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March 3, 2015

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Sandoval warns of consolidation, job losses in state government


Leila Navidi

Governor-elect Brian Sandoval speaks during a press conference at Jones Vargas law firm in Las Vegas Wednesday, December 29, 2010.

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CARSON CITY – Gov. Brian Sandoval said there will be consolidation of state agencies resulting in some employees losing their jobs, but there won't be hundreds of layoffs like what's happening in some other states.

Talking about his upcoming budget, Sandoval on Wednesday said “some departments will not exist anymore.” And he suggested there might be a “pay for performance” model in his budget to be unveiled Monday in his State of the State address.

The governor has pledged a balanced budget with no new taxes. The state faces a deficit of anywhere from $1 billion to $3 billion, depending on whose estimates are used.

“You will see a different approach with regard to the transparency of state agencies and performance indicators that I think will be refreshing,” he said.

Under Sandoval's proposal, state workers would see a 5 percent pay cut, health insurance benefits would be reduced and employees would pay a higher contribution toward their retirement. The governor said he has received e-mails from state workers about the pay cut and "some were disappointed," but others offered suggestions to improve state government.

He told a news conference that he visited a senior citizens' center in Fallon and told those in attendance there would be “shared sacrifices” in the budget, but the personal care program for the elderly will be retained.

He said there is going to be a “combination” of shifting services to local governments. He said he has talked about home rule for local governments, permitting them to raise their own taxes, but added that he won’t be talking about that in his State of the State message.

The governor was asked about shared sacrifices for Nevada businesses, since he has said he's retaining a tax break for small business. He said businesses are paying higher unemployment insurance tax rates and have been laying off workers and dipping into savings to keep going.

During the campaign, Sandoval said he would fully fund Medicaid, the program that provides medical care for the poor. He said Wednesday he has preserved Medicaid in his budget, but declined to say if it would be fully funded.

“I’m doing the best I can,” he said.

Sandoval said it would be up to the chancellor and the Board of Regents to decide if there would be tuition increases at universities and community colleges.

He repeated earlier statements that four museums on the chopping block in the suggested budget under Gov. Jim Gibbons would stay open. They are the Lost City Museum, the Nevada Historical Society in Reno and the railroad museums in Ely and Carson City.

His budget will include $60 million to pay the federal government interest on an estimated $1 billion the state borrowed to make unemployment payments.

Sandoval also said he will attend the National Governors’ Conference in Washington, D.C., and will ask Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to speed up the time for issuance of mining permits. There are hundreds of high-paying jobs that can be produced from the additional mines in Nevada, he said.

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  1. Good picture - makes him appear as though he is behind a rampart or something similar.

  2. Now if only those new (and the old) mines paid their fair share of taxes... we'd have a "Governor"!

  3. Rabmag's comment has it right! If only the Governor had the common sense to understand the principals of cash flow!

    Unfortunately what he didn't say but is going to happen is virtually the end to Mental Health Care in Nevada. It will be but a memory when he finishes with it. Should make us all feel so much safer and help our society!! Does anyone really believe that? I hope not.

