Wyoming Lawmakers to Tackle Budget Shortfall
Wyoming lawmakers will have to tackle a major revenue shortfall during the upcoming budget session.
Governor Matt Mead says falling energy prices could cause a budget shortfall of nearly $200 million.
"We're not going to have sufficient revenue to cover the appropriations that have been made through the end of this fiscal year," said Governor Mead. "The law requires that when that happens that I have to make cuts and we don't know the number, but I can tell you that we think it's probably well in excess of $100 million."
Some lawmakers have suggested cutting local government funding, but Governor Mead says that's not the solution.
"When I talk to counties and towns, it's raining," said Governor Mead. "The downturn for the state is difficult, but I know for some counties and towns they don't talk about single digit drops, they talk about 20 or 30 percent. And so in many ways it's even more difficult for the counties and what they will have to deal with. All the more reason that I'm going to remain steadfast in how important it is to continue state funding for local government."
Governor Mead says it would be unrealistic to assume that he's going to be able to ask for and receive the same amount of money for local governments that he received last budget session. He says all counties should anticipate lower state support.
"I think through tightening our belts and by using some of the funding that we have built up over the last four years that we can get through this," said Mead. "Commodity prices will come back as they have in the past."