State of Wyoming Archives: on Budget & Economy

Mark Gordon: Make the state the digital asset epicenter of the U.S.

We continue to see success as a leader in digital asset banking. In September, we approved the first Special Purpose Depository Institution (SPDI) bank charter. It was Wyoming's first state bank charter in more than 14 years. We should continue our efforts to make the state the digital asset epicenter of the U.S. Our delegation and I remain committed to aggressively pushing for the necessary federal actions to assure Wyoming benefits from this important innovation that Wyoming pioneered.
Source: 2021 State of the State Address to Wyoming legislature Mar 2, 2021

Chris Rothfuss: Diversify revenue; fund maintenance projects

Some Republican and Democrat leaders of the 66th Wyoming Legislature share similar visions for what could help diversify the state's economy.

Senate Minority Floor Leader Chris Rothfuss said that he thinks Wyoming has done a good job implementing laws attractive in the banking sector and that the state should be an attractive site for large wealth funds. Rothfuss said he thinks the state has done a better job diversifying the economy than they have in terms of diversifying revenues the state relies on for its own budget.

From his perspective, making budget cuts in the short term could actually lead to budget increases over the long haul. He pointed to the example of major maintenance projects, saying that failure to fund maintenance projects in a timely manner can lead to higher costs in the future. Rothfuss said that he thinks the legislature should look at ways to find additional revenue.

Source: Oil City News on 2022 Wyoming Gubernatorial race Jan 18, 2021

Cynthia Lummis: Cut government spending & reduce our national debt

Q: What government spending would you reduce in order to balance the budget?

A: Cutting government spending and reducing our national debt are among my very top priorities. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I stood up to moderate leadership of my own party to push back against overspending. I will continue to be a fierce budget hawk and work tirelessly to cut spending and reduce the national debt. I support proposals to reduce spending across the board, including the 'Penny Plan.

Source: AFA iVoterGuide on 2020 Wyoming Senate race Nov 3, 2020

Merav Ben-David: The Heroes Act would save jobs in WY

Ben-David said she backed the Heroes Act, a roughly $3 trillion stimulus package approved by the House in May and left unconsidered by the GOP-controlled Senate. "The state of Wyoming right now is facing a $1.6 billion shortfall, and the Heroes Act that is lingering on Mitch McConnell's desk has a lot of money that will be allocated to support state government, such that we don't need to fire our state employees," said Ben-David.
Source: WY News Exchange on 2020 Wyoming Senate debate Oct 9, 2020

Mark Gordon: Define Rainy Day Account for "steady as she goes"

I believe our best times will come when we assure a reliable and stable fiscal future. It is hard to find a consistent path forward when one chases revenue, hopes for windfall, or reacts drastically to downturns. It is important that we find a course where "steady as she goes" becomes the watchword.

Wyoming has been responsible in putting together savings that can help stabilize the downturns. If we are to chart our own future, we must also be disciplined and refill and even augment those savings in the good times.

We must be wise with our savings, using them when we need them. I support a bill to better define the purpose of the Rainy Day Account, or LSRA, so that those nearly $2 billion can be invested in a way that, first and foremost, assures the money in it will be there for rainy days and second that it can earn incrementally better returns than it does now. This definition will also clarify when, how much, and for what purposes we have set aside these specific savings.

Source: 2019 State of the State address to Wyoming legislature Jan 9, 2019

Bill Dahlin: Economy needs diversification and promotion

I truly believe Wyoming needs to focus on diversification of our economy. A "one for all, and all for one" direction, with less regulations.
Source: 2018 Wyoming gubernatorial website Sep 18, 2018

Mark Gordon: Balance budget by living within your means

Ensuring Wyoming has a balanced budget and that our government is living within its means is absolutely essential. This means prioritizing needs versus wants. Wyoming's revenues are down significantly and while recent economic forecasts have been promising, we are not out of the woods yet. We must rein in our spending today to ensure fiscal stability tomorrow.
Source: 2018 Wyoming gubernatorial website Sep 18, 2018

