In making a request for pay hikes for University of Wyoming faculty and staff before the legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee, University Vice President for Research, Bill Gern, spent a considerable amount of time discussing some of the major research faculty who are leaving U-W.
Gern says they have lost or are losing up to 20 key faculty members who are taking their research dollars with them. He says recent budget cuts have made it difficult for the University to keep some of these faculty...and their departure has a major impact on U-W.
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…
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.
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.
Governor Matt Mead says falling natural gas prices make this a good time to reevaluate his proposed budget. In December, the governor submitted his budget, which asked agencies to present a two-percent cut to their budgets. That budget was based on natural gas prices which were nearly $3.50 per MCF at the time.