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Governor and Lawmakers Reach Budget Deal

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval (R) prepares to announce the budget deal on the steps of the state capitol Wednesday.
Brandon Rittiman/KUNR
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval (R) prepares to announce the budget deal on the steps of the state capitol Wednesday.


Surrounded by most of the lawmakers in the legislature, Governor Sandoval began to detail the agreement. The Governor pointed out Republicans feel it's a win because the state is spending less than last time. Sandoval: "For the first time total spending will decrease biennium over biennium by over $500 million." That number reflects all state spending. If you just look at the general fund (what all the fighting's been over) it will be $6.2 billion over the next two years. That's a couple hundred million less than the biennium that ends this month. But there's almost $300 million for public schools outside the state budget to make up for that. So in a way, general state spending is about what we have now. That's why Democrats feel like this is a win. There are cuts, but Democrats get to add back significant funding for education and other state services. However, there's plenty for both sides to dislike. Republicans don't like that the existing tax hikes will be extended for two more years to help prop up the budget. They got one exception: businesses making less than $250,000 a year will not pay any of the payroll tax they pay now. For the rest of us, this means sales tax won't go down. As for Democrats, they gave up more government reforms than they wanted to get this deal. That includes some changes to collective bargaining for government workers and to how safe teachers' jobs are. Senate majority leader Steven Horsford had this to say to his base: Horsford: "These reforms do not hurt good teachers. If you're a good teacher you have a job." The Governor said this deal is going to ensure the session ends on time next Monday.