Jan 9, 2013 - The Associated PressCHEYENNE -- Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead is asking lawmakers to approve some fundamental changes in how the state handles its cash flow.
In his State of the State address Wednesday in Cheyenne, Mead says he's pushing to drive up the state's accessible cash balance because of projections for slack future energy revenues.
Mead wants lawmakers to redirect roughly $130 million in annual state energy revenues that's currently going into permanent savings into the state's "rainy day fund."
Mead furthermore wants to redirect some federal coal lease bonus funds into the rainy day fund where it could be spent on state projects and operations instead of on school construction.
Mead's also calling for lawmakers to put money that's raised from rebalancing holdings in the Permanent Mineral Trust Fund into the rainy day fund.
The governor also is urging Wyoming lawmakers to look carefully at whether the state should accept $50 million in federal funds to expand the Medicaid system in the state.
Speaking in his annual State of the State address, Mead says federal officials have failed to answer questions from him about how to implement the expansion. He also says he questions whether the federal government can live up to promises to pay for enlarging the program.
Mead says the state should work over the next year to look at what conditions would lead the state to accept the Medicaid expansion and create a health insurance exchange. An exchange would be an Internet site where state residents could shop for the best deal on health insurance.
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