Governor Mead Proposes $248 Million in Budget Cuts
Mead told the Legislature's Joint Appropriations Committee Tuesday morning, that the state's revenue shortfall could climb to $510 million in the two-year budget cycle that starts July 1.
"Seventy-two percent of the state's general fund resides in five agencies: the Department of Health, University of Wyoming, the Department of Corrections, community colleges and the Department of Family Services," said Mead.
"There is no way to arrive at $248 million of budget reductions without significant reductions to these agencies," he added.
The majority of the cuts, $90 million to be exact, come from the Department of Health. Mead says the reductions will cost $41 million in lost federal matching funds.
"The reductions come at an estimated cost of 677 private-sector jobs," said Mead. "Had we expanded Medicaid we would still be making cuts, but I believe the cuts would not be to the degree they are now."
"I do not like the cuts," Mead added. "If you all believe there is a better way or that you can create a better plan I encourage you to do so, to call a special session."
Other agencies facing large cuts include:
— The University of Wyoming: $35 million;
— Community colleges: $20 million;
— Department of Corrections: $17.4 million;
— Department of Family Services: $13.9 million.