Wyoming Liberty Group
Sultan of the Taj Mahal Reigned In
The Taj Mahal was lavishly constructed as a mausoleum to bury the favorite wife of a Sultan.
In a similarly excessive approach, some senators with a “spare no expense” mindset are working to return the Wyoming Capitol to its former historic glory. Undeterred by the fiscal crisis, one senate visionary advocated adding a $3 million center for tourists at the Capitol. With the Capitol budget on the brink of the $300 million line in the sand set by Governor Mead, this senate visionary sought to bury this $3 million cost overrun in another budget.
The attempt to hide the Capitol Renovation cost overrun in another agency budget and fund that overrun with funds destined to demolish a sinking prison was foiled by the State senate and this effort was supported by the House appropriations committee.
Will Wyoming legislators work to reduce the rainy day fund raid - or not? And what else about the amendment process creates concerns? Be sure to listen to find out.
CHEYENNE WY: The Wyoming Liberty Group released the Budget second reading amendment vote scores for Wyoming legislators today. This ranks legislators on frugality as the Wyoming budget moves through the amendment process.
“The Wyoming government’s operational budget has a multi-million dollar deficit and is dipping into the rainy day fund,” said Maureen Bader, WyLiberty economist and study lead. “Which legislators are thrifty and working to bring the budget in line with available funding, and which are pushing the budget over the edge for a deep dive into the rainy day fund? We created this database to find out.”
On Tuesday, February 9, the Supreme Court stayed the Clean Power Plan (CPP), much to everyone's surprise. The Supreme Court issued a terse order, less than a page long. It gave no explanation and no indication of the thinking of the five Justices who voted for the stay. The Supreme Court has never before granted a stay of any federal regulation while it was under review by a lower court. What are the implications for Wyoming?
Wyoming's general appropriations budget primarily funds agency spending. To bring agency spending more into line with plummeting revenues, the Joint Appropriations Committee developed a so-called austerity plan. If only. Small cutlets to budget increases won't prevent panic tax hikes. The legislature must not leave a legacy of debt and higher taxes to future generations.
When it comes to budget building, actions speak louder than words. Legislators talk about spending restraint, but when they continue to funnel depleting funds at golf courses, you've got to wonder just how serious they are.