Buckley questions Gibbons' opposition to fee increases

Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, on Monday questioned the governor's opposition to proposed fee increases to support the Commission on Post Secondary Education.

The increases were designed to provide added staff so the commission can increase and improve inspections of the nearly 200 private schools that provide professional and technical training programs in Nevada.

"I once represented a student who got ripped off," said Buckley, a lawyer. She said the student was promised a career as a certified psychiatric counselor but that there is no such certification.

"That's what happens when you have lax enforcement," she said.

Budget Director Andrew Clinger told Buckley and other members of the Ways and Means Committee he agrees the commission isn't living up to its mandates and "it's apparent they need some help within their organization."

He said the fee money doesn't go directly to the commission, but to the general fund and that Gov. Jim Gibbons opposes the proposed fee increase.

Buckley said the fees are assessed to offset general fund money for the program. She said it makes sense to charge the schools for the service rather than to charge all taxpayers.

"You get back to who does it make sense to foot the bill."

And she said the inspections are necessary.

"It's a much better investment to spend the money to make sure they are getting a good education than to just not inspect them and have the student ripped off to the tune of thousands of dollars," she said.

She asked Clinger to take up the issue with Gibbons again.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.


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