budget cuts

Bob Beck

Due to declining revenues and cuts mandated by legislature, the University of Wyoming is preparing for a minimum of $7 million dollars in budget cuts with the expectation that they could be greater than that. During the UW Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, Vice President for Administration Bill Mai said the state revenue picture continues to decline. And he reported that while the University’s deans and others have been told to prepare for $7 million dollars in cuts, they should...

Bob Beck

The Wyoming legislative session has come to an end and few seem to be leaving Cheyenne feeling satisfied. One of the few people leaving with a positive feeling is Casper Representative Tim Stubson. Stubson was heavily involved in crafting the state budget and voted against such things as Medicaid expansion and voted for a number of budget cuts. But he says when you look at the state’s finances those cuts were needed. “Really I think the job we did, I really don’t think it’s a job that’s...

Bob Beck

Wyoming lawmakers are addressing a revenue shortfall that could reach 600 million dollars by 2018, by making some budget cuts and using some of the nearly $2 billion dollars they have in savings. But things could get worse very soon, especially since the state is losing a major source of income for school construction, which is coal. Usually revenue means taxes. The state almost raised taxes in 1999 when the state was facing a budget shortfall and then overnight the Coalbed Methane boom...

Bob Beck

Thanks to a downturn in energy prices, Wyoming lawmakers are in a bind. As legislators prepare for the upcoming legislative session they will likely have to cut the budget, dip into reserves, and possibly divert money from flowing into reserve accounts in order to pay for the next two years. The problem is that the economic downturn may last awhile. So how will the state find money to pay for things? This week Wyoming learned that Wyoming residents rank 48 th in the nation in the amount of...

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

Local government funding will be among the most debated topics during the upcoming legislative session. Due to a revenue shortfall, Governor Mead has cut funding for local government from 175 million dollars two years ago down to 90 million for the next two years. A number of cities and county governments have instituted hiring freezes and are looking at major cuts in an effort to deal with the shortfall. Laramie Democratic Representative Cathy Connolly says that is a massive cut to local...

Wyoming legislative leaders will be looking at budget cuts and using reserve funds after receiving a report that state revenues have declined substantially. The Consensus Revenue Estimating Group or CREG said that falling energy prices will lead to a decline of 617 million dollars in revenue from July first of this year through June of 2018. Senate Appropriations Chairman Tony Ross said they will need to look at targeted cuts and use some reserve funding to get through the next two years. He...

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming said it will follow the governor’s order and implement a hiring freeze, as well as try and find ways to return some money to the state. Governor Matt Mead this week said that the state needs to cut up to 200 million dollars from its existing budget due to a revenue shortfall. He hopes to acquire 18 million dollars through leaving unfilled positions vacant. UW Vice President for Governmental and Community Affairs Chris Boswell said UW has not been asked to cut a...

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead says a dip in energy revenues will require the state to cut up to 200 million dollars from its existing budget. The governor has instituted a hiring freeze and will be looking to every agency to return unspent money. Mead would like to avoid layoffs. “I do not think that this is an area I will be looking at. I think we can get roughly 18 million dollars by not filling vacant positions and with a hiring freeze.” Mead said citizens will accept some reduction in...

The congressionally mandated budget cuts called sequestration continue to have an impact on Wyoming. And while the state’s Republican lawmakers say those cuts aren’t having as big of an impact as predicted by Democrats, Matt Laslo reports from Washington that the delegation still isn’t happy with the sequester. MATT LASLO: Remember how the sky was supposed to fall because of sequestration? Well those indiscriminate budget cuts that are ripping through just about every agencies budget in the...

Top Wyoming lawmakers have agreed to put off talks of budget cuts. This year, state agencies cut an average of 6.5 percent from their budgets to meet a shortfall. Then lawmakers announced plans to require agencies to propose another round of 6-percent cuts during summer committee hearings. But Governor Matt Mead said he would not encourage agencies to cooperate. He says with almost $800 million coming in from capital gains and interest on investments, cuts should be unnecessary. House Speaker...

Gov. Matt Mead says it appears likely that state agencies won't face more spending cuts in the two-year budget cycle that begins next year.

Mead says he's informed state lawmakers that state agencies won't honor lawmakers' request to present proposed spending cuts of up to 6 percent at legislative committee hearings this summer.

Most state agencies saw budget cuts averaging 6.5 percent in the supplemental budget that state government approved early this year. Mead says...

The Wyoming Military Department is planning to temporarily trim the hours of more than 430 employees due to federal budget cuts. The furloughs would begin at the end of April and extend until the end of September. Colonel Tammy Maas says the reduction in hours will impact their day to day operations, but shouldn’t impact necessary missions. “Make it difficult to get all of our work done in a 32 hour week. However it will not affect our operational readiness. We will maintain our readiness in...

With federal departments already feeling the heat since across-the-board budget cuts took effect March 1 st , Wyoming US Senator Mike Enzi says the mandatory cuts—known as the sequester—don’t go far enough. The sequester, or automatic budget reduction across almost all federal programs, was meant to be an incentive for congress to reach an agreement on how to scale back the nation’s deficit. But the parties could not come to an agreement on how to achieve this and so now, those such as...

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. “It’s in essence an extra set of eyes for pilots operating in and out of the airfield,...

