Legislative bills hit Gibbons’ desk for signatures Monday
The 10 pieces of legislation approved by Friday’s special legislative session will arrive on Gov. Jim Gibbons’ desk Monday.
While not completely happy with what lawmakers did during the 24th special session, Gibbons was generally satisfied, saying politics is about compromise and he accepts the consensus of the Legislature.
He expressed some disappointment lawmakers didn’t look at the possibility of converting the tobacco settlement funding stream into bonding that would generate upwards of $600 million. But lawmakers disliked the idea of trading an ongoing revenue stream that supports Senior RX and other such health programs along with the Millennium Scholarship program for a one-time infusion of cash.
Gibbons said he wished lawmakers could have found a way around taking $48 million ” half ” of the fund for textbooks and other educational supplies and equipment.
He said they should have approved his requested zero-growth budget cap for the coming two-year budget cycle.
But when interviewed Friday night, he gave no indication those issues would cause him to veto anything approved during the 12-hour session.
Gibbons actually has no say over most of the cuts, which respond to the $275 million shortfall identified by the Economic Forum a week ago. Those decisions were contained in a concurrent resolution and the governor has no say over legislative resolutions.
They were put into a resolution in part because the details haven’t yet been worked out. The resolution sets the guidelines for making those reductions, leaving the details to be worked out over the next month or so by agency officials, administration and legislative fiscal staffs.
When each portion of the plan is ready, it will be presented to the legislative Interim Finance Committee for final approval and implementation.
The bills, which do such things as take the textbook money and drain the Rainy Day Fund, however, require Gibbons’ signature. He will get them Monday after the legislative legal staff finishes the process of “enrolling” them ” printing them in the proper form and fact checking to make sure what the governor signs is exactly what lawmakers approved. All are designated to take effect immediately.
– Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 687-8750.