October 25, 2016
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead held a press conference Monday to discuss the latest update from the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG). The CREG’s October report is a projection of state revenues used to help shape the state budget.
The report shows a General Fund shortfall of approximately $156 million for the remainder of the 2017/2018 Biennium. However, $104 million of that is due to a statutory requirement to refill a savings account leaving $52 million as the more accurate figure for the shortfall. The Governor reiterated he will not submit further budget reductions prior to the 2017 legislative session and he asked the Legislature to create guidelines for using the Legislative Stabilization Reserve Account, also known as the Rainy Day Fund.
“The cuts made by the Legislature during the Session and the cuts I made in June have put us in a manageable position,” said the Governor. “People understand we need to tighten our belt as we make these difficult cuts. But they may not understand that we make these cuts as we keep filling savings accounts.”
“There is an appropriate amount of the Rainy Day Fund that can be used during this time to ensure we take care of our roads, healthcare and other important services. Additional cuts to the Departments of Health and Corrections, for example, will be very difficult,” continued Governor Mead. “My hope is that we can work closely with the Legislature to smooth out this downturn by using some of our savings – especially as those funds are growing.”
The Governor thanked the CREG for their work. His budget will be completed by December 1, 2016. The full CREG forecast can be viewed here: http://eadiv.state.wy.us/creg/GreenCREG_Oct16.pdf.