Wyoming Legislature Approves Budget Compromise
Both houses of the Wyoming Legislature on Saturday morning voted to approve a compromise budget bill.
But even though the measure won approval, it was pretty clear that a lot of members of both the Wyoming House and Senate either don't like the bill at all or felt the evils of voting the measure down outweighed the benefits of what they consider to be a flawed budget.
But even though the measure passed, it did come under fire in floor debate.
For example, Senate Minority Leader Chris Rothfus [D-Albany County] while urging Senators to vote for the measure, had a fair amount of criticism of the proposal. He said he thought ''everyone here realizes this doesn't serve our long-term problem."
Rothfus said during the interim between the 2017 Legislative Session and this session, there was a fair amount of discussion of a ''balanced approach'' to the state's budget challenges that would include both spending cuts and ways to improve revenue, including tax increases. But he said none of the tax increase proposals ended up being approved.
The Democratic leader said that left Wyoming with ''very little in terms of options and flexibility."
Goshen County Republican Senator Curt Meier, while agreeing with Rothfus on the need for a balanced approach, said he felt there were a number of possible spending cuts left on the table. He said he ''wished we could have done a little more" in terms of spending cuts.
The approval of the budget bill clears a major hurdle for the 2018 Budget Session to come to a close.
But as of noon Saturday, two other major issues--education funding and capital construction--still had yet to be resolved.