State Legislature Passes Additional Spending Bill for K-12 Education on Final Day

The Sweetwater 1 School Board heard preliminary budget numbers for the 2019-20 school year during its regular meeting Monday.

CHEYENNE — A marathon session by the Wyoming Legislature yesterday resulted in the passage of HB 308 that will earmark additional money for K-12 education funding.

The House of Representatives adjourned at midnight last night then immediately took roll call to reconvene at 12:03 a.m. this morning.

HB 308 provides for an additional $100 million per biennium for districts across the state. The extra money will come from mineral royalties generated from state lands.

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One third of those royalties are allowed to flow into the general fund per the Wyoming Constitution. But that money had been capped by statute at $8 million according to Representative Clark Stith (HD48) of Rock Springs.

Representative John Freeman (HD60) was a co-sponsor of the bill.

Representatives John Freeman (HD60), right, and Clark Stith (HD48)

But the new bill eliminates the $8 million annual cap, which solves about 1/3 of the $300 million biennial structural deficit for K-12 without raising taxes, according to Stith.

HB 308 originally passed the House, but died in the Senate almost unanimously before being resurrected and later passed.

Yesterday marked the final day of the 65th Wyoming Legislature. The session was adjourned at midnight, however the House reconvened to finish the last of its business before Governor Mark Gordon delivered his closing remarks.