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Wyoming Legislature compromises on supplemental budget

Wyoming Capitol
Steven Girt/GirtCommunications
Wyoming Capitol

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The Wyoming Legislature has voted to approve a supplemental budget, compromising between two slightly different versions passed by the House and Senate earlier this month.

The Senate voted on Monday 26-3 to pass a budget report presented by the joint conference committee, The Casper Star-Tribune reported Tuesday. The House voted 57-4 to endorse the report.

The Legislature had to pass an amended budget this session to financially carry the state through June 2022, after the governor made a series of budget cuts last year in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The House and the Senate passed their own versions of the bill after making amendments but only one version could become law.

The final supplemental budget reduces the state's general fund by about $430 million, said Republican state Sen. Drew Perkins. The Legislative committee originally recommended cutting $446 million from the budget.

Perkins said the difference in the two chambers' recommendations came down to fund transfers, and that the general fund compromises were nearly split.

"We were not all that far apart on general fund and (School Foundation Program Reserve Account) appropriations combined," Perkins said. "(But) we were substantially apart, about $160 million apart, on fund transfers."

The Legislative committee adopted six of the 24 House amendments and three of the 16 Senate amendments. The committee also revised 10 amendments.

The recent $1.9 trillion stimulus act passed by the federal government expedited the committee's ability to reach a budget deal, state officials said.

The budget "is done because, one, I don't think our positions were that far apart," Republican House Speaker Eric Barlow said. "Then, there's the second part of why that happened. And that's the federal dollars actually made a difference."

Article Topic Follows: Wyoming Politics

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