The Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee (JAC) just finished crafting the proposed state budget that the full Legislature will consider next month during its 2024 session.
During the process, Better Wyoming executed a grassroots action to convince the committee to override a recommendation by Gov. Gordon to deny $21 million of the agency’s budget request.
In part because of our advocacy, the JAC did exactly that. The committee voted not only to override the governor’s recommendation and fully fund the Health Department, but also to DOUBLE funding for the state’s new “988” suicide hotline.
This is a HUGE WIN, but we’re not done yet. The JAC’s proposed budget now must pass both chambers of the Wyoming Legislature during the 2024 budget session, and the governor must sign it.
We need to let lawmakers know that the people of Wyoming are behind them when they vote to support healthcare access. Please write to the JAC’s members today!
HELPFUL TIPS FOR WRITING THE JOINT APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
- You’ll write your message in the text box on Step 2, where it says “Personalize your message.”
- Your message will be sent individually to each member of the Joint Appropriations Committee.
- Don’t click the “Send message” button until you write your message.
- REMEMBER TO DELETE THE TEXT THAT SAYS “[DELETE THIS TEXT AND INSERT YOUR MESSAGE HERE]”
Have questions? Check out this video tutorial about using Better Wyoming forms to email legislators.
YOUR MESSAGE SHOULD HAVE THREE SHORT PARTS:
1. Say who you are.
Make sure to tell them that you’re a Wyoming voter.
My name is ____. I’m a Wyoming voter from _______.
2. Say what you want.
I’m writing today to thank you for fully funding the Wyoming Department of Health’s budget request, over and above the governor’s recommendation.
3. Say why you want it.
[This is where you can add a sentence or two about why this is important to you. See talking points below.]
KEEP IT BRIEF: Lawmakers get tons of emails. If you write them a novel, they’re not going to read it.
CHANGE THE MESSAGE SUBJECT: This will let them know your email is not spam.
**BE POLITE**: In 2024, lawmakers have been yelled at enough that they will simply ignore you if they feel like you’re being rude. You don’t have to grovel, but no matter how frustrated you might feel about the Legislature’s actions, your message will not help advance our goal of increased healthcare access if lawmakers write you off as disrespectful.
Maybe mention a few of these things in your message:
- Wyomingites struggle with affordability, a lack of providers, a lack of mental health resources, and the long distances often required to access care. Denying funding to the Department of Health will only make these issues worse.
- Wyoming put a record $1.4 billion into savings last year and has a budget surplus this year. There is no fiscal reason to deny the Department of Health’s funding request.
- The governor’s recommendation would mean cuts to senior services, mental health, long-term facilities, and disabilities services.
- More than 90 percent of the Department of Health’s budget is passed through to local communities. Our communities need that funding.
- We need Department of Health programs to be fully funded, including the “988” suicide hotline, postpartum Medicaid coverage, community mental health centers, and workforce development programs to help our provider shortage.