By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
Limits on the amount the state spends to rent office space proposed by the Legislature are unnecessary because the state has already committed to reducing that cost, Gov. Mark Gordon said.
Gordon, in signing the supplemental budget bill approved by the Legislature last week, also issued eight “line item” vetoes, using his constitutional authority to cut specific items from the budget.
One item he removed is a “footnote” from the Legislature reducing the amount the state Department of Administration and Information can spend on rental space from $24.8 million to $17.9 million.
In his veto message to legislators, Gordon said the Department of A&I is already working to reduce rental costs, so the footnote is unnecessary.
“The Department of A&I has committed to making cuts to the stat leasing program,” he wrote. “I have struck the prescriptive language because, on a practical note, an emergency or unanticipated leasing necessity could require more flexibility. Nevertheless, it remains the intent of the executive branch to reduce our leasing budget by 28%.”
Gordon also vetoed a footnote transferring management of the state Veterans Museum in Casper from the state Military Department to the state Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources.
Gordon noted that the museum’s management was given to the Military Department through legislation in 2008 and if the Legislature wants to return management to the Department of State Parks, it should do so with a separate bill, not through a footnote in the budget bill.
“A transfer of responsibility or authority for any particular program is appropriately the subject of a stand-alone bill,” he wrote.
Also vetoed was language requiring the Wyoming Business Council to administer the Wyoming Council for Women’s Issues for the state department of Workforce Services.
The two agencies are already working to give the WBC control over the program, Gordon said, so the legislation just complicates the issue.
The supplemental budget itself, which details more than $430 million in spending cuts to the biennium budget approved by the Legislature in 2020, was signed into law on April 1 by Gordon.
Gordon praised the Legislature for its hard work.
“These are not easy decisions to make, but this discussion on the fundamental question of the role of government has been a necessity,” he wrote. “Now, as more reductions are implemented, the debate will continue.