By Peter O'Dowd
Laramie, Wy – The chairman of the Senate's appropriations committee says Governor Dave Freudenthal's 500-million dollar supplemental budget request went overboard.
With falling energy prices, Republican Senator Phil Nicholas of Laramie says he expects January's revenue report to show greatly reduced spending power in Wyoming. The governor's spending request took reduced revenue into consideration, but Nicholas says it's still too ambitious, especially if lawmakers choose to put money in the state's rainy day fund. There are things the governor wanted to do, there are things the legislators want to do that are high priority, but there's not going to be enough money to do everything. Nicholas says he agrees with the governor's proposal to staff the new prison, but he says beyond that there may be no room for additional spending. He says if the state does not enjoy a revenue surplus, it will be the legislature's responsibility to live within the state's means.