Governor clarifies comments on funding equalization
In response to Casper Star-Tribune article
by Pinedale Online!
October 22, 2007
We wrote Governor Freudenthal’s office asking for clarification on his comments about equalizing funding across the state which he made during his press conference last Wednesday, as appeared in an article by Joan Barron in the Casper Star-Tribune on Saturday, October 20. Here are excerpts from the Governor’s response we received today:
“The issue of local government funding was raised by the CST (Casper Star-Tribune) reporter at my regularly scheduled press conference.…As you will note, the story originates with a question about my views on the Legislative Select Committee on Local Government Finance efforts to move “… toward a potential new distribution method similar to the school finance system.” The proposal’s origins lie within the legislative committee…I am not sure exactly where the headline originated. As you can see, I have reservations about the practicality and legal necessity of a wholesale transfer of the school funding model to the local government arena. It’s certainly not required as a matter of law and seems fraught with problems.”
”A more logical approach is to recognize that current local resources should remain just that – local resources. On the other hand, severance tax resources allocated by the state are a means of recognizing that some jurisdictions simply need more state resources because local revenues are inadequate. This is probably best illustrated by a comparison of Sublette and Niobrara counties. However, the answer is to help Niobrara County with state funds not to take local resources from Sublette and send them to Niobrara.”
”I suspect this issue will be much discussed as the Select Committee deliberations move forward over the next year.”