October 26, 2015
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead outlined his plan to deal with the revenue shortfall reported today by the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG) report. The CREG projections are the basis for budget recommendations.
“Today’s CREG reduces projected revenue for the 2015-2016 biennium and affects the remainder of the 2016 fiscal year appropriations,” said Governor Mead. “The CREG also projects lower revenue for the 2017-18 biennium. The projection for the present fiscal year – FY 2016 – requires me to reduce appropriations to ensure spending does not exceed projected revenue. By state law, we cannot overspend.”
The reductions for FY 2016 will come from agency budgets and restrictions on major project accounts. When building the 2015-2016 budget, more than $109 million was set aside. These funds are known as the statutory budget reserve. They are a safeguard for this very situation. They, too, can be used to address the 2016 revenue shortfall.
Budget recommendations for the 2017-18 biennium are being developed now. Governor Mead’s budget priorities are as follows:
· Investment in state and local governments. This investment keeps communities strong.
· Investment in education. This investment in our youth helps Wyoming stay competitive now and in the future.
· Investment in economic opportunities. This investment diversifies our economy, provides jobs for Wyoming people and supports our major industries – energy, tourism and ag.
· State programs necessary for our most vulnerable populations.
“The Legislature has been my partner in fiscal planning from my first day in office,” continued Governor Mead. “We have worked on fiscal policy that grows Wyoming’s economy, creates opportunities, and allows us to move steadily forward in all revenue climates. We have established and grown savings and permanent funds. We must steer a steady course now as we navigate a period of diminished revenue.”