Las Vegas Sun

April 18, 2014

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THE STATE BUDGET:

Raggio saving his voice on cuts?

There’s a time to fight. And a time to wait.

State Sen. Bill Raggio, the long-serving Republican icon, is, for now, choosing the latter.

Raggio declined Tuesday to criticize Gov. Jim Gibbons’ proposed budget, despite its cuts of 36 percent in higher education, which Raggio has long championed.

“I think the governor did a credible job presenting his case,” Raggio said in his first public comments since the spending plan was unveiled.

Raggio was not present for the governor’s State of the State speech last week because he was attending to a family matter.

“I’m concerned about the cuts. The cuts are deep. But we’re going to work together,” Raggio said. “I’ve told Sen. (Steven) Horsford that as long as a spirit of bipartisanship prevails, I’m going to work with him.”

Horsford, a Las Vegas Democrat, took over as majority leader after Democrats unseated two Republicans in November’s election.

Raggio has said he doesn’t think the state can cut 34 percent of its spending without doing severe damage to services.

Asked about cuts to the universities and community colleges, Raggio said, “I’ve been very supportive of higher education. It’s premature to start making predictions. We’ll keep our options open.”

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