Dems Propose First Change to Sandoval's Budget

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Dems Propose First Change to Sandoval's Budget

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Brandon Rittiman/KUNR

Assembly Democrats hold a press conference Tuesday to announce upcoming bills.

The money in question belongs to the school districts.

They've gone to voters to get approval to take out bonds for things like improving schools or building new ones.

The governor wants to reduce the amount of cash districts need to keep on hand to pay back the bonds, which would free up $425 million for one-time use.

The governor wants to give that money to districts to lessen the damage from the cuts he's proposed to K-12.

Democrats like Assemblywoman Debbie Smith aren't receptive.

Smith: "I think there is probably a philosophical difference on our level of commitment for K-12 education."

In what's becoming a regular show down here, the assembly democrats put on a press conference to announce upcoming bills.

Smith will introduce one tomorrow that frees up that $425 million, but puts it back into school construction.

She says she's not keen on using it just for normal operation of schools.

Smith: "It's much like taking out a home equity loan to buy groceries. Because once that money's gone, it's gone."

But Assemblywoman Smith's proposal creates a $425 million hole in the proposed budget in front of the legislature right now.

As of yet, there are no proposals on what to do about that.

Governor Sandoval responded with the following written statement:

"It would appear that the plan released this morning leaves a $400 million hole in the state budget, taking additional money out of the classroom and teacher salaries. In these difficult economic times, the reserve funds proposed to be redirected for construction under this plan should instead be spent helping school districts focus on their central mission of educating students."