Is it Raining in Wyoming?
The upcoming budget session is still months away, but Wyoming Governor Matt Mead says it may be time to dip into the state's rainy day account.
"Things are going to be tight in Wyoming," said Governor Mead. "The projections from the CREG looks like for the current biennium that we're going to be able to meet those, but few, if any, dollars will be left beyond that."
Governor Mead says a 45% drop in natural gas prices and a $45/barrel decline in Wyoming crude are partially to blame.
"We don't know what the CREG is going to be in October, but we know that it's going to be a difficult period for the state," said Governor Mead. "It looks like roughly right now we will be able to fund the standard budget, but we will not have much of an opportunity, unless we look at other pots of money, to fund exception requests."
Governor Mead says exception requests aren't these areas of fluff that the name may suggest. He says the Wyoming Office of Tourism's advertising budget as well as funding for capitol renovations and local governments are all exception requests.
"At the county and the local level they believe it's raining. You talk to some counties, they're looking at reductions of 40% to 50%," said Governor Mead. "Is this the time to be looking at the rainy day fund? How can we use it? How should we use it? What should be the parameters surrounding that? This is the discussion the Legislature and I will have as I prepare my budget."