Positions, funding added to secretary of state’s budget
Senators joined their Assembly counterparts Thursday in voting to add positions, including a new deputy, to the Secretary of State’s budget primarily because of growing responsibilities for handling election issues.
Chief Deputy Renee Parker told the Finance Committee the new deputy will handle operational issues as well as the requirements of the federal Help America Vote Act. The biggest task there is creating a statewide voter registration system.
She said the new deputy is necessary, in part to take the load off her and the elections deputy. She said responsibilities for elections in particular required them to work in excess of 80 hours a week throughout the last election cycle. Total cost of the position is about $115,000.
The other big change is the newly created electronic filing and reporting system for corporations.
Sen. Bob Beers, R-Las Vegas, backed the funding for the electronic system saying “this is an expenditure that raises money – a significant money maker.”
Parker said consulting costs to complete the system and teach state personnel to run it could reach $1.5 million this biennium, but the annual costs will drop to below $100,000 after that as state workers take over operation of the system. She also said, if actual needs are less than that, the contract could be cut back and the excess money returned to the state treasury.
The budget includes adding three information technology positions for that purpose.
Altogether, the changes bring the total staff in the Secretary of State’s Office to 141.