Mary Throne: Budget will maximize revenues and cut unnecessary costs

Moving to the topic of economics, Throne said the state needs to be realistic about the future of coal, oil and natural gas. "I support all 3," she said. "But our economic dependence on them has hurt us. What I'd do on the budget side is start with the really basic question of what do we want to do." Throne said the state should maximize the income of the investment funds, see if the state is spending money it shouldn't be and then talk about if there is a need to change the tax structure.
Source: Rawlins Times on 2018 Wyoming Gubernatorial race May 2, 2018

Matt Mead: We used rainy day fund for rainy days; now make guidelines

Preparation for leaner times has two hallmarks, conservative budgeting and savings. Past and present leaders have wisely done both. Regarding savings, the State has $1.59 billion in the LSRA, the rainy day fund, and nearly $7.4 billion in the Permanent Mineral Trust Fund. These funds have grown substantially during my time in office. The rainy day fund, of course, is named for rainy days like those we've been experiencing these last couple of years. It's raining. This fund has allowed us to get through a rough revenue patch, and can do so in the future. Last session our spending from the rainy day fund helped smooth our budget and provide necessary services. Questions remain about the rainy day fund and its use. I continue to believe we need additional guidelines on the use of this fund that would set parameters and provide our citizens of local governments a better opportunity to refine their budgets by knowing what is the rainy day fund for, and when will it be used.
Source: 2017 State of the State address to Wyoming Legislature Jan 11, 2017

Charlie Hardy: Cut wasteful spending but increase other spending

Charlie Hardy criticized the Senator Enzi's so-called penny plan, which would cut 1% from total federal spending for three years to balance the budget by 2017.

On June 30, Enzi's campaign sent a press release calling on Wyomingites to support his penny plan bill by signing their names on the website Enzi has introduced and supported the penny plan in the past.

Hardy, in a statement Wednesday, said the penny plan represents laziness. Some programs should be cut more than 1%, and others need more funding, he said. "Instead of facing the problem of wasteful spending in some areas, it simply punishes all programs and the people who are touched by those programs," he said. Hardy believes that programs benefiting veterans, senior citizens and children should receive more attention.

A campaign spokeswoman for Enzi said, "If Congress fails to make those tough decisions, then automatic cuts would be imposed to meet the 1% overall reduction."

Source: Casper Star-Tribune on 2014 Wyoming Senate race Jul 9, 2014

Michael Enzi: Penny plan: cut spending 1% a year; balanced budget by 2017

Enzi's campaign sent a press release calling on Wyomingites to support his penny plan bill by signing their names on the website Enzi has introduced and supported the penny plan in the past. This year, Enzi introduced the bill June 19. It was referred to the Senate Budget Committee, where it awaits consideration.

Charlie Hardy, Enzi's Democratic opponent, said the penny plan represents laziness. Some programs should be cut more than 1%, and others need more funding, he said. Hardy believes that programs benefiting veterans, senior citizens and children should receive more attention.

A campaign spokeswoman for Enzi said the national debt is $17.5 trillion, or $55,000 for each US citizen. The penny plan is one in a series of steps to put the country on a fiscally responsible path, she said. "If Congress fails to make those tough decisions, then automatic cuts would be imposed to meet the 1% overall reduction."

Source: Casper Star-Tribune on 2014 Wyoming Senate race Jul 9, 2014

Matt Mead: Navigated recession while shrinking state government

Looking back at the last few years, we can see our state has navigated some hurdles:Clearing these hurdles allows us now to enjoy economic growth, higher revenue than was forecasted, and resilient communities. As a state, we have made remarkable progress. Achievements include:
  • improved infrastructure;
  • major broadband expansion--700% growth in access for students;
  • a pro-growth economic climate, nurtured by outreach efforts, targeted incentives, and support for communities, public-private partnerships, and local economic development groups; and
  • more efficient government through merging agencies, consolidating technology services, and reducing the state workforce and state rules.Regarding the workforce, in 2013 we have almost 300 fewer employees than we did when I took office. We are doing more with less.
    Source: 2014 State of the State address to Wyoming Legislature Feb 10, 2014

    Liz Cheney: Fighting Smart: focus on getting results to roll back feds

    Q: You talk about "fighting smart." Was the push to defund ObamaCare by linking it to a budget deal fighting smart? Or was it a mistake?

