Las Vegas Sun

December 4, 2016

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Welcome to the rolling disaster that is Nevada’s budget

They looked ahead. Did they hit the jackpot?

Welcome to the rolling disaster that is Nevada’s budget. The state is on pace to cut $1.5 billion from its budget before the end of the year and its had to do the cutting in chunks. Why? Because nobody so far has been able to see the bottom of the well we’ve fallen down.

All of the economists who gave us information predict 2007 is going to be a year where the economy slows throughout the country and Nevada. Then we will see a pickup in 2008-09.

— Deborah Pierce, Economic Forum chairwoman and chief financial officer, Hooters Hotel, Las Vegas, November 2006 (Review-Journal)

Analysis: The Economic Forum’s forecast was used to draw up the 2007-09 budget. The Legislature has since had to cut $1.2 billion because revenue fell short and is going to have to cut another $300 million by the end of the year. The Economic Forum has revised its forecast downward three times since then.

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$565 million

— Amount Gov. Jim Gibbons and the Legislature cut from the budget in late 2007

$350 million

— Amount Gibbons and the Legislature cut from the budget in April

We have done the work necessary to make sure we meet the requirements of balancing the budget.

— Gov. Jim Gibbons, April 9. (Reno Gazette-Journal)

Analysis: A short seven months later and the shortfall is half again what’s been cut: $1.5 billion.

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$250 million or $243 million or $94 million (Review-Journal)

— June shortfall as projected by the Economic Forum, state Budget Director Andrew Clinger and legislative fiscal analysts, respectively

Analysis: Too low, all

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$275 million

— Amount Gibbons and the Legislature cut from the budget in June

The state needs to cut another $250 million.

— Nevada Economic Forum, Nov. 6 (Review-Journal)

The state needs to cut another $300 million

— Clinger, state budget director, Nov. 9. (Sun)

Analysis: Who knows? On average, Nevada has had to cut its budget every four months since it was drawn up in June 2007. Can we make it until June 2009 without more?

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