Rep. Madden Previews Budget Session With Buffalo Council

State Representative Mike Madden
State Representative Mike Madden

State Representative Mike Madden, at the last Buffalo City Council meeting, gave a preview of this year's Legislative Budget Session, which is now underway in Cheyenne.

The Republican from Buffalo told the council that this year's session will be challenging, with one odd happening so far.
The Joint Appropriations Committee has taken the budget and essentially made four smaller budgets within it that all must be addressed, balanced, and worked with and against the others before coming back into the finalized budget for the next biennium.

Madden explained that there will be “general appropriations,” but they have split off “local governments,” “school facilities,” and finally “Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Funds.”

He explains the challenge of working with the four individual budgets.

Madden said one of the major concerns or focus of the budget session will be how to deal with a deficit built into the budget recommendations from Governor Matt Mead, and then tweaked by the Joint Appropriations Committee.
Madden said there was a $465 million dollar “deficit” built into the Governor's budget, that the Appropriations Committee brought down to about half of that amount.

He explained further.

Madden said the Legislature has different accounts they can take funds out of to pay the roughly $100 million shortfall from each of the next two year's budgets.
The first is the 1% Statutory Diversion of Severance Taxes which are going into the Mineral Trust Fund in the amount of about $100 million per year, but some Lawmakers, including Madden, are reluctant to use those funds, thinking that once those revenues are used, it is difficult to begin putting those funds into reserve accounts instead of spending them.
The second source of funding may be the Spending Policy Reserve Account which currently has about $310 million, which Madden says he will be pushing to use instead of dipping into the Mineral Trust Fund.

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