CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The state Legislature has passed a bill that seeks to preserve and enhance commercial air service in Wyoming, providing $16 million in state funds for the effort.

Senate File 40 cleared its last hurdle on Thursday and now heads to Gov. Matt Mead's desk for his approval.

Under the bill, a special council would be created for one year to solicit bids from airlines and negotiate a $15 million, 10-year contract to provide daily flights to a major airport hub from Wyoming communities that join.

In addition, up to another $1 million would be used to bolster the state's current program that subsidizes air service.

Supporters say air service is important to the state's economy and air service is in jeopardy in some communities. Opponents questioned the up-front costs.

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