budget cuts

University of Wyoming

The state's higher education institutions are partnering to develop a new way to address Wyoming's economic needs.

Wyoming Innovation Network, or WIN, looks to make a more cohesive system between the University of Wyoming and the state's seven community college districts. Higher education leaders and Gov. Mark Gordon came together on Monday to announce the news in a press conference.

Magellan Healthcare

Following Gov. Mark Gordon's request for an additional $500 million funding cut, the Wyoming Department of Health has come up with a way to shave close to $47 million from its general fund budget.

screen shot by Tennessee Watson

On Monday, Dec. 14, the Joint Appropriations Committee heard Wyoming Department of Family Services' Director Korin Schmidt present her department's plan to cut its budget. This comes after Gov. Mark Gorden announced last month he wanted the state budget reduced by an additional $500 million, following 10 percent cuts in July.

Taylar Stagner

Riverton Library is quiet today. And sure, libraries are supposed to be quiet places but right now it's extra quiet. Before COVID-19 heath restrictions the Riverton Library was seeing 450 people on average per day with a staff of ten assistant librarians.

Wyoming PBS

Gov. Mark Gordon is proposing more than half a billion dollars in cuts to state agencies in his supplemental budget.

At a press conference on Monday, Gordon said that after July's round of 10 percent cuts, it was time to look at which departments could absorb more.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming will move forward with its plan to cut 10 percent from its budget.

The UW Board of Trustees approved the administration's $42.3 million budget reduction plan. This comes after Gov. Mark Gordon requested state agencies take a 10 percent cut from state funding due to a drop in revenue.

University of Wyoming

Officials at the University of Wyoming have announced their draft proposal in response to a $42 million budget cut. It includes potential impacts to seven different colleges on campus, athletics, and positions, most of which are currently unfilled. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with UW interim Provost Anne Alexander. First, Alexander laid out what's included in the draft plan.

Wyoming Department of Corrections

Gov. Mark Gordon has announced the new director of the Wyoming Department of Corrections (WDOC). Dan Shannon has been with the department since 2007 and previously served as the deputy director. Shannon, who's been in the corrections field for more than 20 years, said reorganization of the department due to budget cuts is his main focus. He spoke with Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler about how the department will be adapting to working with less.

University of Wyoming

Due to Wyoming's economic downturn, Gov. Mark Gordon asked state agencies and departments to make 10 percent budget cuts.

Eda Uzunlar

Wyoming's revenue picture looks better than it did in May, but a top state budget analyst told the legislature's Joint Appropriations Committee that it's still not good. 

Jackson Hole Police Department

The Teton County Board of Commissioners appointed five members of the community to be on a task force that will help shape the direction of law enforcement in the valley.

This comes after the commissioners received public feedback on budgeting for law enforcement and human services. This was at the same time of the national movement to defund the police. 

WYDOT

The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) is looking at new options to generate revenue as the department faces a $135 million revenue shortfall.

The department is mainly funded by federal dollars and a fuel tax, but WYDOT Director Luke Reiner said the tax has its limitations.

EDA UZUNLAR

In September, Wyoming Department of Family Services (DFS) Director Korin Schmidt convened stakeholders in the juvenile justice system to discuss high-needs kids with mental health diagnoses and disabilities who end up in juvenile detention centers.

How Budget Cuts Could Harm At-Risk Kids

Sep 22, 2020
Miles Bryan

Wyoming has one of the highest juvenile incarceration rates in the nation, and state budget cuts are likely to make that problem worse, according to members of the State Advisory Council on Juvenile Justice.

money
CC0 Public Domain

This week, Gov. Mark Gordon started addressing Wyoming's $1.5 billion shortfalls with $250 million in budget cuts.

The cuts are due to the economic fallout from COVID-19 and a sudden drop in energy prices. Gordon has said he would like to see cuts, reserves, and some new revenue sources used together to address the shortfall, but that remains difficult.

