Gov. Mark Gordon told lawmakers that Wyoming is envied by other states since it has savings. At the State of the State address on Monday, Gordon said that will allow the state to delay any massive cuts before the implications for the reductions can be understood.
"My budget charts a physically stable path. It keeps ongoing spending flat, giving the state time to think about services we need to survive and those we can do without," he said.
Gordon urged lawmakers to continue to invest in clean coal, marketing and other energy projects. Gordon noted that 28 states have enacted renewable energy standards and low carbon policies.
"We produce better energy, more safely with more attention to the environment than anywhere else on the planet . And yet our industries are still discriminated against, maligned and decried as dead. Well, not on my watch. "The joint session of the legislature erupted into cheers following that remark.
Gordon said he continues to support clean coal research, having the state's Public Service Commission challenge plans to close coal fired power plants and legal challenges to support opening coal ports. He also supports price-based reduction in severance taxes for those in the natural gas industry.
As for education, the governor said spending needs to addressed, and he suggested looking at the basket of goods in the school funding model.
"The basket is what Wyoming mandates be taught in school. It was crafted when Amazon was only a book store and the Spice Girls were all the rage," noted Gordon. "We owe it to our kids and our state to offer a 21st century world class education."
Gordon is also supporting increasing support for tourism and recreation, possibly with a tourism tax.
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