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November 24, 2014

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Guinn to meet with Bush

CARSON CITY -- Gov. Kenny Guinn flies to Texas today to join other governors who will meet with President-elect George W. Bush about education.

Guinn said he is one of the governors who will urge Bush to change the method of distribution of federal education funds.

At present, he said, some of the federal money is ticketed for school repairs or for class-size reduction. But Guinn said the state will already be spending close to $200 million in the next biennium for its class-size reduction program.

The states want the money to go on a per-pupil basis so they can decide on the greatest need, he said.

Asked if he might talk to Bush about his nomination of Spencer Abraham as energy secretary, Guinn was noncommittal. Abraham is viewed as a friend of the nuclear industry. And it's the Energy Department that is studying whether Yucca Mountain will be a suitable location for the burial of nuclear waste.

Anybody appointed by Bush, Guinn said, must follow the policies of the administration, which in this case will be that any "decision on nuclear waste storage will be based on science rather than political expediency."

Opponents of a Yucca Mountain site complain that Abraham has been too cozy with the nuclear industry and may lean in its favor in selecting a location.

The governor will return to the state Saturday night. He said he is continuing work on his $3.74 billion budget, which he will unveil Jan. 22 after his State of the State address.

The priorities of the budget are education, health, employee pay raises and no new taxes. He declined to give specifics.

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