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Governor instructs state agencies to prepare for COVID-19 budget impacts

(File; Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

As Wyoming continues to experience the direct and indirect fiscal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Mark Gordon has instructed all state agency directors to identify opportunities to immediately reduce spending.

According to a statement released by the Governor’s office the instruction is for the current budget year, which ends June 30, and into the next two-year budget.

Specifically, the Governor has immediately directed agencies to institute position freezes, halt general fund contracts greater than $100,000, and implement a rigorous review of major maintenance spending. 

“While we all battle the impacts of the spread of COVID-19, we also need to prepare in the best way possible for inevitable financial impacts on the State,” Governor Gordon said. “It is imperative that spending slow while we continue to learn more about the full extent of this historic pandemic and economic decline.”

The Governor is also calling for each agency to re-examine their entire budget to adjust spending in relation to revenue and review department priorities listed with the agency’s 2021-2022 biennium budget.

Governor Gordon noted that while Wyoming will receive significant federal funding through the CARES Act passed by Congress, the current legislation requires these funds be spent on COVID-19 response and not be used to backfill revenue declines.

The Wyoming Department of Health provides COVID-19 case, variant, death, testing, hospital and vaccine data online. The department also shares information about how the data can be interpreted. COVID-19 safety recommendations are available from the CDC.