March 1st a series of automatic cuts to federal spending—called the sequester—went into effect. Education is one of the areas Wyoming will feel the cuts most acutely. A White House report says the state will lose millions of dollars in school funding. Jim Rose, interim director of the Wyoming Department of Education, says a 5% cut to the federal education budget would mean special needs students would get less funding. “And what it’s going to effect mostly are special title programs,” Rose...

Gov. Matt Mead is set to deliver his annual State of the State address to lawmakers in Cheyenne on this morning. Mead is presiding over Wyoming at a time of transition. State financial analysts warn state energy revenues are likely to stay flat for years to come. Mead is proposing 6.5-percent budget cuts for state agencies, not counting one-time project funding. The cuts amount to more than $60 million over the coming year. Mead is also likely to call on lawmakers to reject the federal...

Legislative Service Office

In early 2013 the state legislature will discuss cutting the state budget. While some say only minimal cuts are needed, others are not so sure. State Senator Tony Ross says the so-called fiscal cliff could add to the loss of federal money the state is already dealing with, starting with the loss of abandoned mine land money last fall. “As a result of the loss of AML funds or there is even talks that there may be a push to cut back on federal mineral royalties. If they do something like that...

The Wyoming library system has been working hard to keep up with residents’ needs in the digital age, but they might have some trouble if the legislature approves sweeping budget cuts in January. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez spoke with Wyoming State Librarian Lesley Boughton about it. Boughton says she says the Wyoming library system works well because of how it was created.

Wyoming got some good news from the latest Consensus Revenue Estimating Group report, but it won’t be enough to stop budget cuts from occurring. CREG reports that state revenue should increase by $85 million, mainly from projected Sales and Use tax revenue. But Governor Matt Mead says that will not be enough to keep him from suggesting eight-percent budget cuts to the legislature. CREG Co-Chairman Bill Mai says the group is cautious about a downturn in the coal industry, but they remain...

Like a lot of state agencies, Wyoming State Parks and Historic Sites will likely need to find a way to make up revenues lost from proposed budget cuts. Administrator Dominic Bravo says they are leery about raising fees, but are looking at some other options. "We’re going to try to figure out through partnerships, try to find alternative funding, of course corporate relationships, anything we can to make sure we are doing our best job to serve our customers and visitors. Whatever we can to...

The number of jobs Alpha Natural Resources plans to cut in Wyoming's Powder River Basin remains unclear after the coal giant said it plans to cut production by 16 million tons.

About 40 percent of Alpha's production cuts will come from high-cost eastern mines while about half will occur in the Powder River Basin. The company is eliminating 1,200 jobs companywide, laying off 400 workers immediately by closing mines in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

But, the...

UW wants money for a pay hike

Aug 23, 2012

Noting that it’s been more than three years since employees last saw a pay hike, the University of Wyoming board of trustees has approved a supplemental budget request to resolve that situation. Trustees unanimously approved a request of more than five million dollars to allow U-W to provide merit-based pay hikes that would average around three-percent. The University of Wyoming Trustees have approved a supplemental state budget request to ask for five million dollars for merit based pay...

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Media

Governor Matt Mead says he is hopeful that the eight percent budget cuts he requested from state government agencies may not have to happen. But the governor says he is still considering the cuts, despite signs that the state revenue picture may be improving. The legislature had proposed that all agencies cut budgets by four percent to reduce spending and make up for possible revenue shortfalls. But when gas prices dropped this spring, Governor Mead asked state agencies to consider deeper...

If Governor Matt Meads eight percent budget cuts go through, Wyomings state parks would have to make significant cuts in services and staffing. Milward Simpson is the Director of the Department of Parks, Historic Sites and Trails, and he says every state park would be affected. Well be doing less hiring if these budget cuts come to pass. Were also going to eliminate a currently vacant position at Hotsprings State Park, and were going to be reducing all of our supply and operations and...

The Game and Fish Department could see a 10-million-dollar budget shortfall by 2014, largely because it has been selling fewer hunting and fishing licenses. Licenses account for 46-percent of the agencys income. Game and Fish will hold a meeting Thursday/tomorrow night in Cheyenne to discuss its fiscal future. Spokesperson Mark Konishi says the public will have a chance to weigh in on possible alternative funding sources for the future. One of the questions that the public needs to help us...

Listen to the story Falling natural gas prices mean the state could have a serious revenue shortfall for the coming fiscal year. As a result, Gov. Matt Mead asked all state agencies to prepare for 8-percent budget cuts. Some agencies say theyll be able to operate fine with less money, but others are worried. And while a few lawmakers are suggesting alternatives to budget cuts, political experts say its unlikely their proposals will be adopted. Wyoming Public Radios Willow Belden reports....

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 shes concerned that Wyomingites with developmental disabilities could lose vital services. We just want...

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. Yeah, the sales and use tax numbers have been strong all year and a lot of that has to do...

Budget cut proposals to be considered

May 23, 2012

All state agencies have submitted their proposed budget cuts and now its 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. Governor Mead asked agencies to propose cuts of up to eight percent to address falling gas prices. For every dollar below projected natural gas prices, the governor says the state loses about 110 million dollars. Right now, gas prices are 75 cents...

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-Ws budget tied to salaries, he says they have no choice but to cut some positions. That equates about to 80 to 125 positions,...

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