Examiners approve interest payment on jobless loans | NevadaAppeal.com

Examiners approve interest payment on jobless loans

The Board of Examiners approved a total of $64 million to pay interest on loans the state has borrowed to pay unemployment benefits.

The federal government loans states the money to cover costs when states exhaust their own Employment Security reserves. Nevada has received more than one extension of the deadline to begin paying interest on those loans. But Director of Administration Jeff Mohlenkamp said Tuesday the bill is due.

Lawmakers and the governor budgeted $23.9 million for fiscal 2012 and another $40.1 million for fiscal 2013 so the money is available in the statutory contingency fund.

The examiners vote sends the request to pay the interest to the legislative Interim Finance Committee for action.

Nevada was in much better health with its reserves than most states when the recession started in 2007. At the time, Nevada had reserves of more than $700 million. But because of the length and depth of the recession, Employment Security exhausted those reserves and has had to borrow nearly $800 million to cover the cost of writing benefit checks.

In other action, the board:

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• Approved a $1.1 million contract to set up the system that will begin titling and registering off road vehicles such as quads and dirt bikes.

• Approved a $67,466 contract with School Services of California to evaluate the operations and functions of the state Department of Education to determine what changes should be made in how the department operates to improve academic achievement in Nevada schools.

• Approved plans to pay Victims of Crime claims for the fourth quarter of this year at 100 percent. Mohlenkamp said the account has a healthy reserve and should be able to afford full payment to qualified victims.