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SAGE commission issues final report

Nevada Appeal Capitol Bureau

The Spending and Government Efficiency Commission appointed by Gov. Jim Gibbons issued its sixth and final report Thursday on ways to improve efficiency and reduce spending by state government.

Chairman Bruce James states in the report that Gibbons has been supportive of most of the commission’s recommendations while lawmakers have not.

“SAGE Commissioners have spent their time and money to provide our political leaders real, practical recommendations for reducing the costs of government,” James said.

He urged lawmakers to “set aside their partisan differences to put the public’s interest first.”

Lawmakers objected to

recommendations including:

• The reduction of health care subsidies for state workers and their dependents

• Elimination of all benefit subsidies for those who retire after July 2009

• A 50 percent reduction in subsidies for all existing retirees effective July 2010.

Gibbons said he was delighted with the work of the commission and supports its recommendations.

“I will not give up the fight to make Nevada more efficient and give our citizens more effective services while trying to save money,” he said.

The sixth and final report calls for, among other things, a study of the benefits of privatizing prison medical and mental health care. That was tried at Ely State Prison and eventually discontinued. The women’s prison operated under a private contract when it first opened. That, too, was discontinued after there were problems with the contractor.

The final report also calls for the state transportation department to study privatizing road maintenance.

The full report is available on the governor’s website at http://www.nv.gov.