Wyoming Lawmakers Working Through Budget Process
Both the Wyoming House and Senate were scheduled to take up their respective versions of the budget bill today [Feb. 21] on second reading.
That will include a long list of amendments in both houses as they work towards a final version of the bill. Both houses expected to work late into the night on Wednesday.
At last report, the plan was to take Thursday off from budget work and then hear the respective bills on third and final reading on Friday. While both the House and Senate bills started off as identical documents, a budget proposed by the Joint Appropriations Committee, the amendments added in both houses will result in two different budget proposals.
Wyoming faces a budget shortfall of over $800 million for the 2019-2020 biennium.
After each house finalizes a version of a state budget, and ten person conference committee will meet next week to try to hammer out an agreement that both bodies can live with. Both bodies then need to sign off on the final version of the budget before it can go to Governor Matt Mead.
One difference between the conference committee and the Joint Appropriations Committee that developed the original budget proposal is that the JAC has a 7-5 majority of House members, while the conference committee that hammers out a final agreement is evenly divided between the two houses.
You can view the original version of the budget here.