By Bob Beck
Laramie, Wy – Because income for the state budget will be much lower this year, the governor and some legislators say that it is time to hold the line on spending. One group that could see less money in the upcoming budget is local governments. But state Senator Mike Massie wants to take a different approach. Massie favors using the state savings accounts, known as the rainy day funds, to help local governments until the economy turns around. Massie says the legislature recently made a commitment to help local government and he says that should not waver.
"We can't pull the rug out from underneath them. And so we have to figure out what the optimum level of funding for cities, towns and counties will be for the next two years. And if we have to dip into the rainy day accounts, in order to provide them with sufficient funding, then that's something we need to seriously consider."
However, not everyone agrees. Senate Appropriations Chairman Phil Nicholas says local governments were aware that they would likely get less revenue and he adds that they should have been planning for it. The appropriations committee will start working on the state budget in January.