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Wyoming lawmakers extend session 2 days after snow shutdown

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming lawmakers plan to wrestle with state spending as they meet a couple days longer than expected due to a snowstorm that shut down the state capital.

This year’s legislative session — one already divided into virtual and in-person segments and scheduled to go a few weeks later than usual due to the coronavirus pandemic — was scheduled to end this Friday.

A storm that dumped 31 inches (79 centimeters) of snow shut down state government and prevented lawmakers from meeting March 15-16.

The session is now scheduled to conclude April 7, two days after lawmakers take Monday off in observance of the Easter holiday, the Casper Star-Tribune reports.

Tasks remaining for legislators include agreeing on a supplemental budget and finding a solution to Wyoming’s education funding model.

The budget is especially important after the coronavirus and a downturn in fossil fuel markets caused Gov. Mark Gordon to slash state spending last year.

Legislators are meanwhile trying to find a way to sustainably fund public education, which is running at a deficit. A House bill would scale back education funding while enacting a sales tax if funding drops below a certain level. Senators also seek education cuts.

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