Sandoval, Democrats Posturing After Budget Proposal

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Sandoval, Democrats Posturing After Budget Proposal

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Brandon Rittiman/KUNR

Standing with other Democratic lawmakers, Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford answers questions from reporters about the budget battle ahead.

Monday night KUNR brought you live coverage of Governor Brian Sandoval's first state of the state address.

He proposed cutting more than six percent of the State's general fund budget, hitting education particularly hard and calling for layoffs in State government.

Tuesday morning, lawmakers will begin holding hearings ahead of the legislative session, which starts in less than 2 weeks, to chew over the Governor's budget proposals.

As KUNR's Brandon Rittiman reports, while the democratic leadership in the legislature and the Governor are promising a civil discussion, they have a lot of ground to make up.

Governor Sandoval spoke of shared sacrifice in his speech.

He's making big cuts to state services, eliminating 800 state jobs, and shuffling a quarter billion dollars of the problem down to the local government level.

Speaking to reporters after the speech, Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford took issue with the governor's budget, which he says would gut education.

Horsford: "It dismantles public education in Nevada. Under the Governor's proposed budget, working families will earn less, face declining services, send their kids to devastated schools and pay skyrocketing tuition and fees for college."

The democratic Senator went on to promise that as chair of the finance committee, he will not process a budget that contains these education cuts.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have Governor Sandoval. Who affirmed to reporters that while he does not want to make a lot of ultimatums, he will indeed veto any budget that comes with a tax increase to undo some of his cuts.

Sandoval: "It's a good thing to disagree. It's a good thing to have these types of debates, but ultimately we all agree on the same thing: we have to do better for the state of Nevada."

So we get some rosy talk from both sides about finding common ground. But in the 120-day legislative session, we have ultimatums coming down from both sides.

Whether there's a solution you could possibly craft to satisfy both is what remains to be seen.