(Wyo)-Wyo Legislature Extends Session
CAPER, Wyo. (AP) - The Wyoming Legislature was expected to end its 2018 budget session on Saturday, but has extended it into this week failing to agree on how to finance K-12 public education and on state construction projects.
The House and Senate passed the main budget bill Saturday afternoon after splitting out education and capital construction as separate proposals.
The Senate wanted much more in cuts, especially in construction, than did the House, which wanted to rely on interest earnings to cover a large part of the state's roughly $850 million deficit.
Negotiators from the two chambers were scheduled to meet at 8:30 but didn't come together until almost 10:30 after Gov. Matt Mead held closed door meetings with Senate President Eli Bebout and House Speaker Steve Harshman.
The Casper Star-Tribune says several lawmakers indicated the Senate had relented on several capital projects including a state office building in Casper, but a new bill on them couldn't be formally drafted and passed before midnight and a state constitution ban on the legislature meeting on Sunday.
Mead has until Wednesday to make line-item vetoes on the budget and issue vetoes on other bills. Two controversial bills passed last week, an expansion of the "stand your ground" self-defense law and a critical-infrastructure protection measure attacked as stifling free speech, are prime candidates for vetoes.
Lawmakers have 3 days left over from last year's session that allows them to continue meeting this week without having to go into a special session and the plan now is to have the House reconvene Wednesday evening for overrides and action on the construction and education bills with the Senate to follow suit on Thursday afternoon.
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