If it was difficult for the House and Senate to reach an agreement on the state’s supplemental budget this year, things could get very tough next year when the Legislature reviews a 2-year budget, said a legislative leader.
Sen. Larry Hicks R-Baggs, noted that the biennium budget to be reviewed by the Legislature in 2020 will total about $3 billion, compared to the supplemental budget of about $200 million they debated this year.
Supplemental budgets are adopted in odd-numbered years to fund projects projects that come up between the approval of two-year budgets during even-numbered years.
Debate between the House and Senate over their different versions of the budget grew heated this year and at one point prompted the Senate to kill a bill financing state construction projects.
Hicks, a longtime member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said such debates do nothing to help members of the Legislature get along.
“(The budget debate) always tends to drag out to the last minute,” he said. “What it does to the Legislature, it creates factions. We have a faction here and a faction here and a faction here. It strains those relationships.”
Gov. Mark Gordon on Tuesday signed the supplemental budget approved by the Legislature, although he also vetoed 14 “footnotes.” Such footnotes are often included in budget bills to provide direction for specific appropriation, but Gordon said many of those he vetoed went beyond what is allowed by Wyoming’s Constitution and actually affected existing laws. Such issues should be tackled in separate bills, he said.
Legislators on Tuesday began their review of the vetoes so they could determine whether they would attempt an override.