are directing state agencies to brace for possible budget cuts.

Republican Sen. Phil Nicholas, of Laramie, and Republican Rep. Rosie Berger, of Big Horn, are co-chairmen of the Joint Appropriations Committee. They wrote a letter telling state budget officials that agencies should be prepared for cuts ranging up to 8 percent in the coming two-year budget cycle.

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