By Bob Beck
Cheyenne, Wy – The Wyoming legislature has a billion dollars in its reserve account. This comes at a time when the state revenue picture has improved greatly. Some citizens have complained that the state should not keep such a large reserve. But Senate Appropriations chairman Phil Nicholas says Wyoming's revenue picture is like a roller coaster. He says a large reserve is necessary to protect the state when the economy dips.
"And I see that as investment to protect the tax structure of the state. Because if you spend everything you've got, if you are not protecting those and creating rainy day accounts, when things go down, the only thing you can do is raise taxes."
Nicholas uses the same reasoning when questioning the state's spending on government. He says it is important to look for savings and eliminate duplication of services.