LIFE May 30, 2011
LEGISLATIVE INFORMATION FOR EDUCATORS
VOLUME 10 NO. 6 MAY 30, 2011
"Governor Suffers TWO Significan Setbacks"
"Negotiating from a Position of Strength or Weakness"
"Not a Time for Educators to be Euphoric"
7 Calendar Days Left in the Legislative Session
Governor Suffers TWO Significant Setbacks
Setback #1: Last Thursday, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that the Legislature committed an unconstitutional act while balancing the 2009-budget. While balancing Nevada's statewide budget, the Legislature and former Governor Gibbons swept $62 million from the Southern Nevada Clean Water Coalition, a local agency in Clark County.
Why is this important to the 2011 budget? Well, Governor Sandoval's proposed 2011 budget includes more than $650 million in funds he also wants to sweep from local agencies , mostly from Clark and Washoe counties. The Supreme Court ruling probably sets a legal precedent denying any such sweeps by a Governor or Legislature, now or in the future.
Setback #2: Governor Sandoval then asked Nevada's Attorney General to request the Supreme Court for an expedited opinion on whether or not the Clean Water Coalition opinion applies to his budget plans for the next biennium. These include sweeping $247 million in local school district construction reserves and $305 million in local resort and property tax revenues to balance his 2011 budget. The Attorney General refused!
Negotiating from a Position of Strength or Weakness
Up until last Thursday's Supremet Court decision, the Governor was in a position of strength regarding increasing revenues and allowing the sun setting taxes to expire. Observers now believe that , with the great imbalance of his budget, Governor Sandoval must negotiate from a position of weakness. However, he still wants to make reforms in educatin and other areas part of thes negotiations.
Republican and Democratic legislative leaders have been meeting with the Governor and his staff throughout this holdiay weekend. There are seven calendar days left to complete these negotiations.
Not a Time for Educators to Be Euphoric
Educators have no reason to become euphoric! Regardless of how the "sunset tax" issue plays out, local school districts and high education will still find themselves in significant "budget cutting" modes. The final amount of program cuts, increases to pupil/teacher ratios and the elimination of positions will not be known until sine die.
Quote of the Week
Editor's note: Our previous edition of LIFE contained the two quotes below. That edition was published prior to the Supreme Coourt's decision. The quotes were somewhat prophetic and are appropriate again.
"The important point to remember is that nothing is final here in Carson City until sine die and what is true today may not be true tomorrow." NASA Lobbyist, Lonnie Shields
"Compromise on the Republican side is in short supply." RJ writer, Steve Sebelius
Important Remaining Dates of the 2011 Legislative Session
June 1 - Exempt budget bills from committee, budget bill introduced
June 6 - Sine die, final day of the 2011 Legislature (really June 7th at 1:00 am)
PUBLISHED BY THE NEVADA ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS DURING EACH LEGISLATIVE SESSION AND AS NEEDED DURING SPECIAL SESSION