Wyoming's lawmakers are ready to get to work following Governor Matt Mead's State of the State Address Monday.
In his speech, Mead praised Wyoming's strong economy, saying the Cowboy State continues to see low unemployment rates, company expansion, and international import growth.
The governor said the state needs to continue to invest in Wyoming's leading industries such as energy, tourism, and agriculture.
Meanwhile, Mead said there are more than 17,000 Wyoming citizens who may not have access to healthcare, and it's the states duty to help those individuals, not the federal governments.
"I continue to believe the Affordable Care Act is being badly implemented," said Mead. "It has created uncertainties, some deadlines have been delayed, some exemptions have been granted, and the exchange rollout has been flawed."
Mead's budget recommendation calls for $3.33 billion in state general funds, up just slightly from the $3.31 in his proposed budget two years ago. He urged lawmakers to increase support for local governments, provide pay raises for most state workers and boost funding for security in courtrooms and schools.
Other priorities for the governor include education, water and wildlife conservation, improvements to the states infrastructure, and creating a pro-business environment.
Lawmakers will spend the next four weeks crafting the budget for the two-year funding period that starts July 1.