Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon delivers first State of the State address

By Jim O’Reilly

In Cheyenne yesterday, the twin themes of fiscal responsibility and innovative approaches to government echoed through Mark Gordon’s first State of the State speech as Governor of Wyoming. Gordon sounded the same notes in his inaugural address Monday.

In yesterday’s speech before both houses of the legislature, Gordon said Wyoming’s prospects are good in spite of the challenges facing the state.

The former state treasurer cautioned lawmakers that Wyoming doesn’t have any money to waste. Governor Gordon said he supports a bill that would better define the state’s rainy day account. He said would it specify when, how much and for what purposes the money in the Legislative Reserve Account could be used.

By tightening up the rules, Gordon said the state would have rainy day funds when it needed them, and they would earn more in interest over time. Tapping the legislative piggy bank without good reason is the same as raising taxes, Gordon said.

Gordon also touted government efficiency, school safety, pay hikes for state employees and creating an enhanced energy office to encourage innovative approaches to technology.

The governor also sounded the charge for Wyoming coal. Without saying so, Gordon took aim at the state of Washington which has fought to keep Wyoming coal from reaching its ocean ports—barring access to coal-burning markets in Japan and Korea.

Gordon said the use of Power River Basin coal in the new generation of clean-burning power plants in Asia should be quote “a gut cinch for those advocating to reduce carbon emissions.”

Yesterday’s state of the state address was the fourth and final one to be given in the Jonah Building—the temporary home of the legislature. Renovations on the capitol building should be completed this year. Watch the entire address below.




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