Proposed Budget - Fiscal Year 2023-2024
On November 15, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon submitted a biennial budget for fiscal 2023 and fiscal 2024. The budget calls for $8.87 billion in spending from all funds over the next biennium; this includes $3.0 billion in appropriations from the general fund (GF) and budget reserve account (BRA) (including $2.25 billion from the general fund) and $1.9 billion from federal sources. The spending plan, which keeps state agency funding essentially flat compared to the previous budget, is based on ongoing general fund revenues estimated at $2.25 billion and ongoing BRA revenues estimated at $525 million; when combined with the BRA carryover and prior-year surplus, reversions and other one-time funds, total GF/BRA resources are estimated at $3.5 billion. The budget holds $115 million (5 percent of general fund revenue) in the BRA and transfers the remaining GF/BRA ending balance of $453 million to the Legislative Stabilization Reserve Account (LSRA), the state’s rainy day fund, which has a projected balance of $1.57 billion at the end of the next biennium after the transfer. The budget calls for $1.8 billion in spending from the School Foundation Program, leaving an ending balance of $100 million; $252 million in spending from the School Capital Construction Account (SCCA); and $283 million from the Strategic Investment and Projects Account (SIPA). The state also has $488 million in general fund revenue assistance from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) available for appropriation. The governor separately released a proposal in mid-December on how to spend these available ARPA funds.
Proposed Budget Highlights
State Employee Compensation:
- Proposes a combined $53 million to increase state employee and higher education institution pay to move closer to current market conditions and reinstate merit pay to support retention and recruitment efforts, as well as to account for inflation.
- Invests $185 million in ongoing funding for deferred maintenance projects.
- Would use one-time anticipated reversions to temporarily restore cuts to Medicaid disability provider rates.
- Seeks $20 million in one-time funds to replenish the fire contingency account.
- Budget attempts to seek necessary legislative appropriations upfront rather than relying on mid-biennium adjustments; also seeks to defund the Strategic Investment and Projects Account to make state funding system less complex and more transparent.
In a separate proposal, the governor recommended using ARPA fiscal recovery funds for investments across 10 Goal Areas:
- Revenue Replacement Funds totaling $207 million would be used to support the Wyoming Innovation Partnership ($55 million); several State Parks and Cultural Resources programs ($50 million); Wyoming Wildlife Trust Fund ($75 million); and other projects.
- Additional available ARPA funds totaling $279 million would be used for other likely eligible purposes such as: a Housing Grant Fund pilot program ($23 million); tourism efforts ($10 million); workforce-specific programs ($20 million); health and human services infrastructure ($40 million) and innovation projects ($20 million); emergency medical services projects ($20 million); public safety technology ($35 million); and local government support projects ($50 million).
- The proposal also would appropriate $100 million to be set aside to match private, state or federal funding for large energy projects.