State not in any position to reject budget solutions

Rumors that state officials are lining up at payday loan establishments in their search for budgetary solutions are greatly exaggerated.

But the deal being considered to get a settlement from the tobacco companies in exchange for giving up future payments may not seem like much of an improvement.

Under Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki's "securitization" plan, what we'd get, essentially, is $600 million now from tobacco companies to cover a gaping shortfall. What we'd give up is $1.2 billion over 20 years.

Such efforts have been shot down in the past, but as Krolicki pointed out, "these are not normal circumstances."

After all, look at the ideas he is competing with, namely cutting 14 percent from already lean state agencies. Or we could raise taxes ... anyone in favor of that one? We highly doubt it, especially considering the number of people struggling to make ends meet and the prospect state workers will likely be faced with in paying more for benefits.

One part of this plan nobody likes is compensating for the fact the tobacco money funds worthy programs in the form of the Millennium Scholarship and public health programs and services. Perhaps there's a solution in knowing that in the coming years Nevada will almost certainly return to prosperity, and the boom or bust taxing philosophy that runs the state may again overfill state coffers. Could guarantees be made now to assure the viability and even expansion of those programs in the future?

All possible budget solutions should be brought to the table, including Krolicki's. When you sort them all out, it's not a matter of whether it will hurt, it's just a matter of where.

• This editorial represents the view of the Nevada Appeal Editorial Board.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment