Senate Finance closes Governor’s Office budgets |

Senate Finance closes Governor’s Office budgets

The Senate Finance Committee on Monday began the process of closing General Fund budgets, starting, as is traditional, with the Governor’s Office.

There were no major issues in the proposed governor’s budget since Gov. Brian Sandoval asked for no additional positions and, basically, kept the budget flat.

It will increase only about $3,000 the first year of the coming cycle and $16,000 the second. The office will spend just about $4.7 million during the biennium to support the 18 full-time positions in the office.

The Finance Committee also closed the Governor’s Mansion budget and the budget for the Washington, D.C., office. Operating and maintaining the mansion will cost a total of $669,076 during the biennium, also a minimal increase.

The governor did not include the 2 percent a year pay raises he has recommended for all other classified workers in state service because his office staff is non-classified and he has the power to unilaterally adjust their pay.

The Washington office is staffed by contract employees at a flat $259,434 a year.

Sen. Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, asked if that was enough given all the changes going on in Washington, D.C. with the Trump administration.

Chief of Staff Mike Willden said the office is handling “a lot of stuff” with the health care repeal and replace issue and the Trump budget that includes some dramatic changes and reductions to what states will receive.

But Willden said he is confident the office can handle the workload since the governor’s staff in Carson City also spends a lot of time on those issues.

Lawmakers traditionally begin the process of closing budgets with the non-controversial agencies such as the governor’s office and those funded by non-General Fund revenues including fee-funded agencies.