white Canon cash register
The Republican governor's budget is $1 billion less than the 2021-22 budget approved by lawmakers in 2020 and quickly slashed by Gordon amid plummeting global oil prices and the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, both of which delivered a hit to state revenue. Photo: StellrWeb

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Gordon is making good on some of the recent agenda items he proposed during an address to the Wyoming legislature on Jan. 16. Gordon is calling for an end to the use of multiple spending and savings accounts to fund state government. He is seeking to move the state’s funds to one checking and one saving account.

“The complex system that currently exists includes numerous accounts and ‘coffee cans’ that obscure the state’s financial position. This does not serve the public, who deserve a transparent way to know exactly what our fiscal situation is,” Governor Gordon said. “This can be achieved by simplifying the budgeting process.”

Governor Gordon is supporting Senate File 0071 sponsored by the Senate Appropriations Committee that would eliminate the Strategic Investments and Projects Account (SIPA). Established in 2013, the SIPA account was originally intended to capture investment income that would have otherwise flowed into the Permanent Mineral Trust Fund. In recent years accounts have been created that will divert funds from the SIPA, such as the Wyoming State Penitentiary Capital Construction Account and the Legislative Deficit Control Account.

“These are examples of new pots of money being created which deviate from the original purpose of the SIPA and complicate the budgeting process,” the Governor said.

The bill has received legislative support from Senate Vice President Larry Hicks, a member of the Joint Appropriations Committee:

“The SIPA was a legislatively created invention to pigeon hole money for the construction of large projects at a time when the state was running hundreds of millions of dollars in surplus revenues,” Hicks said. “It added significant complexity while reducing the transparency of state expenditures in the budget. In recent years it has not been used for what its original purpose was, but rather as a slush fund to pay for programs and projects that should have come out of the state’s general fund. We no longer have surplus revenues in Wyoming and it’s time to restore transparency in our budgeting process by eliminating the SIPA account.”

Buckrail @ Lindsay

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.