Ending their legislative process a day early, the 2012 Wyoming Legislature closed Thursday. Co-Chair of the Joint Appropriations Committee Rosie Berger says the session went smoothly.
Legislators reverberated this, saying they tightened their belts in forming the budget just like everyone else in the state has done in tough economic times. Legislators sent a $3.22 billion budget to Gov. Matt Mead on Monday which he signed Thursday. The budget is about a $1 billion less than it was four years ago when it was at $4 billion, Berger said Wyoming can be happy with where it sits because they were mindful of dropping natural gas prices.
Mead signed the budget bill and the Abandoned Mine Lands bill, enacting into law funding for the state over the next two years beginning July 1. According to a media release from his office, he used his veto power in some sections of the legislation sent to his desk. First, he vetoed language dealing with the Chief Information Officer's authority in dealing with educational accountability data. He also removed language that would have reduced Department of Environmental Quality Staff. Finally, in the AML bill, he made a line item veto to information that could have conflicted with federal law. The state must abide by federal law in order to qualify for AML funds.
As for bills specific to Sheridan, Berger said there were several and she was pleased with how things turned out. Look for more on that this weekend. The governor has ten more bills on his desk for his decision this morning, included in those are the state parks acquisition of the LX Bar ranch and a bill to remove the $2 cap on ATM fees which was introduced by senator Bruce Burns.
A 40-day General Session next year, Wyoming's sixty-second session, begins January 8, 2013.