Report identifies more than $100M a year Wyoming could save
CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming’s state government could save over $100 million a year through a variety of measures that would consolidate services and improve department efficiency, according to a report.
The Legislature’s Government Spending and Efficiency Commission received the report Wednesday as part of lawmakers’ efforts to address a budget shortfall. The state has cut spending to address weak revenue amid tough times for the oil, natural gas and coal industries but still faces a K-12 education deficit of $480 million for the next two-year budget cycle.
In addition to consolidating functions, such as human resources across state agencies, the recommendations included encouraging more bulk equipment orders. Other ideas, such as consolidating administrative functions across neighboring small school districts, would likely prove controversial.
Implementing all the report’s recommendations would save between $112 million and $227 million each budget cycle but cost about $17 million, the Casper Star-Tribune reports .
Lawmakers said they were pleased with the report but not sure yet how to proceed.
“We don’t want a 133-page report to go back and sit on a shelf,” Sen. Drew Perkins, R-Casper, said at the meeting. “Where do we go from here and how do we get to the next step?”
Evaluating and implementing the recommendations would require creating a project manager office with five to eight employees in the executive branch, said J.W. Rust, a senior director with the consulting firm that produced the report, Alvarez & Marsal.
Some members of the legislative commission, which included several non-lawmakers, were somewhat skeptical about how much could actually be saved.
“I spend $17 million and make $200 million?” asked commission member Don Claunch. “Can I put my 401(k) in that?”
Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com