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Reports on Wyoming State Government Activity

State Budget Department launches program to increase access to federal grants

Two men, one in jeans and a t-shirt, and the other in jeans, a button down, a suit jacket, and cowboy hat shake hands. People in hard hats and fluorescent vests mill around in the background.
Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Transportation

The Wyoming State Budget Department launched The Wyoming Grant Assistance Program on July 9. It's designed to help state agencies, local and tribal governments, nonprofits and small businesses access federal grants.

Christine Emminger, senior budget analyst and administrator of WYGAP, said that she became aware of the struggles local governments faced after an efficiency study conducted in 2018.

"What they identified is that we need to make sure that we focus on assisting our local governments," said Emminger. "Our local governments are at a significant deficit whenever it comes to capacity and being able to manage some of these federal grants, whether they come directly from the federal government or from our state department programs."

Those struggles increased and intensified during the pandemic, when Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds were made available.

"What we saw through both of those programs is that there was very, very high need for grant writing and grant management services," said Emminger.

Gov. Mark Gordon said that he worked for two years with Sens. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming) and John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) to respond to community requests for help accessing grant funding.

“The interest in these opportunities has been overwhelming and they can be used to reduce local community tax burden while improving services," Gordon said in a written statement. "The Grants Management Initiative will help our local governments and small businesses succeed.”

Interested parties are invited to learn more during a Grants Management Office webinar on Friday, July 12, at 10 a.m. Register for the webinar here.

This reporting was made possible by a grant from the Corporation For Public Broadcasting, supporting state government coverage in the state. Wyoming Public Media and Jackson Hole Community Radio are partnering to cover state issues both on air and online.

David Dudley is an award-winning journalist who has written for The Guardian, The Christian Science Monitor, High Country News, WyoFile, and the Wyoming Truth, among many others. David was a Guggenheim Crime in America Fellow at John Jay College from 2020-2023. During the past 10 years, David has covered city and state government, business, economics and public safety beats for various publications. He lives in Cheyenne with his family.

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