K-12 Funding Crisis Looms Large as Wyoming Lawmakers Convene
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Plummeting fossil-fuel revenues are forcing the nation's most Republican legislature to begin talking again about raising taxes — at least as a last-ditch fix.
Lawmakers in Wyoming are especially worried about how to fund public schools. Gov. Matt Mead says that's also his top priority.
Funding for Wyoming K-12 education faces a $400 million annual shortfall due to falling tax revenues amid weak markets for coal, oil and natural gas. That's on top of school-construction funds that are running out amid a halt in federal coal leasing.
Lawmakers may convene a special committee to tackle the issue. Mead says he wants to hear their ideas.
Republican state Rep. Hans Hunt of Newcastle says even if President-elect Donald Trump lifted a coal leasing moratorium, school-construction funds wouldn't resume flowing for years.