Education

Wyoming lawmakers eye cuts as way to reduce budget deficit

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Lawmakers in Wyoming are contemplating methods to reduce the state’s budget deficit in response to the financial downtown brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, together with altering the training funding mannequin.

Senate leaders are anticipated to focus on the supplemental budget and training funding mannequin this week, after the present income mannequin has faltered due to declining demand in coal.

Senate President Dan Dockstader, a Republican, stated final week that the state wanted a “reality check,” the Casper Star-Tribune reported.


“Our obligation is to bring a balanced budget — and to live within our means — back to the state of Wyoming,” he stated.

Last year, the Legislature permitted the state budget with essential revisions in response to the pandemic.

In May, state officers predicted Wyoming might face a $1.5 billion income decline by June 2022 in mild of the pandemic and a downturn in oil and coal manufacturing. However, predictions had been scaled again after Republican Gov. Mark Gordon made substantial cuts to the budget and there was a slight recovery in power exercise over the previous a number of months.

However, the state nonetheless has to handle a multimillion-dollar shortfall in funding for Ok-12 public training.

Lawmakers have launched some laws supposed to impose minor tax or payment will increase, however none have made it to the House or Senate flooring and others have but to be heard.

Senate leaders stated income payments ought to stay on the sideline as a result of they’re a untimely repair in replenishing the state’s common fund.

“There is no way in the state of Wyoming with 500,000 people that you could raise enough revenue,” Senate Majority Floor Leader Ogden Driskill, a Republican, informed the Star-Tribune on Friday. “We’re not going to have another stream like coal. It needs to come from a foundation of cuts.”

Republican Senate Vice President Larry Hicks concurred, saying the federal government wanted to establish its “threshold” and resize earlier than new income sources could possibly be adopted.

“We’re going to resize government and find out where the floor is,” Hicks stated. “Once we figure out where the floor is, if we lack the revenue stream, and people want something above that, that’s when we’ll have a very serious conversation about taxes.”


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