By Bob Beck
Cheyenne, Wy – The Wyoming Legislature's Joint Appropriations committee has started working on the state budget. Committee members heard from the Governor who urged them not to use the state reserve accounts and try to hold the line on most spending this session, until the economy rebounds. Most committee members say they agree with that approach. Jackson Democrat Pete Jorgensen says he is hearing from people who are concerned that the Governor is recommending less spending on highway construction. He says they plan on using federal money to continue work.
"We are really not through with that. Next year it will be a large part of recovery act funding, that we already have gotten. The stimulus money total is close to 500-million. So they are doing ok."
In fact, Jorgensen says most agencies will be fine in this budget, although he is nervous about impacts that federal health care legislation could have on Wyoming. Casper Republican Steve Harshman says balancing the budget will not be hard, because they only need to really cut one time spending.