By Bob Beck
Laramie, Wy – Teachers and state employees may not get pay raises and construction projects may be delayed in this year's state budget. That's the view of the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Phil Nicholas. Nicholas says the budget needs to be conservative and so spending needs to be focused on where it is essential. Nicholas says that is because the state will not have nearly the money to spend compared to when it last did a budget two years ago. He says things will remain this way until the energy industry is revived.
"There is not enough citizens in the state of Wyoming for us to make up deficits in the order of 300 million dollar. We can't make it up. So we have to forecast and plan for the worst. If things get better, great, we can spend the money then."
Nicholas says he is actually optimistic that things will turn around in a couple of years. But he says there is no question that they can no longer spend the amounts of money that they have over the last couple of years. He says local governments and highways will be among the most affected.