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Damon Political Report

Democrats on path to force Sandoval to veto education funding

Updated Tuesday, May 10, 2011 | 3:25 p.m.

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In continuing to portray Gov. Brian Sandoval as severely underfunding education, Democratic lawmakers today are forcing through a public schools budget that is more than $700 million higher than what Sandoval proposed.

In a party line vote this afternoon, the Assembly passed lawmakers' alternative to Sandoval's education budget, sending the bill to the Senate, where a similar vote is expected.

A source said Sandoval's office has been put on notice to receive the bill today.

The move is akin to Democrats' effort to get legislative Republicans to go on record against education funding.

Democratic leaders hope to use Sandoval's anticipated veto in their ongoing campaign to whittle away his popularity, but, perhaps ironically, they also hope it might provoke some compromise.

"This is clearly a message of where Democrats stand on education funding," Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, said. "The law is to fund education first, so we're sending over a budget that does just that."

Asked about the strategy behind the surprise maneuver, Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-North Las Vegas, replied: "He doesn't have to veto it."

"And then they would have to consider our revenue alternatives," he added.

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