Las Vegas Sun

September 19, 2019

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State Budget:

More Homeland staff may be needed

CARSON CITY – Amid steep state budget cuts, the Nevada Homeland Security Commission says it may need more staff to avoid losing federal funds.

The commission told Gov. Jim Gibbons that two more staffers are probably needed to meet the regulations of the federal Homeland Security Commission.

Former Clark County Sheriff Jerry Keller, a commission member, said if the state doesn’t meet the standard, there will be a reduction in federal funds.

Commissioner Robert Fisher said the state should request the federal standards be relaxed.

“We can’t meet the number of staff,” he said.

Gibbons, attending the meeting in Las Vegas, said the state needs to work with the federal government “to make sure the restrictions are eased.”

But Keller said, “It’s easier to find the money in a tight budget than to change the federal government.”

The 2007 Legislature approved $1.5 million in state funds to support the office of homeland security, including four state-funded positions.

In this financial crisis where budgets may be chopped by 30 percent in the next two fiscal years, Gibbons told the commission that state officials need to “work as a partnership.”

Gibbons will meet with leaders of the Legislature Friday in Reno to talk about how to address the budget crisis.

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