Gov. Mark Gordon said although Wyoming's revenue picture is changing, the state should take the next two years to determine priorities and decide where future revenue may come from.
During his budget presentation before the Legislature's Joint Appropriations Committee, Gordon noted that he has created a program called Power Wyoming that will study shrinking revenue and get a better understanding what will happen if spending in certain areas is reduced. Gordon said budget reductions could lead to a loss in federal dollars or there could be major impacts on particular constituencies. He wants to get that information so he and lawmakers can make more thoughtful budget choices.
Senate Appropriations Chairman Eli Bebout said he still favors change in one area.
"I mean, you look at our general fund we are in pretty good shape. Education is the one with the huge amounts of money, the huge deficit. It's just hard when you have these things going on in the education budget…where you look at a state employees who haven't had raises. In the education system, in the model, it happens every year and it grows and grows and grows," said Bebout.
Another area of immediate concern is rising state insurance costs. House Committee Chairman Bob Nicholas said employees may need to pay higher premiums and see some reductions in benefits. Lawmakers and the Governor pledged to work together on any major policy changes.
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