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Wyoming governor orders deep new budget cuts

Governor Mark Gordon
Governor Mark Gordon

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (KIFI/KIDK)-Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon has approved more than $250 million in state budget cuts for the current 2-year budget cycle.  

The cuts represent about 10% of the state’s general fund budget after revenue projections showed an almost $1 billion shortfall for the general fund and another $500 million for school funding.

Gordon said the reductions will include state employees losing jobs, as well as mandatory furloughs, a reduction in major maintenance spending and consolidation of personnel across state agencies.

“This is an incredibly difficult task but we must respond to the financial circumstances the state is facing,” Governor Gordon said. “These cuts will impact families across the state, will affect the services we provide and will have an effect on dollars that flow into the private sector.”

The governor’s reductions include 10% cuts for most state agencies, boards, and commissions.  The Department of Health, which is the state’s largest budget, will see a 9% cut totaling $90 million.  The cuts include significant general fund expenditures in the private sector in the form of contracts.  Services for seniors, disabled, and low-income residents will not be available or will be reduced.

“The repercussions to our communities and the businesses of our state are significant,” Governor Gordon added. “While they are necessary, these cuts weaken our ability to deliver the critical services and functions of our state government that Wyomingites depend on.”

The governor ordered a mandatory furlough day for six months beginning in August for executive branch employees at the higher end of the pay scale.  An executive order, signed Friday, directs the Director of the Department of Administration and Information to coordinate the consolidation of all human resources personnel under that department.

Gordon said the budget cuts would still leave a forecasted budget shortfall of more than $600 million.  He directed state agencies to prepare proposals to cut an additional 10% from their budgets and submit the proposals to him.

He said cutting services will not be enough to address the scope of the shortfall.

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