Wyoming Lawmakers React to Governor’s State of State [AUDIO]
Governor Matt Mead outlined his priorities in his State of the State address to lawmakers in Cheyenne. The governor emphasized that Wyoming's in a strong position, particularly compared to most other states. Mead told lawmakers that they must contain state spending in the face of declining revenue projections. He also urged lawmakers to approve an increase in the state fuel tax to help pay for road construction.
Reaction to the Governor's speech was mostly positive, but some lawmakers disagreed with some of his suggestions. Cheyenne Senator Wayne Johnson (SD-6) said he would support using using severance taxes to help pay for roads.
I would prefer using the severance tax for roads...
Senate Minority Floor Leader Laramie Senator Chris Rothfuss (SD-9 ), said he agreed with the governor that the state needs to figure out spending going forward. He also added that he supports supports a proposal to raise the states gas tax.
we are recognizing that a lot of the road use is from out of state drivers....
Governor Mead also urged lawmakers to look carefully at whether the state should accept $50 million in federal funds to expand the Medicaid system in the state. House Minority Floor Leader Cheyenne Representative Mary Throne (HD-11 ) said she would support the expansion.
our hospitals have a lot of unpaid bills, we call it uncompensated care... in addition to state savings we would also have substantial savings to our hospitals....
Senator Eli Bebout (SD-26) , Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee said cutting the budget will require a lot of work to get it right.
we're looking at cuts and reductions, and we are looking for real substantive reductions....
Sen. Johnson on severance taxes on roads
Sen. Rothfuss on supporting gax tax increase
Rep. Throne on medicaid expansion
Sen. Bebout on spending cuts