Wyoming Legislature approves budget, sends to governor
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Legislature approved a primary state budget Saturday for the next two years and sent it to the governor for consideration.
However, two other major pieces of spending legislation regarding capitol construction and education were still being debated into the evening.
The Casper Star-Tribune said the budget keeps funding levels for most of state government largely stable, with increases in spending on social services that Gov. Matt Mead argued were hit too hard by cuts passed during the previous legislative session.
Senate President Eli Bebout, a Riverton Republican, said it was not the compromise he sought but he urged passage on what was scheduled to be the last day of the legislative session.
The Senate passed the budget 19-11, and the House passed it 38-20.
Many lawmakers believed it was a failure to create a budget that significantly shrinks the state’s $850 million budget deficit.
“This general fund just has so much pork in it,” said Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper.
Gray was frustrated with some appropriations, including a new tourism website for the state and money to rescue a private vocational school.
The approved budget adhered closely to Mead’s recommendations for how to fund state agencies.
In an attempt to find a compromise between the House and Senates spending plans, lawmakers previously removed education cuts and state construction projects from the bill.