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December 06, 2011 9:15 am

Governor’s budget doesn’t call for cuts at colleges

Written by Ilene Olson

Although Northwest College officials were complying with Gov. Matt Mead’s request to consider where budget cuts might be made, it appears no cuts will be necessary.

“The governor’s budget came out yesterday, and it doesn’t look like we’ll need to enact budget cuts,” NWC President Paul Prestwich said on Friday.

The state’s 2013-14 biennial budget begins July 1 and must be approved early next year by the Wyoming Legislature.

Mead earlier requested that all state agencies and community colleges examine their budgets to determine where cuts might be made.

“The request was to look at ... different levels of cuts,” Prestwich said. “The lowest level was strategies such as making some cuts due to attrition through retirement, or when someone leaves, to evaluate whether we needed to fill the position.”

Another level would call for cuts in operational budgets and other areas, he said.

“Fortunately, it doesn’t look like we’ll have to do that,” he said.

Prestwich said Mead has been supportive of the state’s seven community colleges, as indicated by his communication and willingness to meet with college representatives.

“I think his budget recommendations show that here’s some good support for capital construction projects at the colleges, including Northwest College’s project. I think he’s a good advocate for the colleges,” Prestwich said.

Northwest College leaders are planning to construct a new classroom building, estimated to cost about $15 million.

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