Author Archives: Maureen Bader

Myths Feed Hopes, Dreams and Spending Scams

Mythical animals and revenue aren’t the only myths jumping hoops the Wyoming legislature. A more serious myth threatens the financial future of the state — one-time spending myth. Continue reading

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Tax and Gouge Task Force

Facing a state budget deficit, declining revenues and the desire to continue spending, Gov. Mead asked, “What constitutes a rainy day?” This thinly veiled call to raid the state’s rainy day account to fund his spending priorities was ignored by … Continue reading

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The Murky Purpose of Government Spending

Whether the money comes from local or federal sources, at the end of the day, there is only one taxpayer. Spending money squirreled away in different accounts may not add to the deficit in the general fund but sure seems to allow for other priorities, such as doing something, to continue. Continue reading

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The 2015 Supplemental Budget – Light at the End of the Tunnel

The JAC rejected a rainy day fund raid and reined in Gov. Mead’s spending blowout, reducing the supplemental budget from $167 million to $8.7 million. This is the smallest supplemental budget in decades and first step in piercing Wyoming’s budget bloated by 10-years of now-evaporating mineral tax windfalls. Continue reading

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JAC Reins In Supplemental Budget Blowout

The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things. Wyoming’s Joint Appropriations Committee (JAC) is talking about a time for spending caution—but it must do  more than hold steady. With falling oil prices and a rising deficit, … Continue reading

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Squirreled Away Saving Sing a Siren’s Song

Like the beautiful voices of the Sirens of Greek mythology, large savings accounts are luring Wyoming’s ship of state to fiscal doom. The deficit in Wyoming’s traditional spending accounts has increased from a relatively miniscule $4.4 million to a whopping … Continue reading

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Falling off the Fiscal Cliff

An early warning signal started blinking back in October 2014 to alert Wyomingites about the effect of falling minerals prices on the state budget. The blinking has now turned into a frenetic flashing. The October revenue shortfall of $4.4 million … Continue reading

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School District Spending Demands – A Disconnect

A coalition of school district superintendents wants more money. But while one committee, the Joint Education Committee was happy to give it to them, the Joint Appropriations Committee showed restraint instead. Continue reading

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Budget Prioritization and the Gas Tax Grab

After lobbying for and receiving a fuel tax increase in 2013, Wyoming’s Department of Transportation (WyDot) is asking for more money in its 2015 Supplemental Budget. Instead of contemplating a rainy day fund raid as Gov. Mead has suggested or … Continue reading

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The Supplemental Budget Session Blowout

Gov. Mead directed that “Department supplemental budget requests are for budget modifications that are emergency in nature.” What does $156.5 million in emergency agency spending look like? Try conference fees and website redesign to start. Seems some agencies missed the memo. Continue reading

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