    A: When I say fight smart, what I really am focused on is getting results. But you have to know how to do it. You have to know how you can actually cut these agencies, how you can actually limit the regulation, how you can actually roll the federal government back.

    Q: There is not a whole lot of daylight between yourself and Senator Enzi in terms of policy.

    A: Well, yes, except Senator Enzi's been there for 18 years. When you've been there for 18 years, you have to deal with the results, what you've been able to deliver for the people of Wyoming. And if I thought that Senator Enzi, whatever his tactics, would be able to effectively prevent President Obama from taking the nation down this path to European social democracy--I wouldn't need to be in this race. He hasn't, and there's no sense, frankly, that he will. I think we've got to have a new generation.

    Source: Time Magazine interview on 2014 Wyoming Senate race Nov 21, 2013

    Matt Mead: Reduce the budget & build up the rainy-day account

    Governor Mead's recommendations to the Legislature include:
    Source: Press Release on 2013 Wyoming State of the State Speech Jan 9, 2013

    Dave Freudenthal: Remain fiscally conservative without dipping into savings

    There are many reasons for this state to remain fiscally conservative. The Senate and the House will decide whether or not you to go into the savings which we have set aside. The budget that I submitted did not go into the savings. We need to be careful. This has and will continue to be felt on Main Street throughout this country.

    I do not see a dramatic change that suggests this is going to be some aggressive and robust recovery. I believe that it is going to be slow; it is going to be difficult. Part of it is simply the absence of credit availability, particularly for small businesses, and not a matter that I see being resolved very quickly. The state should remain, I believe, fairly conservative.

    Source: Wyoming 2010 State of the State Address Feb 8, 2010

    Gary Trauner: Federal bailout with stake in bailed-out company

    Unlike Cynthia Lummis, who opposed the federal bailout, Trauner has expressed reserved support for the idea.

    "In return for any purchase of bad assets, we get a share in the company," he continued. "If the federal government buys the bad debt off of a company, and sells the product off later for profit, the federal government should keep that money. However, if it sells the debt a lesser price, the federal government should receive a stake in the company in order to make up the difference."

    Source: on 2018 Wyoming Senatorial race Oct 16, 2008

    Michael Enzi: Voted for a one-year moratorium on Congressional earmarks

    In an effort to stop irresponsible spending, I voted for an amendment during the budget debate this year to place a one-year moratorium on Congressional earmarks. A year off from the frenzy of free funds would be a breath of fresh air for Congress and for constituents like you who demand to know what is being funded with their money & why. Controlling spending and promoting more efficient use of government funding is only part of properly managing our budget during difficult fiscal times.
    Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, Aug 12, 2008

    Keith Goodenough: More fiscal conservatism needed in the legislature

    A large majority of the voters in Wyoming describe themselves as fiscally conservative, are you one of those? And if so, what does that imply?

    In general political terms, that would mean that you believe in the following: efficient and frugal governmental spending, depending on the private sector to power economic growth, governmental decision making at a level of government as close to the people as possible, respect for private property rights, and perhaps a few additional lesser points.

    From the mid 1980’s until the recent past, the fiscal liberals in the Legislature have mostly focused on building governmental agencies whose mission statement is directed towards creating economic development through the spending of taxpayer’s money.

    Source: Wyoming Tribune Eagle, “Fiscal Conservatives? Says Who?” Feb 21, 2005

    Jim Geringer: Spend one-time revenue on one-time expenditures

    Source: 2001 State of the State Address to Wyoming Legislature Jan 10, 2001

    Dick Cheney: Budget surplus softens opposition to spending

    During his 11 years in Congress, Cheney also voted as a fiscal conservative, supporting legislation to balance the national budget, while opposing spending in most areas outside of defense. Embracing the younger Bush’s campaign theme of “compassionate conservatism,” Cheney said that the nation’s unprecedented budgets surplus gives Republicans “the opportunity I think to go out and do some things that we might have opposed 20 years ago.”
    Source:, “Opens campaign in Wyoming” Jul 26, 2000

    • The above quotations are from State of Wyoming Politicians: Archives.
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