Gibbons gives no details on compromise talks | NevadaAppeal.com

Gibbons gives no details on compromise talks

Nevada Appeal Capital Bureau
Brian Duggan/Nevada AppealGov. Jim Gibbons arrives at the state Capitol Saturday for more closed door meetings with lawmakers to close an $888 million budget gap.
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After a three and a half hour meeting with lawmakers Saturday evening, Gov. Jim Gibbons emerged giving the press no details what happened.

Earlier on Saturday, Gibbons had said he and lawmakers were just $10 million to $30 million away from striking a deal, but those compromises must still be accepted by the rest of the Legislature.

Immediately following the negotiations, Republicans and Democrats went into partisan caucuses to lay out the deal for their members. Gibbons, his staff and Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki joined Republicans in their meeting.

In a short statement following the meeting, Gibbons said he didn’t want to give out any specific details at this time.

“Let me just say the hope is there but we’ve got a lot of work left to do, but I can’t tell you any of the details yet,” Gibbons said.

Earlier on Saturday, Buckley said the goal is to put together a compromise between the different camps – Gibbons, the Senate, Assembly, Republicans and Democrats – then bring it to a floor vote.

The biggest issue is how much of a General Fund cut K-12 and Higher Education must take. Gibbons proposed 10 percent. Legislative Democrats called for 5 percent – which would cost $121.2 million. Assembly Republicans proposed 7.5 percent – cutting the cost in half to $60.5 million.

Another sticking point is the increased mining tax revenue Gibbons originally proposed by slashing the industry’s tax deductions in half. He now wants to pull that off the table because mining tax revenues are expected to come in $60 million above projections. He says the revenue from reducing deductions isn’t needed.

But Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, said that money is normal revenue and should be used to reduce the shortfall from $888 million to about $830 million.

There are several proposals in the package likely to be applauded by Carson City’s state workers. First, lawmakers have no appetite to shut down the Nevada State Prison even though it would save a projected $12.4 million this budget cycle.

Assembly lawmakers also nixed a proposal to increase state worker furloughs by two hours, a proposal that would have saved $6.8 million. The measure, Senate Bill 3, still includes closing most state offices on Fridays.

The measure now goes back to the Senate for consideration.