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December 20, 2014

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Sandoval to build own budget

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Brian Sandoval

Gov.-elect Brian Sandoval is building his own budget and people should not assume it will follow the previous lists of drastic cuts in some programs.

“Proposals whether they were cut lists or fee increases may not necessarily be included in this budget,” said Sandoval’s senior advisor Dale Erquiaga. “The lists that have been circulated do not assume that this budget will contain.”

The previous lists called for such things as reducing grants to senior citizens, closing museums and shutting down the ancient state prison in Carson City. Gov. Jim Gibbons directed his agencies to submit proposed budgets with 10 percent reductions.

Erquiaga said Sandoval is committed to not increasing taxes or fees in his proposed 2012-13 biennial budget. The Economic Forum has forecast there will be $5.3 billion to spend in the coming biennium, about $1.1 billion less than in the current two year budget cycle.

State agencies have proposed an $8.3 billion budget to keep services at the present level.

And there is nothing on the table to allow local governments and school districts to impose taxes on their own. “There is no plan today to change to financial home rule,” Erquiaga told a news conference.

Sandoval hopes to have his cabinet filled by the time he takes office Jan. 3. He still has to make appointments to at least five major departments.

Erquiaga said the governor-elect has not received the resignation of Tony Lesperance, director of the state Department of Agriculture. But he said the Agricultural Board has a meeting next week to talk about the Lesperance issue.

Sandoval has sent word to the board he would not approve any reappointment of Lesperance.

Sandoval plans to move into the governor’s mansion Jan. 1 and he will be sworn into office Jan. 3. His family will be moving from Reno that opening week in January.

After his inauguration, Sandoval will host his first state dinner at the mansion inviting legislative leadership, Supreme Court justices, former living governors, his senior staff and Dema Guinn, the widow of Gov. Kenny Guinn.

There will be no lobbyists or campaign donors invited, Erquiaga said.

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