Money committees hold first meeting to resolve budget differences
The Assembly and Senate money committees agreed Friday to cut the governor’s proposed budget for the nuclear protection fund in half.
Assembly Ways and Means members voted to go with the Senate plan reducing the fund which supports the state’s legal battle against Yucca Mountain nuclear dump from $2 million to $1 million.
The money will be transferred to the Nuclear Projects Agency headed by Bob Loux.
The decision was one of several designed to resolve differences in the budget created by actions of the two committees.
Other decisions on the list included continuing the Ombudsman for Domestic Violence in the Attorney General’s office as a federal grant-funded position. Members of the Assembly had proposed moving the position to the general fund when they were told the federal money might not materialize next year, but staff has since found the federal funding is not in jeopardy.
They also added back some $75,000 to the Cultural Affairs Department budget to support the educational program dealing with the Holocaust.
Resolving differences between Senate and Assembly versions of different budgets is the key to finishing the state budget for the coming two years. The first resolution meeting usually deals with small and relatively noncontroversial differences between the houses.
Most of the budget accounts in the more than 220 state agencies are closed with no disagreement. Staff analysts told members of the money committees Friday nearly two-thirds of the state budget has been resolved that way so far this session.
The total state general fund budget is more than $5.75 billion for the biennium. When federal funds, highway funds and other revenue sources are counted, the total is $15.8 billion.
Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.