This morning Governor Matt Mead signed Wyoming's budget for the next two years. The budget keeps government spending flat, makes investments in cities, towns and counties and supports highways. Governor Mead noted this budget recognizes declining revenues.
"This budget moves Wyoming forward, but is appropriately cautious with public dollars," Governor Mead said. "We can now take a longer look at strategic cuts if revenue continues to decline and, unfortunately, natural gas prices have continued to slide."
Governor Mead did use his Constitutional authority to veto select portions of the budget bill. "Exercise of the Governor's veto power should never be undertaken lightly and I do not do so now," Governor Mead wrote to Senate President Jim Anderson.
Governor Mead vetoed certain language dealing with the Chief Information Officer's scope of responsibility for review of educational accountability data. Governor Mead also vetoed language that would have reduced staff in the Department of Environmental Quality, along with the budget series subject to zero based budgeting and a section that would have caused state employees to pay higher costs for health insurance.
Governor Mead was joined for the signing by President Jim Anderson, Speaker Ed Buchanan, the Chairs of the Joint Appropriations Committee, Senator Phil Nicholas and Representative Rosie Berger, as well as the rest of the Committee. "I want to thank all the members of the Joint Appropriations Committee for all their work throughout the year. I hope the citizens of Wyoming recognize the tremendous effort you put into creating a sound budget," Governor Mead said.
Governor Mead also signed House Bill 121 this morning. That bill is related to Abandoned Mine Land funds. Governor Mead did make a line item veto to this bill in order to remove language that potentially conflicted with federal law.