As negotiators for the Wyoming House of Representatives and Senate get ready to try to hammer out a final version of a supplemental budget this week, the two sides find themselves about $70 million apart.

The House favors the higher number, with much of the difference in education funding. The Sante budget comes in at about $19 million below the supplemental budget proposed before the 2019 session by the Joint Appropriations Committee, while the House budget is about $51 million over the JAC proposal.

The biggest single difference lies in funding for the external cost adjustment for schools. The House increased the cost adjustment funding by about $21 million from the JAC recommendation, while the Senate cut that expenditure by roughly $9 million.

Despite the difference in the overall budget recommendations, leaders of both houses say they are fairly optimistic about reaching a final supplemental budget that each side can live with. Members of a Joint Conference Committee will be meeting over the next few days to reach an agreement. That budget then must be approved by both houses of the legislature before being sent on to Governor Mark Gordon.