As natural gas prices go lower, Governor Matt Mead (R-WY) is asking state agencies to prepare for 8 % cuts by the end of this year.

A reduction of 8% would result in a cut of $74.5 million dollars from the budget in fiscal year 2014, which starts on July 1st, 2013. Governor Mead has also asked state agencies to immediately institute a cap on staff positions.  The Department of Health is exempt from preparing cuts because the Legislature has already directed the Department of Health to make 4% cuts. The instruction to other agencies is to prepare potential cuts.

Natural gas production provides the single largest source of revenue to the state. Wyoming analysts forecast future revenue and that forecast, as of January, predicted $3.25 per million cubic feet (mcf) for natural gas in 2012. The price is currently at a 10 year low, below $2.00/mcf. If this lower price holds through the end of 2012, it could mean a reduction in over $125 million of revenue to the general fund.