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Effort to undo state employee pay cuts off table

Updated Monday, Oct. 8, 2012 | 8:57 a.m.

Brian Sandoval

Brian Sandoval

CARSON CITY — Faced with rising costs, Gov. Brian Sandoval is backing off his promise to undo pay cuts imposed on state employees last year.

Gerald Gardner, his chief of staff, said the governor has issued orders to agency heads to continue the reductions in the proposed 2014-15 budget. Gardner told the Nevada Appeal that Sandoval hasn't given up on efforts to undo the work furloughs, pay cuts, and suspension of merit and longevity pay imposed on state workers.

But he said the governor doesn't know if he'll get the money to do so as rising costs eat up revenue gains amid a weak economic recovery.

"Despite a slight increase in state revenues, caseload growth in Health and Human Services, as well as projected and mandated Affordable Care Act health care costs, are simply much higher than anticipated," Gardner said.

Sandoval earlier this year said he intended to restore what had been taken from state workers by his administration and the 2011 Legislature.

Gardner said final decisions on whether any or all of those cuts can be undone will depend on how much money is available after the state Economic Forum projects revenues for the rest of this fiscal year and the upcoming two-year period.

State employees have complained the cuts amount to a tax increase on them so that businesses don't have to pay more taxes. All state workers were hit with a 2.5 percent pay cut and six unpaid furlough days each year for another 2.3 percent cut. Restoring those would cost an estimated $120.5 million.

In all, it would take about $200 million during the next two years to restore state employee pay to previous levels.

Restoring step increases and merit pay to previous levels would cost another $65 million over the biennium and adding back longevity pay would cost about $7.4 million.

Sandoval has consistently rejected the idea of raising taxes.

Many state agency heads say that they're having difficulty hiring and retaining employees because of the cuts.

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  1. So much for a promise is a promise!!
    It is all politics and a Politician playing politics a month away from election time.
    Shame on you governor

  2. Just another lie from B.S...

    Do more for less pay and benefits; 'we'll make it right later'...A PROMISE from Governor Sandoval.


  3. And when will something be done about City, County, School District excessive compensation packages? The minimum acceptable level is a modes NEGATIVE COLA WITH PERS REFORM where local government employees PARTICIPATE IN RETIREMENT COSTS--half like private sector and State employees. The State has VETO POWER over local government BUDGETS so there is no reason things can't be corrected.

  4. cotabear: Both you and hubby are state employees and YOU'VE sacrificed? What about the long-term unemployed who pay increasing taxes to cover your pay check? Downsized your home? You have a home. While you're working on your grammar, how's about working on personal responsibility and budgeting. You SHOULD HAVE a 9-10 month emergency fund, serious savings for the kids, life insurance for the kids benefit. I do agree with one implied point of yours: cut spending on building LANDSCAPING--let's go desert landscaping and save year after year after year.

  5. HendersonNV: Now is the time for the public and state employees to INSIST ON PARITY with city, county, school district employees on PERS, health insurance, and on compensation packages. Otherwise, forever and ever after State employees will get less and less while others get more and more. For now, it appears we must CUT compensation for the local governments and stabilize State pay. They might need to change the component percentages of the Sales and Use Taxes to decrease the portions going to cities, counties (CCRT), schools (LSST) and general fund. If anything, they should find a way to cut the overall SUT rate. Enough of all the local add-ons for projects--the local governments get enough to find the money within and stop over-paying employees.