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July 23, 2014

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Nevada Territory

Assembly passes bill to use reserves for school construction

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A bill that would allow school districts to use more bond reserves for construction projects, rather than letting the cash sit in the bank, passed the Nevada Assembly today along a party-line vote.

The bill would "honor what voters passed" when they voted to extend their property tax rates for school construction and maintenance, said Assemblywoman Debbie Smith, D-Sparks. It would also create needed construction jobs, she said.

But Gov. Brian Sandoval has other plans for that money. His budget proposed taking $425 million from school districts' bond reserves -- including $300 million from Clark County -- to pay for operating costs.

Republican Assemblyman Mark Sherwood, R-Henderson, said Assembly Bill 183 "blows a hole in the budget."

He called Democrats "disingenuous" for not proposing a "holistic alternative" to Sandoval's budget.

Dale Erquiaga, senior adviser to Sandoval, said the governor will veto "any bill that leaves a hole in the governor's recommended budget."

The bill still has to pass the Senate, where Democrats hold a slim 11-to-10 majority.

Democrats, backed by school district testimony, have said Sandoval's plan to use construction money for operations is faulty -- more like $99 million instead of $425 million. Sandoval's budget office continues to defend the proposal.

• Follow David on Twitter at twitter.com/schwartznews.

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  1. Why would there be school construction projects now that people are leaving and the population is going down?

    Arrrrgggghhhh. Nothing the government does makes sense.

  2. Democrats, Hurry Hurry...get rid of our cash reserves so we are forced to fire school district personnel. Then we will blame the Governor...

    Waste, Fraud and Abuse !!

  3. This is a tax increase. Will the Governot veto? If not, this will be the second time he raised taxes, violating his "NO TAXES PROMISE." He should step down immediately.

  4. This is not a tax increase, it's money sitting in the bank.

    What Sandoval really wants is extra liquid cash that can be diverted to "school voucher programs", not public education expenses. This way public money, obtained from the sale of bonds would be diverted to private religious schools.

    Using public money to finance religious schools is Unconstitutional but Sandoval has decided to write his own Constitution and call it "The Will of the Founding Fathers". How obedient.

  5. This money was also meant to repair schools that are falling apart, which Clark county has many. It was not just for building new schools.

    Some of the "money in the bank" was also to pay back the bonds voters passed.

    Since the money is now going to the state, the schools are going to have to find a way of repairing schools and paying those bonds back. That is going to mean property tax increases but remember, Mr. Sandoval did not raise the taxes, he put others in a position to have to raise taxes.

    To bad he did not reveal his plan before he was elected, he would not have been elected.

  6. Governor Sandoval needs to leave the voter's specific bond monies alone! This money is to be used on the building of new school (when needed) and the upkeep/repairs of school facilities.

    Try being a student or school employee in a school building that has no functioning heating or air conditioning. Or try to carry on lessons when the internet connection is not working for days, weeks, and months!

    Most of the CCSD schools are implementing 21st Century technology, which means that students are using the computers daily, teachers are using computers, video-streaming, and internet hourly, besides parent-link, gradebook, attendance, and online communications.

    When citizens put this to a vote, they went through the trouble of going through all the steps in our political system to make it a law that CANNOT be tampered with! Shame on the Governor for this blatant betrayal of the voter's will and trust. His outside/out of state advisors have no stake (are NOT stakeholders) in what happens to Nevada and the citizens living in our communities. That has been the Governor's plan, not listen to the good citizens of Nevada and listen to outsiders. Way to go!