Las Vegas Sun

January 16, 2018

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State agency budget requests come in $419 million over governor’s cap

Brian Sandoval

Brian Sandoval

Nevada agencies requested $419 million in additional state general fund dollars outside of Gov. Brian Sandoval’s budget cap, according to numbers released by the administration today after pressure from lawmakers and the media.

Sandoval’s administration had previously released only the agency requests that came in under his firm budget cap, and not the total amount of money those agencies had requested to do business for the next two years. Sandoval had been keeping those “items for special consideration” secret from lawmakers, the media and public, until the Las Vegas Sun wrote about it last week.

In addition to the $419 million in state funding, state agencies would like to seek an another $751 million in federal funding-- most of that for Sandoval’s planned Medicaid expansion.

The total budget requests also include about 1,100 more positions.

Some of those requests include funding to address lingering wait lists for programs serving autistic children. They also include money for an emergency mental health center in Las Vegas to divert psychiatric patients from emergency rooms.

It’s unclear how much, if any of these agency requests Sandoval could accept.

The state has $5.8 billion to spend over the next two years, and agencies have requested about $6.4 billion under the cap set by Sandoval. Sandoval has committed to a extending a tax increase passed in 2011, which would have expired in 2013. That is expected to bring in about $620 million in state general fund money and another $300 million in money for education.

He also told the Las Vegas Sun editorial board this week that he would seek additional money for K-12 schools.

The Department of Education, which now reports to Sandoval, requested $83 million in additional general fund money. The Nevada Commission on Economic Development requested an additional $100 million.

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