Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Nevada Special Session-First Day

This is a short recap of what happened today. You will see that it was basically they legislators want more money from the mining and casino industries and do not what to cut education because they want to appease the school administrators.

Nevada lawmakers face a "daunting challenge" to balance a state budget nearly $900 million in the red, Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley said Tuesday in opening remarks to a special legislative session.

Buckley, D-Las Vegas, said legislators will review proposals by Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons that call for roughly 10 percent cuts to all state agencies. But she said "we can do better" than deep reductions to education and services for the poor.

Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-North Las Vegas, agreed, and said legislators were in talks with business groups mining and casino representatives on how to raise fees to soften the blow.

"No one has told me 'no' and they understand the dire situation we're faced with," Horsford told reporters after a morning floor session.

In her remarks, Buckley said lawmakers faced the "challenge to balance this budget responsibly, but to do so in a way that is not going to cause irreparable damage to education, K-12, higher education, services to those most vulnerable and the core functions of our state government."

School administrators have said the reductions could decimate the state's educational programs and lead to thousands of teacher layoffs and elimination of higher education programs. Elementary and secondary schools would lose about $166 million in the next fiscal year under the governor's proposal.

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