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Governor Gordon Signs Budget Into Law

WY State Capitol

After a contentious 2024 Legislative session which saw the House and Senate’s initial budgets started out over a billion dollars apart from each other, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon thanked the 67th Legislature as he signed HB0001, in what he called “punctuating the Legislative Session with a conservative, true biennial budget.”

“The final budget prioritizes improving government services for citizens, promoting economic growth, bettering the quality of life for families who live and work in the state, as well as investing and saving for the future,” according to a media release from the Governor’s office.

The budget not only addresses, but also positions Wyoming for “a prosperous future,” Governor Gordon said. “We are fighting federal overreach, advancing our industries, providing practical property tax relief, ensuring adequate funding for our schools, counties, and communities and providing the services Wyoming residents expect.”

The budget includes numerous priorities the Governor outlined in his State of the State speech, including:

  • Fulfilling standard budgets and prudent requests from state agencies.
  • Funding the 988 suicide prevention hotline and expanding capacity to add text and chat services.
  • Investing in Wyoming Innovation Partnership initiative to sustain programs for workforce development and economic growth.
  • Extending energy matching funds to ensure Wyoming’s legacy industries remain competitive and support for approaches to use and store carbon dioxide
  • Allocating more than $300 million for the construction of K-12 schools.
  • Adding resources to protect critical infrastructure.
  • Supporting community mental health centers and youth services mental health providers.
  • Directing $20 million for property tax relief for Wyoming homeowners.
  • Ensuring safe drinking water and guarding against water pollution.
  • Increased Wyoming’s savings to prevent future tax increases.

Governor Gordon issued a number of line-item vetoes within the budget, which are fully detailed in his letter, namely to “uphold separation of powers, executive authority, and limiting the scope of the bill to properly fund government. ”

In his line-item veto letter, which details each change, the Governor expressed dismay with the curious approach the legislature took to building the budget – one that almost jeopardized state agency operations and other important state needs.

“Last year in my budget veto letter, I congratulated both chambers on passing a budget in record time – all while increasing transparency. It is unfortunate this session did not follow suit,” Governor Gordon wrote. “Over 300 amendments to this one bill, some of which were introduced to save legislation that failed earlier in the session, almost caused the budget bill to share the same fate.”

The Governor left intact a budget amendment authorizing the sale of the “Kelly Parcel”, a square mile of school trust property in Teton County, for no less than $100 million with specific conditions relating to the Rock Springs RMP.

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