IFC meets Friday to review budget cuts

The Chairman of the Legislative Interim Finance Committee has called a special meeting Friday afternoon to discuss the governor's 4.5 percent budget cuts.

"We're just going over the cuts and highlighting the issues," said Assemblyman Morse Arberry, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.

He said Director of Administration Andrew Clinger would present the list for lawmakers and explain the impact of the various reductions to agency budgets, but that he doesn't expect a lot of controversy.

IFC was brought into the picture by an attorney general's opinion, which said that any budget reductions greater than $50,000 or 10 percent of a program's budget must be at least submitted to the Legislature. If lawmakers choose not to weigh in, all they have to do is wait 15 days - which expires May 24 - and the cuts take effect. If they want to review them - and possibly reject them - they must call a meeting of IFC to do so.

Arberry, who chairs IFC this interim, said that is what legislative leadership has chosen to do in this case.

"We just wanted it so it would be publicly known what some of the cuts are," said Arberry. "We're keeping it above board."

Asked if he anticipated any attempt to block the implementation of the cuts, he said: "We don't have time for that."

He said he expects the 3 p.m. meeting to last about an hour. It will be conducted by teleconference with access available from the Grant Sawyer building in Las Vegas, the Legislative Building in Carson City, the University system's administration building in Reno and Great Basin College in Elko.

In addition, lawmakers will review an unanticipated expenditure by NDOT for maintenance of its two aircraft.

Clinger said that isn't related to the budget reductions and has already passed the 15 day limit but that IFC needs to at least review the expenditures.

IFC consists of the combined memberships of Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committee.

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