2017 Legislature: Six days of budget hearings begin Monday

Lawmakers begin the process of reviewing the governor’s proposed budget on Monday, the first of six days of hearings before the subcommittee composed of members of the two money committees.

They will begin with Finance Director Jim Wells’ overview of the budget and the capital improvement projects proposed by Gov. Brian Sandoval for the coming two years.

But quickly they will get into the meat of the budget as Superintendent of Education Steve Canavero walks them through the K-12 funding and the rest of the Education Department’s proposed programs.

The education budgets, which consume the largest single piece of $7.89 billion General Fund, will take most of the day.

The subcommittee review is also the first chance for lawmakers to ask questions about details of the proposed budget.

That hearing, as the rest of the multi-day reviews, will be held in Room 4100 of the Legislative Building and video-conferenced to Room 4401 of the Grant Sawyer building in Las Vegas. They also will be live streamed on the Internet through the legislative website for those unable to attend one of the meeting rooms.

They begin each day at 8:30 a.m.

On Tuesday, the subcommittee will take up the budget of the Department of Health and Human Services which, when federal and other money is added to the General Fund portion of revenue, make up nearly half of the more than $24 billion total state budget.

Wednesday’s agenda will focus on the university system as well as the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation and DMV. Veterans Services, the Office of the Military and the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange are up for review on Thursday.

Lawmakers will take both Friday and the following Monday off, returning Tuesday, Jan. 31, to review public safety, the Department of Corrections, Transportation and Business and Industry agencies.

The final day of subcommittee hearings is set Wednesday, Feb. 1 when heads of Conservation and Natural Resources, Wildlife and Agriculture will present their budgetary plans.

The final agency on the list, Taxation, is expected to draw considerable interest from lawmakers as the agency works to deal with issues surrounding the controversial commerce tax and the regulation of recreational marijuana.

Members of the Assembly Ways and Means and the Senate Finance committees will begin their detailed examination of those budgets when the 2017 Legislature begins Feb. 6.


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