Wyoming Legislator Explains Proposed Education Cuts
Rep. Tim Stubson (R-Natrona County), a member of the legislature's Joint Appropriations Committee, is speaking out on why the committee is proposing a $45 million cut in education funding over the next biennium.
Stubson says lawmakers added a roughly $70 million one-time External Cost Adjustment (ECA) to education funding last year. But he says legislators have been hearing from their constituents this year about the need to cut the state budget in the face of declining state revenues caused by low energy prices.
A large portion of the money used to fund state government in Wyoming comes from taxes on coal, oil and natural gas, and the Cowboy State is one of the few states in the country with no state income tax.
Stubson says the JAC looked for the most painless way to cut education funding, and decided a one percent cut in funding--totaling about $45 million over the next two years--would be the least problematic for Wyoming schools.
He says the funding cuts were made in block grant funding on the theory that those cuts would be the least difficult for schools to deal with.
Governor Matt Mead said on Friday that he doesn't agree with cuts in education funding. The legislature is set to convene in a budget session on Feb. 8 in Cheyenne,