Governor praises bipartisan cooperation for smooth special session
Gov. Jim Gibbons Monday praised bipartisan cooperation for the smooth legislative special session.
Lawmakers convened shortly after 9 a.m. to work through a package of fiscal maneuvers designed to cover an additional $340 million shortfall for this fiscal year.
They finished their business and adjourned at 5:53 p.m.
“This was a great demonstration for what I would consider a blueprint for working together,” said Gibbons.
Gibbons said he will have no trouble signing into laws the four pieces of legislation that balance the budget despite opposition to two of them by all 14 Assembly Republicans.
“It was an agreed-upon solution and a short-term fix,” he said. “Some believe some of the provisions contain a tax increase. I would not sign it if I believed it was a tax increase.”
As for the 2009 Legislature which opens Feb. 2, Gibbons admitted things might not be so smooth.
“There are going to be some challenges,” he said.
Gibbons is expected to sign the bills today.
Assembly Democrats were angered by the no votes from two members of the GOP caucus ” Minority Leader Heidi Gansert of Reno and Tom Grady of Yerington.
Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, said the two participated in meetings where the plan was developed and signed off on the proposals. She said that should have bound their votes to the plan.
Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, said it raises questions about their integrity.
“If you sign off on a deal, you stick with the deal,” she said. “And we took things off the table for them,” she said of those negotiations.
The no votes prompted Leslie to say on the floor that she was “deeply disappointed with the votes we’ve been seeing this afternoon.”
“We are in a crisis management mode. Today is about doing our duty and closing the budget deficit.”
Gansert said before voting against the bills she believes certain things such as taking part of the rental car tax were unnecessary and should have been removed from the plan.
Grady said the same thing afterward.
“We tried in committee to get those things taken out. They wouldn’t take them out so we voted no.”
– Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 687-8750.