In the last 8 months, Rehabilitation Enterprises of Northeast Wyoming, or RENEW, has laid off nearly 30% of its workforce. That’s 72 jobs that no longer exist in the organization. RENEW Chief Executive Officer Larry Samson says recent state budget cuts hit the non-profit hard, and it’s time to tap into the State’s rainy-day funds.
Eighteen months ago, the Wyoming State Health Department adopted a new funding model for its developmental disabilities division. That model is a one-size-fits-all approach, which doesn’t take into account regional differences in costs that are associated with services RENEW is required by the state to provide.
The new model cut funding for RENEW by over 12%. This is combined with the State’s 10% cuts across the board last year. That adds up to nearly a million dollars shaved from RENEW’s budget annually.
Not only has RENEW cut jobs and some individual services, but they have also sold some of their properties and are in the process of selling others to help supplement their operations.
The Legislature will make a final decision on funding for the developmental disabilities division during their budget session next month.