Wyoming state budget (2011-2012)
State spending by agency for the 2010-2012 biennium can be found here.
The state ended FY 2011 with a surplus of $427 million, $320 million of which came from more revenue than the Wyoming State Legislature had originally anticipated. Some lawmakers, along with Governor Matt Mead, said they favored using much of the extra funds for local governments as well as highways and infrastructure construction projects. Other lawmakers wanted to put the money into the state's existing rainy day fund. The legislature previously stated that any revenues in excess of the $96 million budget reserve fund for FY 2011 should be swept directly into the state's rainy day fund, officially called the Legislative Stabilization Reserve Account, which held over $1 billion at the time.
In 2010, then-Governor Dave Freudenthal announced that the state had $1 billion in liquid savings. He then proposed a supplemental budget providing cities and counties with an additional $50 million and an extra $50 million for state highways. The supplemental budget also allocated $66.2 million toward making up a Medicaid funding shortfall and $83 million for energy research at the University of Wyoming.
Gov. Mead proposed a supplemental budget, but the Joint Appropriations Committee of the legislature drafted its own supplemental budget bill that included several critical departures from the governor's draft. In particular, they diverged on funding for local governments and funding of the state's School Facilities Program.
Regular State Budget
The state legislature finalized a $2.9 billion state funds budget for the biennium that ran through mid-2012. The $2.9 billion did not include federal funds for highway projects and other projects. It also did not include pay raises for state employees.
The Consensus Revenue Estimating Group, the state's budget analysts, raised state revenue projections in October 2010, estimating that the state would have $580 million more for its general operating and reserve accounts as well as an additional $392 million in school construction and operating funds in the budget cycle that ran through June 2012. When lawmakers returned to the capitol in January 2011, they had the choice to spend the additional funds on a more than $1.2 billion supplemental budget. However, fiscal conservatives were expected to make the case for maintaining a substantial amount in reserve.
- The Billings Gazette, "Wyoming lawmakers face save or spend decision," September 22, 2011
- The Billings Gazette, "Freudenthal proposes more money for counties, cities, towns and highways," November 16, 2010
- The Wyoming Tribune Eagle, "Supplemental budget to include more for roads, municipalities," November 16, 2010
- Bloomberg, "Wyoming Legislature to tackle budget this week," February 14, 2011
- The Los Angeles Times, "Rebounding Wyoming economy, led by energy industry, boosts state revenue projections," October 22, 2010 (dead link)
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