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Lawmakers Down to the Wire on Wyoming K-12 Funding Bill

Amy Richards, Townsquare Media
Amy Richards, Townsquare Media

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Last-minute negotiations between members of the Wyoming House and Senate will decide the fate of their top-priority issue this year: Addressing a massive education funding shortfall.

Friday is supposed to be the last day of this year’s legislative session but representatives voted 51-9 not to agree with changes senators have made to an education funding bill.

The bill now goes to a committee of both senators and representatives to hash out their differences.

The Senate changes include eliminating a proposed half-cent sales tax increase and 1 percent minerals tax diversion to benefit K-12 education. Senators favored starting with cuts and resorting to tax measures only if absolutely necessary later.

Wyoming’s public education system faces a more than $380 million shortfall amid weak revenue from oil, natural gas and coal production.

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