Budget increases requested by Legislature body | NevadaAppeal.com

Budget increases requested by Legislature body

Bills requesting more than $88 million in supplemental and one-shot appropriations – a number of them not included in the governor’s proposed budget – are being introduced in the Nevada Legislature this week.

The first list totaling nearly $15 million was put into play in the Assembly on Tuesday; the second, larger batch will be introduced in the Senate today.

Most of the bills are being proposed by the executive branch, including the largest single appropriation – $30.1 million to buy modular housing units for the Department of Corrections.

That proposal would purchase, install and equip four modular housing units to relieve overcrowding at the prisons. Deputy Corrections Director Fritz Schlottman said the units will accommodate 240 inmates apiece – providing a total of 960 beds – and can be operational in five to seven months. One would be placed at the Southern Nevada Women’s Correctional Center, one at Northern Nevada Correctional Center, one at Southern Desert and the fourth at Southern Nevada Correctional Center.

Along with the modular units, the list includes $341,525 for capital improvement projects at the Ely State Prison.

A $10 million appropriation will be introduced today in the Senate to fund the integration of computing resources within the Nevada System of Higher Education. That is included in the executive budget as is the $7.6 million requested in AB200 to improve and expand the 800 MHz radio system used by the Nevada Department of Transportation, the Nevada Highway Patrol and other agencies. The radio money, which comes out of the highway fund, will pay for installation of 10 repeater sites to improve rural radio coverage.

There are also requests to fund computer system upgrades and improvements to state-occupied offices on the list. The largest of those is $635,000 for the Department of Health and Human Services to furnish and pay higher rent for the department’s new offices following their move out of the Kinkead Building.

Two major requests not included in the proposed budget are $8.4 million sought by North Las Vegas for restoration of the historic Keil Ranch and $20 million sought By Sen. Bernice Mathews, D-Sparks, in SB176 to pay for renovation of the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center.

Several of the requests are supplementals to make up unavoidable budget shortfalls. Examples include the $1 million needed by NHP to cover the increased cost of gasoline to operate patrol cars and the $120,000 for the Office of the Military to cover increased utility costs at the state’s armories.

All of the requests will be handled in the money committees: Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means.

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