Mead Wants To Avoid Cuts Despite Revenue Projections
A new forecast shows that Wyoming revenues continue to fall. The Consensus Revenue Estimating Group, or CREG, says the State of Wyoming will be $150 million dollars short in the current two year budget.
The state is facing unprecedented declines in the coal market, and oil and gas prices are half what they were two years ago. CREG says the shortfall would have been worse if the governor had not cut $250 million from the state budget this summer. But during a Monday news conference, Governor Matt Mead said he doesn’t want to make any more cuts.
“None of us know when mineral prices are going to fully come back, we have to be conservative with the use of the rainy day fund, but we are not going to cut our way back into prosperity.”
The state has nearly $1.5 billion in a rainy day fund along with some other reserves. Mead said it’s time to use some of that money.
“I think people understand that we need to tighten our belt, but I don’t think people understand that as we’re making these cuts that we continue to grow our rainy day fund or that we continue to fill savings accounts.”
Mead said the forecast shows energy prices may soon increase and he added the reserve funds should be used to even things out in the short term.