CHEYENNE — Earlier this year, after Wyoming received the first installment of funds from the American Rescue Plan, Governor Mark Gordon asked a Strike Team to work on big ideas that would help Wyoming drive towards a future where its citizens will thrive. Now there are more than $3 billion in proposals that the Strike Team is evaluating.
Many of these proposals will not qualify for the $1 billion of American Rescue Plan funds, but could qualify for other one-time funds or be funded through the new Infrastructure funding package. A list of the draft proposals can be found on a dedicated section of the Governor’s website. The Governor released his strategy for Wyoming’s future in June, which has 11 goals, now down to 10. Since that time, the Governor’s Office has continued to make public presentations on this planning effort and take input from elected officials from across the state as well as members of his cabinet who have worked with stakeholders on these ideas.
“In some cases these proposals benefit from years of public input to develop strategic plans and emerging ideas. Others have come from more recent experience,” Governor Gordon said. “I appreciate the many bold and forward-looking proposals that have emerged. Nevertheless, I know we can only fund a portion of them. So a lot of work has to be done to refine this list of ideas. Wyoming must continue to support our core industries, support our social needs, and enhance economic opportunity into the future.”
Governor Gordon emphasized that he hopes the public will stay involved in the process. “We will continue to provide the opportunity for feedback in this endeavor right up until the legislative session in February,” he added.
The Governor’s website has information on the projects and a page where the public can provide input. In December the Governor will present his proposal for how to spend the American Rescue Plan funds Wyoming received. Distribution after that point will be decided by the Legislature. The American Rescue Plan has a timeline that dollars must be spent by the end of 2026, which provides additional time for strategic evaluation.
Some of the big ideas include:
- Investing in housing, spurring more supply for workforce, working families, veterans and the homeless.
- Carbon capture and storage facilities to support the drive towards commercialization.
- Small business support programs.
- Expansion of broadband connectivity.
- Funding the Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust to improve habitat
- A grant program for new outdoor recreation facilities and trails.
- A grant program for health care and human service facilities.
- Workforce development grants for students to get new skills and jobs while meeting industry needs.
- Telehealth investments.
- Suicide prevention funding.
- Support for emergency medical services.
- Water infrastructure improvements.
- Two new state parks.
- Wildlife and highway crossings.
To view all of the proposals, visit http://drivethrive.wyo.gov/.