Lawmakers Begin Work With Positive Revenue News

Jan 13, 2021

Credit Stephanie Joyce

The Wyoming Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG) said the state's revenue picture looks brighter. The latest CREG forecast shows an $82 million improvement from October. The news came as the legislature held an opening day session.

A lot of focus has been on budget cuts, especially to programs in the Wyoming Department of Health. Cheyenne Rep. Jared Olsen said the revenue picture is trending in the right direction.

"That means we have another pool of money that we didn't anticipate having when we began building this budget in December," said Olsen. "I do think there's an opportunity for the Appropriations Committee to revisit those health cuts."

Legislative leaders said it does seem unlikely that much in the way of tax hikes will be approved this session, and it's unclear how much additional budget cutting will occur outside of proposals made by Gov. Mark Gordon. Several freshman lawmakers ran on budget cuts. House Minority Leader Cathy Connolly said that cutting the budget is harder than it looks, especially when you get feedback from constituents and others.

"Our jobs are not comfortable, they just aren't," she said.

Connolly said it's the job of lawmakers to get up to speed on issues without relying on "bumper sticker philosophy."