Threatening budget cuts for Wyoming colleges avoided

The Wyoming Legislature 2012 budget session was preceded by some possibly scary budget cuts for community colleges but came around and found a solution to keep everyone happy and content.

The most important bill was the budget bill for the state of Wyoming and the community colleges. The Wyoming Community College Commission (WCCC) received total funding of $267,092,062 for the upcoming biennium 2013-2014. Laramie County Community College will receive $44,742,410 or approximately 19 percent of the total funding, Dr. Joe Schaffer, LCCC President, said.

In detail the WCCC received:

Gov. Matt Mead originally proposed $14.7 million in appropriation funding for the colleges' enrollment growth that has occurred since 2006, but with the dire outlook from the January Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG) report, it was cut out completely.

The 61st Legislature in the end decided to award the community colleges $7.5 million of the original proposal. The support of the lawmakers for enrollment growth was appreciated by Mead.

Ultimately, the budget bill gave the community colleges more funding than expected and supported four of the original six proposed capital construction projects.

The four construction projects approved were as follows:

Also WWCC will receive $1.7 million in funding from other sources for a Workforce Training Facility.

Dr. Jim Rose, WCCC executive director, said other bills affecting colleges were as follows:

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