Governor Gordon, Strike Team Building Proposals to Help Wyoming Thrive
September 9, 2021
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Mark Gordon continues to lead planning efforts on how to most effectively invest in the future of Wyoming. The public engagement and planning process is continuing, as the Governor’s Strike Team prepares recommendations on how best to utilize state funds awarded under the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARP).
The Governor previously expressed his commitment to a thoughtful, purposeful, transparent, and strategic approach to handling ARP funds. He has assembled a Strike Team that includes members of his cabinet, legislators and local elected officials to develop recommendations on short, medium, and long-term goals that will inform the use of the funds.
The Governor’s plan to “Survive, Drive and Thrive” was published in June, identifying three areas of focus:
Health and Social Services
Education and Workforce
Economic Diversity and Economic Development
For each area, Governor Gordon has directed strike team members to focus on solutions to challenges identified through a survey sent to stakeholders earlier this year. Agency partners have continued additional public outreach with community members, businesses, and nonprofit organizations to directly identify issues and potential solutions. This feedback is critical as they look to develop new and expanded programs, services, and other resources.
“The work that we’re doing has been informed by the on-the-ground information we’re getting from across Wyoming,” Governor Gordon said. “I’m looking forward to seeing the ideas that are generated through this process and then discussing them with all residents and legislators.”
The process includes developing proposals for initiatives or new programs for consideration by the Legislature. Unlike previously received federal relief funds, the state has more than five years to spend ARP funds.
For instance, the Wyoming Business Council is leading Drive Goal #2 to “strengthen Wyoming’s economy and revenue streams,” engaging in public and one-on-one meetings to identify specific challenges and develop projects and proposals that show evidence-based links to increasing jobs, wages, economic output, or state revenue. Another example is that the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources is developing ideas to enhance outdoor recreation in Wyoming. They are using feedback from local collaboratives to shape their planning and recommendations.
In addition, members of the Strike Team are engaging stakeholders to develop proposals to address challenges related to workforce development, education, childcare, food insecurity, healthcare, wildlife conservation, and making government more efficient.
The Governor’s office will provide an update on ARP expenditure planning to the Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee at 4 pm today. This is the third public meeting to discuss the Drive and Thrive planning. Final proposals for the first round of spending are due in October and will be presented to the Legislature at the end of the year. Those proposals will then be debated and considered by the full Legislature.