CASPER — As the Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee begins the process of taking a scalpel the state’s biennial budget this week, Gov. Mark Gordon has thrown his support behind a number of programs he considers to be priorities under his first budget as the state’s chief executive.

In a series of letters to JAC members on Tuesday, Gordon advocated for tens of millions of dollars in spending for a number of new programs he hopes will remain untouched by the JAC throughout the process, including nearly $25 million in one-time funding to support new technologies in the state’s coal industry, money to address a problem of hepatitis c in the state’s prison system, and $400,000 in ongoing spending to support a suicide prevention hotline, among other things.

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