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May 31, 2016

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Democrats: Trim education cuts to 5 percent

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Sam Morris

Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley joins in saying the Pledge of Allegiance during the second day of the legislative special session Tuesday, February 23, 2010 in Carson City.

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Assembly Democrats set a goal of reducing the governor's recommended budget cuts to education from 10 percent to 5 percent in a rare moment of political theater in Carson City today.

During an Assembly meeting, Speaker Barbara Buckley called for an informal show of hands, asking who wanted to reduce the cut to K-12 to 5 percent cut. All Democrats raised their hands, but no Republicans raised their hands.

Such public transparency was a rarity last session, as most of the contentious disagreements and policy posturing happened behind closed doors.

"If we're not reaching an agreement privately, we have no choice but to ask folks where they stand here," Buckley told the Assembly. "I don't mean to put anyone on the spot, but we need to move on. We need to balance the budget."

Assembly Minority Leader Heidi Gansert, R-Reno, said, "We're all very concerned about education, both K-12 and higher education."

She added, "I'm not sure we're ready to commit to something other than the 10 percent (cut). We do support education, we do care about kids. I'm not sure we're willing to raise our hand on certain percentages or different amounts at this time."

Assembly Republicans and some Senate members are pushing back against proposals to raise millions of dollars in fees, saying there should be more cuts instead.

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