Education and human services would get added money | NevadaAppeal.com
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Education and human services would get added money

Democrats plan to use the money their tax package generates to pump $920 million back into education, human services and other state budgets.

But Assembly Speaker John Oceguera and Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, both D-Las Vegas, said those additions to the budget still must be accompanied by reforms that reduce state spending.

“In every scenario we propose to support, state spending next biennium will be less than the current biennium,” said Horsford.

“But we cannot cut as deeply as the governor has proposed,” said Oceguera.

The majority of the restored funding is the $623 million put back into K-12 education including the $223 million Sandoval has proposed putting back into basic per pupil support. Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, said that still amounts to a $339 million overall reduction in K-12 funding compared to the 2009 budget.

Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, said $123 million will be put back into the university system budget, reducing the overall reduction there to 10 percent. But it wasn’t clear whether that included increases to student fees.

It also was not clear whether the university system still would receive the 9 cents worth of property tax revenue the Sandoval budget took from Washoe and Clark counties.

“That’s still up in the air,” said Horsford after the briefing.

He added that, under the legislative plan, the university system is “not going to get that directly anyway.”

In Health and Human Services, the plan would restore $174 million of Sandoval’s cuts.

Oceguera said that includes funding for such things as the mental health courts. He said not funding those court operations would cost the state more in the long run because those individuals would end up in jail or prison without the support and guidance those judges provide.

Also on the human services list are funding for Elder Protective Services, maintaining per diem rates for a variety of skilled nursing, outpatient hospital rates, facilities for the developmentally disabled, community triage centers, rehabilitation and counseling services among others.