Gov. Matt Mead says Wyoming has no legal recourse to block federal budget cuts required by sequestration.

The state's best hope now is to work through its congressional delegation, Mead said Friday during a news conference.

The Department of the Interior is withholding $53 million of Wyoming's share of federal mineral royalties and an additional $1.5 million of abandoned land reclamation money.

Mead and other state officials had claimed the federal action is illegal because the money is obligated to the state.

Mead said he told Attorney General Gregory Phillips he wanted to pursue legal action if there was a "snowball's chance" of success.

"The word back is there is no snowball," Mead said.

Wyoming and New Mexico, he said, appear to be the states hardest hit by the budget reductions.

Check back for more on this story.

(9) comments

Sassy
Sassy

Of Course not- he is a foolish to have hope........

Don Wills

Not under federal jurisprudence, no. But how about state law? A contract is a contract, and the feds have abrogated their responsibilities with respect to remittance of mineral royalties, which is the same as if a private landowner didn't pay his property taxes. I wonder what remedies the Wyoming Supreme Court might be able to construct? Of course we'll never know because ex-Federal District Prosecutor Mead wouldn't want to upset his buddies in DC.

supercalifragilistic

Here's the deal Gov. Mead.
Simply contact the Coal, Oil, Nat.Gas and trona mines and others that pay and have them make direct payment to the Wyoming Dept. of Taxation and Revenue. Then tell the Feds."if you want your share for land management purposes"?
Then the State of Wyoming will cut you a check once you present an itemized list of the Federal Gov't expenses. There is more than one way to resolve such blatant apparent theft.

The sequester was designed to borrow less money the US borrows. But it seems like Obama not only is making states suffer but literally thieving from states. Sovereign states under the US Constitution.

mcfromkc

how comical, a couple of bozos posting on a blog are giving legal advice to a couple of attorneys.
perhaps Don Wills and superc should set up a consulting company, maybe the governor and attorney general will be their first clients ;-0

scdevon

I love how Wyoming tries to pass itself off as a state full of rugged individualists until the federal welfare teat dries up. The state has more welfare recipients (farmers and ranchers) per capita than anywhere.

carlover

welfare, well one of the biggest wefare recipiants of this state will be on PBS tonight at 7pm. Yes Old Rob hendry and his family will be spotlghted as hard working ranching outfit. if thats not a joke in its self i dont know what it. " got my popcorn ready" still looking for my rose colored glasses though. As far as money for the state, well if they would not doll out federal tax dollars like gum drops to the counties and cities all the time, perhaps they feds would not have taken some of it back. i fear as much free money as this state has and continues to ask for, its a drop in the bucket of what they already took in federal money and continues today. natrona just got 1.5 million for CEADA, and they are nobody, we did not elect these boys, so why we got federal money for them is anyone guess other then a favor was owed, and if they are that broke perhaps they should shut their doors, i dont federal money when im broke. .

Wyoite

The wrong side won the war of northern aggression.

You cannot simply ask nicely for your money in some cases. Call up DC and tell them they make their payments on-time or you are expelling their agents. All of their agents. Is it legal? Hell no. Will it get their attention and will Obama want to avoid a constitutional showdown and simply make the payment? Yes.

On a much more serious note, this is EXACTLY why the State needs to let the Feds run Obamacare. Regardless of what they are committing to pay the State now to run their programs for them- THEY WILL CHANGE THE AGREEMENT and we will be stuck with the bill (IE plowing Yellowstone roads)!! I hope Mead understands this, the US Federal Govt promises are worthless.

Wyoite

Also, shame on the Governor for asking the current AG to look into it. Is the Governor not aware that, according to the Trib, Mr Phillips desires to become a full-time employee/judge for the US Government?? What do you think Mr. Phillips is going to say? "Yes sir let's sue their arsch off!" That would be real good when he goes in front of the bozos in DC to be confirmed "Ummm, sir, you are currently suing our arsch, why should we hire you???" Phillips should have simply explained he has a conflict as he hopes to be hired by the potential defendant in the case.

pappy

Don Wills and supercal should remember that these minerals are under federal lands not state lands or private lands. The minerals under those lands belong to the owner unless sold to some one else. We we want a garenteed return them we need to tax the producer, no the land owner. These lands support a lot of jobs in this state I wonder where we would be without those jobs. the feds don't have to develop the minerals. Maybe we should whne to loud about what we aren't entitiled to in the first place.

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