Sandoval advisor says lawmakers must finish June 6 |

Sandoval advisor says lawmakers must finish June 6

Saying the Nevada Legislature needs to understand it has a deadline to pass a balanced budget, a senior advisor to Gov. Brian Sandoval told reporters Monday they won’t move seamlessly from regular to special session if they fail to get it done by June 6.

“There will be no special session that week,” said Senior Policy Advisor Dale Erquiaga during a press briefing. “We don’t believe they need to come back. If they don’t finish June 6, it’s their responsibility.”

Erquiaga made it clear the governor would call lawmakers back to finish the budget much closer to the June 30 end of the fiscal year. If there were no budget by midnight on that date, the state would be forced to shut down services.

“I think it more likely they’ll agree if they realize there’s a real deadline,” said Erquiaga.

Nevada has gone past July 1 once in recent history but continued operations of state government with a temporary budget bill maintaining the status quo.

Erquiaga said in Sandoval’s case, there are emergency services that must continue operation. He referred to it as being “just like a snow day.”

He said with the additional cash approved by the Economic Forum along with funding the proposed budget takes from local governments, the General Fund amount the state has to spend over the next two years is $6.13 billion. He said he doesn’t expect that number to change.

Erquiaga said the governor is sticking to his rejection of any tax increases to expand that number. He said from his conversations with the Republican caucuses in the Legislature, both Democrat tax proposal – the margin tax and the transaction tax on services won’t even reach the governor’s desk for a veto, that they “seem to be dead on arrival.”

Asked if the governor would consider them if they were revenue neutral, he said it’s too late.

“Fourteen days is not a timeframe to adopt the most significant tax change since 1955,” he said referring to when Nevadans approved the state’s first sales tax.