Governor Mead: Lawmakers must address K-12 budget, rainy-day fund

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Gov. Matt Mead says fixing a looming school-funding shortfall will require difficult choices but the state needs a plan in place by early next year.

Mead also wants state legislators to develop rules for when and how to tap the state's more than $1.5 billion emergency-spending account.

Mead made the remarks in his annual State of the State address Wednesday to a joint session of the Wyoming House and Senate. The Wyoming Legislature began a two-month legislative session Tuesday.

Wyoming faces a $360 million K-12 education shortfall amid declining revenue from coal, oil and natural gas production. The shortfall sets in after the state exhausts reserve funding for education next year.

Mead urged lawmakers to involve the public while planning for school funding cuts and possible new revenue sources.

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