Wyoming Education Funding Talks Continue with Lawmakers

The future of many Wyomingites lies in the hands of our lawmakers.

News 13’s Marella Porter shares the latest details regarding the Education Budget within the legislature.

“We’re coming a little closer to a budget.”

The two legislative chambers are now closer to agreeing on education funding.

Senator Chris Rothfuss (D) Albany County said, “What we did to get there or what we will do to get there is to move out some of the more contentious pieces back into separate legislation.”

Lawmakers decided to move school finance and major maintenance out of the budget bill.

“It’ll be less complicated when we move those pieces out.”

Senator Rothfuss told News 13 he didn’t agree with the Senates’ decision to take an education funding bill and place it within the general state budget.

“And that was awkward and it’s hard to amend and it's hard to negotiate and debate. But that’s what we did and there were a lot of cuts associated with that."

So the compromise moves them into a bill on school finance and another on capital construction projects.

“Well let’s eliminate that from the budget itself and let’s focus on another piece of legislation that is moving through the process that has a senate position and a house position and then we’ll look for some middle ground between those two.”

Concerns were expressed on the Senate floor as they decided on changes to the school finance bill.

"The numbers continue to go up but I don't think these are the numbers that are correct."

"Is it accurate to state that if we adopt this third reading amendment to house bill 140 for biennium 2021-2022 we will have increased education spending by 3.4%?"

"Before we vote on this we really should fully understand all of the assumptions in the future projections."

"We are block funding more for education every year and that’s what we’re trying to get under control, what is going to be the increase and there has not been cuts to k-12 education."

In the end, the chamber voted 25 - 5 in favor of the changes within the school finance bill which provides funding for school related accounts.

The education finance bill now moves to the House.