Lawmakers trying to reach deal on state salary cuts

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Legislative leaders say they plan to reach a deal today on state salary cuts.

Gov. Jim Gibbons included a 6 percent pay reduction for all state employees and public school teachers in his proposed budget.

Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, said lawmakers plan to not only reach agreement on that issue but other budget issues by the end of this week.

Word in the legislative halls is that salary reductions will end up at a 3-4 percent reduction from what state employees currently receive.

The leadership group has so far spent most of the day behind closed doors working on that issue.

Director of Administration Andrew Clinger told the combined membership of the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means committees this morning that Gibbons isn't looking as much at a further percentage reduction to cover the new shortfall, which is just under $1 billion.

Clinger said Stimulus money will reduce the shortfall to about $550 million and that the governor is still adamantly opposed to tax increases to make up the difference.

He said, however, state workers may be looking at unpaid furloughs in addition to their 6 percent pay cut.

Buckley pointed out the state has much more limited control over teacher salaries, which make up 70 percent of the total in salary savings from the 6 percent pay cut.

"There are individuals in the Legislature that feel teachers cannot accept a pay cut," she said.

Buckley said an announcement will be made by the end of the day on what lawmakers will do about the recommended state worker pay cuts.

Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.


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