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Gordon targets “immediate challenges facing the state” with his budget proposal

 A man in a cowboy hat stands behind a podium with the TransWest Express logo on it. The Wyoming flag and TransWest Express logo on a flag fly behind him.
Caitlin Tan
Wyoming Public Media

Gov. Mark Gordon has released a “conservative” budget proposal that he’ll present to state lawmakers early next year. He said it funds some of Wyoming’s most pressing issues, including property tax relief, mental health and economic development.

“It focuses on needs and not wants, but addresses the pressing challenges of today – a continuously overreaching federal government; workforce shortages; inflation; an unacceptably high suicide rate; and property tax relief for the truly needy,” Gordon said in a statement.

The budget is for the fiscal period from 2025 to 2026. While the state has enjoyed strong revenues in recent years – bolstered by high natural gas prices and federal pandemic relief dollars – Gordon said the long-term revenue future of Wyoming is more uncertain. The governor wants to set aside a good amount of money into savings accounts.

“In totality, this budget proposes living within our means, not just in this biennium, but in those to come,” Gordon said. “It keeps ongoing spending at a level we can sustain.”

The proposal allocates $20 million to expand the state’s Property Tax Refund Program. It also funds community and youth mental health services, invests in economic development programs and adds capacity for the 988 suicide prevention hotline. The state plans to fight against the federal government in court and is setting aside money for legal fees.

In terms of cuts, those may come from programming for seniors, those in long term care and people with developmental disabilities, according to the publication WyoFile.

Lawmakers will begin debating the state’s next budget during the 2024 legislative session in February.

Will Walkey is currently a reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. Through 2023, Will was WPR's regional reporter with the Mountain West News Bureau. He first arrived in Wyoming in 2020, where he covered Teton County for KHOL 89.1 FM in Jackson. His work has aired on NPR and numerous member stations throughout the Rockies, and his story on elk feedgrounds in Western Wyoming won a regional Murrow award in 2021.
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