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Mead Says Wyo. Will Keep The Money

Governor Matt Mead

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead has written the U.S. Forest Service, informing them that he will not be returning federal dollars that were sent to counties for roads, schools, firefighting and forest restoration prior to federal sequestration. Mead told reporters that Forest Service has asked Wyoming to retroactively return $220,000 that went to counties in January.  Mead says he has rejected that request while asking what their legal authority for the request is.  Says Mead: “My view is that money was paid appropriately, it’s been distributed, so if and until they can show me some legal authority, I’m not inclined to give it back.”  The Forest Service claimed in a March 19th letter that the payments made to Wyoming earlier in fiscal year 2013 will make the agency unable to meet the demands of the sequester and the Anti-deficiency Act. That act, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, prohibits federal employees from spending more than a fund has appropriated to it unless authorized by law.

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