Wyoming House Committee Kills Education Funding Cuts Bill
The Wyoming House Education Committee has voted to kill a Senate Bill that would have cut school funding in Wyoming through a variety of policy changes.
However, other bills that would cut money for education are still pending in the Wyoming Legislature.
Senate File 117 would have allowed for larger class sizes in grades 4-12, among other changes in policy that would have led to less money for schools.
It lost by a vote of 7-1. Rep. Jamie Flitner [R-Big Horn/Park county] was the only ''yes'' vote. Avery similar bill to SF117, House Bill 30, failed to meet a deadline for introduction earlier this session.
Despite the demise of SF 117 and HB 30, however, the possibility of education funding cuts is by no means dead for this legislative session.
House Bill 140, which includes cuts to education funding, passed the Wyoming House and is awaiting further action next week in the Senate.
Various other bills could or would implement funding cuts to education as well, as lawmakers continue to struggle with projected budget shortfalls caused by a lagging energy sector. School enrollment in most, though not all, Wyoming school districts have also been in decline as families leave the state in search of jobs.
While the oil industry, in particular, has been improving over the last few months, no one is quite sure at this point about the state's long-term revenue outlook for the 2019-2020 biennium that lawmakers are working on this budget session.
The 2018 Legislature is scheduled to wrap up at the end of this week, with Saturday, March 10 available as a possible work day for lawmakers if needed.