Gov. Gordon Urges Spending Caution After July Revenue Report
The latest revenue update for Wyoming indicates falling prices and values in natural gas prices from a year ago, and that has prompted Gov. Mark Gordon to urge vigilance in state spending, according to a press release from the Governor's Office on Friday.
"The Governor said he will continue to apply conservative principles to budgeting as he prepares his next two-year budget proposal," Gordon said in the press release.
The July pacing report from the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group shows revenue collections for the General Fund and the Budget Reserve Account surpassed its January forecast by $176.1 million.
High natural gas prices from 2022 produced strong revenues, but the prices and volumes have been falling steadily since in 2022.
"This change could reverse the strong revenues from a year ago," the Gordon said. "In addition, Wyoming continues to face an ongoing threat to its legacy mineral industries through the Biden Administration’s anti-fossil fuel policies that harm economic growth and impact revenues in Wyoming and across the country."
Gordon also cited the state's ability to recover $584 million of COVID-19-related expenditures from 2020 with the American Rescue Plan Revenue replacement funds as a key factor for the revenue and budget.
"In the next budget, we must first restore $330 million in state general fund dollars to maintain existing government services that are currently funded with ARPA Revenue Replacement funds," Gordon said.
The July CREG report looks good, but it is a backward-looking document, he said. “This examination of recent revenues also shows gathering storm clouds on the horizon that could signal a change in Wyoming’s future revenues.”
Wyoming has taken a conservative approach in dealing with past windfalls in recent years, and needs to maintain that, Gordon said.
The Governor will release his next two-year budget proposal in November.