Bill funding construction projects dies in Senate

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By Cowboy State Daily

A bill that would finance capital construction projects around the state died unanimously in the Senate.

SF 162 provided more than $50 million in state funding for various projects, including $7.3 million for renovations in buildings at Laramie County Community College, $3 million for a new dormitory at Northwest Community College in Powell and $2 million for an agriculture and equine center at Casper College.

The bill was killed on a vote of 30-0 in the Senate on Tuesday. 

Sen. Eli Bebout, R-Riverton, said give the state’s financial problems, senators did not feel approving the projects would be prudent.

“To spend another $51 million on capital construction when we have these deficits and you look ahead to the next biennial budget, there’s a $350 million deficit in K-12 (education), it’s just not the right message to send,” he said.

The bill could resurface in another form later in the session. For instance, it could theoretically be attached as an amendment to the supplemental budget bills making their way through the Legislature.

The House or Senate could also amend their rules to introduce a new version of the bill. The Senate changed its rules Wednesday to introduce four new state spending bills.

One bill, SF 163, called for spending $15 million to support commercial air service in Wyoming. 

Another, SF 165, would set aside $15 million for Department of Health programs and $5 million for the Department of Family Services. The amounts would be used to support programs recommended by former Gov. Matt Mead in his proposed supplemental budget.

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