State of Wyoming

After several months of anticipation, Wyoming has withdrawn its bid for roughly four million acres of mineral rights and a million acres of land owned by the oil and gas company Occidental Petroleum. Gov. Mark Gordon had hoped to use those assets to improve the state's rate of return on investments.

Throughout the process, there were questions about what was going on behind-the-scenes. Gordon put out a statement following the state's bid withdrawal looking to answer some of those questions. Wyoming Public Radio's Cooper McKim spoke with the governor to talk through that statement.

Eda Uzunlar

Faced with more than a $1 billion budget deficit Gov. Mark Gordon announced on Wednesday his plan for a 10 percent cut to various state agencies, boards and commissions. With the Wyoming Department of Family Services included in these reductions, the juvenile justice system in Wyoming will have to adapt.

Wyoming PBS

Gov. Mark Gordon announced $250 million in budget cuts as the state tries to deal with a massive budget deficit of over $1 billion. Nine percent of that cut will come from the Wyoming Department of Health, which will eliminate a number of programs that serve seniors and low-income people. 

Screen shot from http://www.uwyo.edu/diversity/council-on-dei/committee-membership.html

The University of Wyoming is planning to reopen for in-person instruction this fall. But after many years of steady and sometimes increasing enrollment, the institution is expecting a significant drop because of COVID-19.

Jimmy Emerson, DVM via https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Wyoming legislators were told that state revenue projections are down $1.5 billion from January led by a huge drop in projected oil prices. 

Tennessee Watson / Wyoming Public Radio

School boards across Wyoming are in the midst of putting together budgets for the coming academic year. While lawmakers took a break from reducing education funding in 2019, they failed to identify new revenue and more stable funding for schools. K-12 education funding saw roughly $100 million in cuts between 2016 and 2018. School boards say they are still absorbing the shock of those cuts.

A public hearing will be held on proposed changes to special education funding. The Wyoming Association of Special Education Administrators (WASEA) called for the meeting because they say more time and information are needed before weighing in on the new Chapter 44 rules.

As part of an ongoing effort to root out inefficiencies in public education, lawmakers have asked the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) to draft rules that strengthen guidelines for special education spending. Wyoming is the only state to reimburse school districts 100 percent for special education services.

Pexels

To save the state money, new rules were passed to increase the capacity of classrooms to 25 students for all grades. Statute previously recommended that kindergarten through 3rd-grade classroom capacity be capped at 16, and 4th through 12th grade at 21. Those numbers help determine when the state needs to fund the construction of new schools to accommodate growth.

Tennessee Watson / Wyoming Public Radio

The University of Wyoming Faculty Senate, the administration and the Board of Trustees have reached an agreement on changes to regulations regarding how the university will respond to financial challenges in the future.

Tennessee Watson

When the University of Wyoming trustees met last week, the campus was abuzz with concern about proposed changes to the authority of the board. What the administration is calling a routine update to university regulations was seen by some as a power grab that would give trustees the ability to more easily eliminate academic programs and ax faculty.

Despite warnings from President Laurie Nichols and her staff last June the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees voted to transfer close to $140 million in cash into reserve accounts. The cash was pulled from individual campus units like colleges and departments.

A focus on the educational needs of foster kids increased with the implementation of Every Student Succeeds: the federal act that replaced No Child Left Behind. The new guidelines required Wyoming school districts to implement foster care plans. Districts now have foster care liaisons and collaborative agreements with local representatives from the Department of Family Services (DFS).

Screen shot from March 21-23 UW Board of Trustees materials altered by Tennessee Watson

The University of Wyoming’s Salary Policy Task Force presented findings to the Board of Trustees Thursday confirming that staff are paid below average when compared to peer institutions and relevant industries. The task force was appointed by President Laurie Nichols last August after staff raised concerns about salary distribution.

 

Wyoming State Legislature

As the budget session comes to a close, there’s still no conclusion on how to fund education. The House wants to use sales tax from online purchases and other new sources of revenue, while the Senate prefers to dip into reserve funding and reduce spending on education.

 

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