Assembly, Senate approve two bills
The Assembly has approved its two pieces of legislation implementing the budget cuts for the rest of this year.
But while the omnibus bill moving revenue from non-general fund revenue sources into the state treasury was approved unanimously, a majority of the Republican caucus voted against the bill containing the $160 million line of credit. Even so, it too passed the Assembly.
James Settelmeyer of Douglas County and Pete Goicoechea of Eureka both called for more cuts first.
“We have to make at least a 10 percent reduction in salaries or hours,” said Goicoechea. “We’re doing a terrible disservice to the state by not making cuts now.”
“We have not gone far enough,” said Settelmeyer. “We must look at the disease itself, not just the symptom.”
But the vote wasn’t completely party-line. Minority Leader Heidi Gansert, R-Reno, joined the majority saying the line of credit “is going to allow us to bridge to the regular session.” Without it, she said, rural services offices including clinics and regional centers would be forced to close along with conservation camps which provide inmate firefighters in rural Nevada.
On the other side, Peggy Pierce, D-Las Vegas, voted against the bill, the only Democrat to do so.
The others who voted against AB2 were Don Gustavson of Reno, Chad Christensen of Clark County, John Hambrick of Las Vegas, Joe Hardy of Las Vegas, Ty Cobb of Reno, Ed Goedhart of Las Vegas, and Richard McArthur of Las Vegas.
The final vote was 32-10.
The Assembly action was followed by the Senate approval of its two pieces of legislation.
The bill temporarily taking away the county share of mineral leasing fees on federal lands was approved unanimously.
The list of changes to general fund revenues including the net proceeds of mines advance payment was approved as well but with two Republican senators, Barbara Cegavske and Warren Hardy abstaining. Both said their business interests put them in a conflict on parts of the bill.
The bill also includes a reduction in collection allowances for a number of taxes and fees.
The Assembly bills were forwarded to the Senate and the Senate bills forwarded to the Assembly for consideration.