CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A panel of Wyoming lawmakers says the state should designate money to county governments in the state if Congress cuts a longstanding program that compensates them for lost tax revenue on federal lands.

The federal budget Congress passed recently calls for ending the payment in lieu of taxes payments this year.

Wyoming's Joint Appropriations Committee voted yesterday to endorse Gov. Matt Mead's suggestion of giving local governments $175 million in the coming two-year-budget cycle.

The committee recommended dedicating the first $25 million to continue to fund the county payment program if Congress lets it lapse.

The committee also trimmed Mead's recommendation for state employee pay raises. He had recommended annual 2.5-percent annual raises for most state employees but the committee cut that to 2-percent.

The Wyoming Legislature meets next month.