Gov. Dave Freudenthal credited hard work and tough decision-making for keeping Wyoming in good financial health in his annual state of the state address Monday morning.

“I do not see a dramatic change that suggests this is going to be some aggressive and robust recovery,” he said.

“I believe that it is going to be slow; it is going to be difficult,” the governor said. “Part of it is simply the absence of credit availability, particularly for small businesses, and not a matter that I see being resolved very quickly. The state should remain, I believe, fairly conservative.”

Freudenthal, a Democrat in a GOP-dominated state, is entering the final year of his second term.

Lawmakers this week began a four-week budget session to adopt the two-year spending plan that will start in July.

Among the items lawmakers will decide during the session is whether or not to build a $13 million warehouse for the state’s liquor distribution monopoly.

Freudenthal’s budget suggested financing the project using long-term bonds payable out of liquor receipts, while the Legislature’s joint appropriations committee suggested higher fees to pay for the project faster.

“I will leave it to your good graces as to whether you want to charge an additional fee upon the people who consume alcohol in this state, or whether you want to just average it out over time,” Freudenthal said. “Either way is fine with me, but I would encourage you not to get into a row and fail to act.”

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