Governor Matt Mead says he was pleased to hear that the federal government will be returning $53 million in mineral money to the state. The Department of Interior announced Monday that it will restore $111 million in mineral payments to 35 states that had been cut as a result of the automatic federal spending restrictions that took effect in March.

Governor Mead says it has been a very long road. He says the state did all it could through the Western Governor's Association. He adds that he spoke to Governor Hickenlooper of Colorado and Governor Herbert of Utah about what the loss of funding would mean to Wyoming. He says they really stepped up and he believes their letter was helpful. Mead also credited the work of the Wyoming Congressional Delegation who were persistent in their efforts to get the money restored to Wyoming.

Mineral leasing revenues are typically split roughly evenly between the states and the Interior Department. The government last year paid $2.1 billion to the states under the mineral leasing program. The Interior Department says the money will be given to the states sometime after the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30,