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Lawmakers reach agreement on state budget

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AP Photo/Lisa J. Tolda

Gov. Brian Sandoval, right, is joined by legislative leaders Sen. Steven Horsford, D-North Las Vegas, Assemblyman Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka, Sen. Mike McGinness, R-Fallon, and Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas to announce a budget agreement Wednesday, June 1, 2011, at the Nevada Legislative Building in Carson City.

Updated Wednesday, June 1, 2011 | 3:41 p.m.

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Gov. Brian Sandoval and legislative leaders have reached a budget deal to fund state government for the next two years. They announced the details at 2 p.m.

Sandoval thanked legislative leaders, saying both Democrats and Republicans worked on a compromise that Nevadans will be “proud of.”

The construction defect statute had become a surprising sticking point, with Assembly Republicans making it a “hill to die for.”

Assemblyman Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, a contractor whose business has struggled in the downturn and because of lawsuits, said the Republicans got “nothing, nothing.”

Assemblyman Cresent Hardy, R-Mesquite, who had taken the lead for Assembly Republicans on negotiating the construction defect changes, said they will be getting “a little, very little, but a little.”

“I am just happy we got an agreement,” Hardy said. “Not too long ago it looked like we were a long ways away from anything.”

Hansen said the governor “did the best he could. I’m disappointed in (Assembly Speaker) John Oceguera and his buddies, the trial attorneys.” Hansen said he would vote for the budget.

“I’m a team player,” he said.

Democrats also expressed some reservations with the deal, but said they would back it.

“It’s not perfect, but it’s as good as it’s going to get,” said Assemblyman Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas. “It’s better than it would’ve been a week ago.” Democrats control both the Assembly and Senate, but the constitution requires a two-thirds majority to pass a tax increase.

As with most budget agreements, both sides said they are not entirely happy with the deal.

“No one’s happy,” Assemblyman Kelvin Atkinson, D-North Las Vegas, said. “We’re just getting the sunsets and no new revenue.”

Atkinson, however, said he would vote for the compromise budget.

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  1. Looks like the Governor broke his campaign promises without even moving his lips. It doesn't matter, he is going for another office. Reid should get Obama to appoint him to something to get him out of the way, like ambassador to Yemen.

  2. Sandoval said extending taxes is a tax increase, Sandoval raised taxes..!! Sandoval raised taxes..

    .these Republicans always go back on their word when it comes to taxes.

    http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2011/may...

  3. Sandoval is a Rhino...he raised taxes! I wonder if Sandoval is a communist? like Obama? after all ..he raised taxes. Well I guess he is at least a socialist...wanting to redistribute income.

  4. It bears repeating, that they are NOT FINISHED.
    Yet to be effectively addressed, is the comprehensive MINING TAX RESTRUCTURING AND REFORMS, that ONLY the Nevada State LAWMAKERS can change through amending the Nevada State Constitution, which is a long (about 6 years) process. Many, if not all, get directly or indirectly, political contributions FROM MINING!

    Much still needs to be done to fix the MINING LAWS, which have virtually gone untouched for over 100 years, years that the People of Nevada could have received better revenues from mining, and not be going through these crazy political legislative sessions where special interest and greed rules!

    It was WRONG WRONG WRONG of the State of Nevada, er, GOVERNOR, to take a local and specifically written tax from the Clean Water Colialition for the Lake Mead pipeline project! This action should trigger plenty of lawsuits, including what has happened to Nevada workers.

    It is obvious that laws that were good 30+ years ago, may NOT serve the People of Nevada now, in modern times. Nothing is static, unless it/you're dead. Hence, why the law allows revisiting and amending laws and policies in the course of business during a LEGISLATIVE SESSION...we hope. But where the majority of the time is spent with 2 party bickering and political posturing, little gets done, and what is done, is SHODDY WORK!

    NO ONE, NOT ONE SINGLE LAWMAKER NOR GOVERNOR should be celebrating this piece-meal mess that will require fixing next time around! Take a bow for making some progress, and get back to work! Thanks for making the efforts!

  5. Gov. Sandoval didn't lie. He state during the campaign that he would not increase taxes unless it was absolutely necessary. Do you think it was?