CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Western states are being hit by a cut in federal mineral payments by the U.S. Department of Interior as part of the automatic federal spending cuts that started this month.
Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead says his state faces at least $53 million in cuts over the next five years. Wyoming is the nation's leading coal-producing state and is seeing the largest cut in payments.
Mead said he plans to consult with other states affected by the cuts as well as with members of Wyoming's congressional delegation to try to restore the funding.
New Mexico will take the next-biggest hit, a loss of $26 million.
Other states hit hardest include Utah, which is getting $8.7 million less, Colorado, which is losing $8.4 million, and California, which will get $5.5 million less. Montana will see a $2.5 million cut.