Revenue Projections Concern State Lawmakers

AP 6-25,2015

Wyoming lawmakers may face tough choices in coming years over how to fund the state’s K-12 educational system in the face of falling mineral revenues.

Don Richards is budget and fiscal manager for the state’s Legislative Service Office.

Richards told state lawmakers in Cheyenne on Wednesday that the state’s K-12 education system faces a shortfall of nearly $580 million from mid-2016 through mid-2020 even after spending some reserve funds.

Wyoming is the nation’s leading coal producer and relies heavily on federal mineral revenues to fund education. State forecasters earlier this year projected federal mineral revenues will likely fall from just over $1 billion last year to about $688 million in 2020.

Gov. Matt Mead has blamed tighter federal air quality standards and other restrictions for reducing demand for Wyoming coal.