  4. Our dear governor, Sandoval, needs to cut down the state government obviously. However, I do believe that it is time that the state of NV take over county and city governments as well, as multiple levels of government lead to inefficiency and duplicity of effort, contrary to the present policy, since these governments are running in the red and continue to borrow even though technically these governments are bankrupt. The reason for the negative cash flows at all levels of government in NV are that the wages, compared to the market, are too high; there is too much bureaucratic overhead; and there is a lack of transparency in the awarding of contracts and or the raising of salaries at all levels without proper oversight thus increasing the pension liability at all levels. There should be a pay ceiling, let us say at the governor's level of $141,000, since a lot of the supposed subordinates in the state and local governments are getting paid higher amounts than this. For example, the highest salary in the state is that of a surgeon, $1,000,000/yr, which is outrageous. Additionally, the UNR, and I am sure UNLV, have quite a few graduate school programs with the majority of the students being foreigners, for which we are paying millions; these departments need to be eliminated and a cheaper recourse would be to send any native Nevadan to schools out of state if necessary. Lastly, policemen and firefighters with barely a college education, or not even that, are getting paid over $200,000/yr as employees of the bankrupt city of Reno, while homeless people are being kicked out of downtown; how pathetic and cruel. Remember that state and local government employees do not just get paid a lot but also receive a substantial proportion thereof in pension, which we all have to pay for until they die, while the majority of small businesses and even the federal government do not even offer comparative pensions and maybe offer a 401K matching. The teachers in our state are being hardly anything, K-12, while leeches, the bureaucrats of the system, who contribute absolutely nothing to education, get paid exorbitant salaries; so why not have a rotating system wherein the teachers get additional duty as principal or vice-principal? The end result is that people in our state, and throughout the U.S., would rather much become policemen, firemen and bureaucratic leeches in our society instead of studying the technical subjects such as science and engineering, which has basically resulted in our country soon to be becoming bankrupt, as most of the manufactured articles are imported.

  5. Sandoval - wow, adopting the Rory plan! No plan before! What a clown!

  6. During the 1990's, the huge trend was for teachers to "get out of teaching fast" and study to become "administrators" due to the "wave" of illegal immigrants flooding our country and adversely affecting education, and they could "see the handwriting on the walls." Of course, I am revealing something that not many desire to have disclosed, and this is rarely, if ever brought up. Those who fit this catagory know.

    What needs to be addressed, before all the consolidations and cuts, is the fact that illegal immigrants are now nearly half of Nevada's population, seen and unseen, and we are paying for their education and medical care, from cradle to grave, and absolutely NOTHING IS BEING DONE BY the State of Nevada nor the Federal government to fix this problem effectively!

    Rather, they continue the "status quo" and kick the can down the political road, which will destroy not only our state, but the whole United States of America.

    Not so sure that Governor Sandoval has the will or courage to address the illegal immigrant problem, when the people of Nevada rather continue political party bickering and cast a blind eye to it, and continue hiring illegals to do work here. Yep, that is where we are at, and most of you out there would agree.

    Let's start trimming the EXCESS at the TOP, and allow the "trickle down" to occur.

  7. By jmjasper7 "Where else can you require a four year bachelor's degree, pay employees $15 per hour with crap benefits, and claim that your workers are living high on the hog? That's right- come work for the State of Nevada Welfare department!! It's a lot of fun to pay back student loans on $15 per hour- wait- $15 minus 5%!!!"

    Im sure there are people out there that would love to have your job. And please wake up and smell the coffee. I make 13 and hour and take care of a family SO GET A LIFE and grow up.

  8. Clean them all out, Brian. Let those state workers know what soup kitchens feel like.

  9. We have a govenor for the first time in years, he has my support.

  10. Hmmmmm....give local gvt home rule authority...Get ready Nevadans to see your property taxes go up sky high if municipal gvts are granted home rule. How else will they make up the 5% the state wants. You don't think local gvts are going to trim their budgets... All the newly elected governor is doing is passing the tax burden from the state to the county, city level. Not a new approach as other states have been doing it for some time. In such states the county or city gvts have been left to provide mandated State services without funding from the state. As a result, local taxpayers have seen their property and school taxes rise on a yearly basis. Beware of the no new taxes scheme, its a gimmick which will result in new user or increased user fees.

  11. I thought he didn't like government, was for the "State's rights, now he whines for Fed money? How come the state is suing over Obamacare as they put in for subsidies under it? Don't they have confidence in their "free" attorney's? Hutch and Stuff? or whoever?

  12. Well, he pledged not to raise taxes, but he is going to "hand over" responsibilities to localities that will inevitably require tax increases. And he is not opposed to localities raising taxes.

    God Bless Him -- he kept his pledge. No new taxes, errr, state taxes that is.

    And yes, I want to agree with Mr. Star Ali Mistriel-Kogan -- we gotta be careful of immigrants with strange sounding names. They're everywhere!