Governor’s Budget released; To the JAC Dec. 9th

Governor Mark Gordon released his budget for the next two fiscal years, charting a fiscally conservative path that keeps ongoing spending low and calls for a significant reduction in capital construction.

“The changes that are taking place in the energy industry will impact how we fund government services next year and every year after,” Governor Gordon said. “To prepare for this uncertain future, it’s important we limit ongoing spending, ensure government is operating as efficiently as possible, and limit the use of the rainy day fund. My budget proposal accomplishes all three.”

Governor Gordon’s proposal funds standard agency budgets without cuts for this biennium and limits ongoing costs. It also keeps the use of the Legislative Stabilization Reserve Account (LSRA) or “rainy day fund” solely for legislatively-mandated educational needs and for supporting local communities. “Additional spending cuts are on the horizon and appear imperative to keep Wyoming moving forward. We have been afforded the chance to make those cuts strategically so they will be sustainable,” Gov. Gordon said.

His proposal does call for some one-time investments. These include funding for research and development that supports the state’s energy industry, school safety enhancements, facilities that align with the state’s economic needs, and one-time technology additions that will make government more efficient.

As part of his transparency efforts, the Governor will soon launch “Wyoming Sense”, a website to help taxpayers understand revenues and see how public funds are being spent. The site will allow visitors to see the allocation of dollars to all state agencies, and help them gain an understanding of the different funding streams that each utilizes.

“Despite the challenges ahead, I remain optimistic,” Governor Gordon added. “Wyoming people have always persevered through adversity. Our conservatism is crucial as we exhibit fiscal restraint and acknowledge that government cannot be everything to everyone. In this budget, I have tried to separate the needs from the wants and prepare ourselves for the future,” Governor Gordon added. Gov. Gordon’s letter to the 65th Legislature is available online as is the detailed budget proposal. Gov. Gordon is scheduled to appear before the Joint Appropriations Committee on December 9th.