Mead Says Wyoming In Strong Financial Position Despite Concerns
Wyoming Governor Matt Mead says that while declining oil prices are a challenge, Wyoming is in a good position overall financially.
The governor said Wednesday morning during his ''State of the State" speech that dropping oil prices ''should be a concern for all of us". He says that every five dollar decline in the price of oil costs Wyoming $35 million annually in state revenues.
But he went on to say that "Wyoming doesn't spend money it doesn't have". He goes on to say the state safely has at least $220 million to $240 million coming in from a variety of sources, ranging from reversions to state investment income.
The governor is proposing a little over $150 million in additional spending for programs ranging from the University of Wyoming to passing lanes on a couple of stretches of state highway.
The governor also called on lawmakers to act on Medicaid expansion. He says that while he doesn't like the federal Affordable Care Act and has tried to fight it in court, the fact is that Wyoming hospitals are facing a major economic burden from uncompensated care.
He noted some lawmakers have been looking into alternative ways to deal with the issue, adding he welcomes those efforts.
Mead also said he would be making a major announcement on water policy on Thursday.