budget cuts

Open Spaces
3:52 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Sequester effects less painful than expected, but lawmakers still unhappy

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.

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News
6:46 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Lawmakers agree to put off budget cut discussions

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.

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News
6:11 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Mead says agencies may not need to make budget cuts

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 state revenues are improving and that more cuts probably won't be necessary.
 
 

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News
6:43 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Wyoming Military Department will implement furloughs

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

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News
6:33 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Senator Enzi says more budget cuts are needed

With federal departments already feeling the heat since across-the-board budget cuts took effect March 1st, 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 Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk are looking at cutting back on operations.

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News
7:11 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Cheyenne Regional Airport might lose air tower

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.

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News
7:12 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Sequester might cut funding for special needs students

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.

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News
7:39 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Mead to deliver State of the State address today

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.

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Legislative
5:28 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Lawmakers get ready to debate loss of federal money vs. Medicaid expansion

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 it effects us here in a very big way.” 

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Open Spaces
4:17 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

State Librarian says libraries are keeping up with the times but fear budget cuts

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.

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News
5:15 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

CREG projects $85 million increase in state revenue

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 hopeful about other energy prices.

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News
5:12 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Wyoming State Parks & Historic Sites Prepare for Budget Cuts

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 still meet our mission.   It’s not easy." Bravo says they’ve been able to generate more revenue for S

News
8:05 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Cuts could be coming to Wyoming Coal Mines

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 company says most of the displaced workers may eventually be rehired.
 

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News
4:25 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

UW wants money for a pay hike

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.     

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News
5:54 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Governor Mead is watching revenue improvements, but recommending cuts

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. 

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News
5:18 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

State parks could feel the pinch of budget cuts

If Governor Matt Mead’s eight percent budget cuts go through, Wyoming’s 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.

"We’ll be doing less hiring if these budget cuts come to pass. We’re also going to eliminate a currently vacant position at Hotsprings State Park, and we’re going to be reducing all of our supply and operations and maintenance budgets across the board, around the state," Simpson says.

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News
6:55 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Wyoming Game and Fish looks for ideas on how to handle budget problems

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 agency’s 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.

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News
5:24 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

Advocacy group urges state not to cut funding for developmental disabilities

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.

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News
6:41 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Take away natural gas prices and Wyoming's economy looks good

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. 

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News
6:23 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Budget cut proposals to be considered

       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. 

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News
6:40 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

UW submits proposed 8-percent budget cuts to Governor Mead

 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.

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News
4:54 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

University of Wyoming weighs options for budget cuts

     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.”

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News
6:53 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Governor tells agencies to be ready for big cuts

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.

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News
5:34 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

The Wyoming Legislature begins budget work

    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.

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News
1:29 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

UW Trustees discuss proposed budget cuts

    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.

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News
6:32 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Mead presents budget to Appropriations Committee

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.

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News
7:19 pm
Fri November 25, 2011

Mead: Brace for budget cuts

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.”

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News
7:05 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Wyo. lawmakers say brace for budget cuts

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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