The legislature said yes, Matt Mead said no, and since the Governor has the last word, planning of the proposed new state office building will be delayed.

For several years now, the legislature has been saving money and working to build the new state office building for a variety of reasons. The primary reason however, is to relocate state employees to the office building while renovations are executed in the state capitol building. Without the new state office building, renovations in the capitol building will be postponed.

Last month, Representative Pete Illoway and Senator Tony Ross, both of Cheyenne, wrote a letter to Governor Mead, recommending the plan go forward because of the lack of a fire suppression system in the capitol, along with outdated plumbing, electrical and other various systems in the building.

$4.4 million had been set aside for planning of the new state office building, but language in the budget allowed the Governor to hold the funds if necessary. Citing the troubling state revenues and falling natural gas prices, that is exactly what the Governor has done.

While Mead says statewide budget cuts are currently being reviewed, "This is not the time to spend money on a large construction project; it is the time for fiscal restraint. I also recognize that doing the planning now might not be prudent because the plans could become outdated if the Legislature and other elected officials agree with me and we hold off construction for several years."

Ross and Illoway have expressed disappointment with the decision, mentioning the potential for a fire in the capitol building. The two congressmen plan to  meet with the Governor after he returns from his trip to China.

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