CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A legislative panel has recommended diverting money from mineral earnings to pay for the maintenance of Wyoming school facilities.

The recommendation by the Select Committee on School Facilities on Monday is the first major move toward bridging one of the large funding gaps facing K-12 education in the state.

The full Legislature, which meets next year, will have the final say in the matter.

The panel's proposal would use a percentage of state mineral royalties to pay for school maintenance and construction, while also diverting the 1 percent severance tax to that end.

House Speaker Steve Harshman said that diverting the two revenue streams can bring about $260 million per two-year budget cycle, which would be enough to pay for school maintenance annual costs.

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