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NV Senate Passes Four Day Workweek

From a joyous Associated Press:

Southern Nevada Paving workers listens as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. touts his jobs bill, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010 in Las Vegas.

No NV Budget Yet; Senate Passes 4-Day Workweek Plan

Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons and state lawmakers still haven’t reach an accord on how to plug a nearly $900 million budget hole, and they’ll try again Saturday, which is Day 5 of the special legislative session.

Feb 27, 2010

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) – Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons and state lawmakers still haven’t reach an accord on how to plug a nearly $900 million budget hole, and they’ll try again Saturday, which is Day 5 of the special legislative session.

One possible piece of progress: The Senate passed a plan for four-day workweeks, with state offices closed Fridays.

Gibbons made two trips to the Legislature building Friday, huddling with Senate and Assembly leaders from both parties to try to resolve slashing expenses while minimizing cuts to public schools, higher education and bringing in some new revenues to balance the budget for the rest of the biennium that ends June 30, 2011.

Sticking points were how to minimize cuts to education, and new revenue Democrats hoped to get from the mining and casino industries.

Gibbons had proposed roughly 10 percent budget cuts for most agencies. School administrators have said that could lead to thousands of teacher layoffs. Democrats want to reduce the cuts to 5 percent.

Democrats also were seeking about $35 million from the casino industry to fund the state Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission, the regulatory agencies that license and oversee casino operations and license holders.

But the powerful Nevada Resort Association late Thursday said it would not support the proposal. Gibbons, a staunch opponent of new taxes or fees, has said he would veto any increases unless they are supported by those who pay them.

Nevada’s economy, heavily dependent on sales and casino taxes, has imploded in the recession as tourists and gamblers stay home or spend less at card tables and slot machines. Last year, the state’s 260 largest casinos – those with an annual gambling revenue of $1 million or more – had a combined economic net loss of $6.8 billion.

Earlier in the day, Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, said Democrats would continue to push for added mining revenue to reduce budget cuts to education and help pay for teachers that otherwise may be laid off.

In the Senate, Majority Leader Steven Horsford called on corporations, including mining, casinos, financial institutions, trucking, manufacturers and others to pony up.

"The question simply is, why aren’t corporations paying their fair share?" Horsford said.

Nevada does not have a corporate income tax, and Horsford said they benefit from the services – from education, roads, public health and public safety – paid for by others.

Without taxpayer supported services, he said, "you’d be out of business."

In a hearing that followed, Billy Vassiliadis, Nevada Resort Association Lobbyist, said the group had nothing to offer.

"This is uncomfortable for me because it’s the first time in many years I’m here to say the gaming industry cannot come to the table," he said. The industry, he said, has lost 34,000 jobs over the past two years, and the added fees would likely mean 1,000 more job losses.

Horsford responded that the amount sought from casino equates to 800 teachers.

Vassiliadis pledged casinos would return in 2011, when the next regular legislative session is held, to work with legislators for a broader, more stable tax base.

Lawmakers already have swept $200 million from various trust and reserve accounts into the general fund. Other proposals involve establishing four-day, 10-hour work weeks, extending state worker furloughs by two hours a month, and increasing some minor fees.

A plan unveiled Thursday by Assembly Republican included many ideas forwarded by Democrats, and proposed using the state’s unclaimed property fund to secure $91 million in financing. Gibbons said he supports the idea. Democrats were skeptical, but seems willing to consider it.

The Republican plan, however, calls for $62 million from larger net proceeds taxes on mining – roughly $40 million less than the $100 million Democrats thought was secure just a day earlier.

Tim Crowley, president of the Nevada Mining Association, said the industry was willing to support a temporary increase in mining claim fees for an estimated $25 million, and about $25 million in advance tax payments. Horsford opposes prepaying taxes, something that was implemented in 2008 when Nevada’s economy started turning sour.

Note how the Democrats solution is always first, last and always — to raise taxes.

Of course if Mr. Reid can ram through ‘healthcare reform’ and ‘Cap And Trade,” and Mr. Obama can talk down Las Vegas some more, they will be saved.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, February 27th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “NV Senate Passes Four Day Workweek”

  1. proreason says:

    I love the idea, and will go one better. All governments should have 3 day workweeks, but of course, with 3 days of pay.

    Does anybody seriously think there will be any degredation of “services”? Well, there would be at the beginning, as the beaurocrats stamp their little feet, but in short order, everything would be back to the usual level of bad service.

    Military personnel, Police, fire fighters and first responders would have to be excluded, since they actually do necessary things. I’m not sure about teachers. Would the value of 2 days of less indoctrination be worth losing 2 days of inadequate teaching. That one’s a tough call.

    Now, for regulators and other government paper pushers, let’s go all the way to zero days of service. Heck, I’m even willing to pay them for a day or two of doing nothing. It would be well worth it. Congress, of course, is in this category as is the executive branch.

  2. U NO HOO says:

    900 million dollars, 2 million people, 450 dollars per person, 10 dollars per week per resident, hardly seems an unbearable amount of money if they give up tattoos, gambling, piercings, tobacco, etc.

    Just saying.

  3. Mithrandir says:

    As always, the Democrats make crying plea bargains for their voting blocks –potentially laid off teachers– to go after business.

    If you have to raise taxes, then it’s time to CUT. You don’t need all those teachers, and the ones you do have are overpaid for 180 days of school a year, + 3 months off in the summer. It just shows that the agrarian education calendar is way over budget. Time to go back to cleaning your own classrooms, put in more hours, reduce your pay, stop free breakfast and lunches, (in fact, close down the cafeteria all together, bring your own food from home!) stop heating hallways and bathrooms, only use cold water, get rid of the 5 secretaries and make the principal and vice-principal do their own work.

    Anyone who works for the gov’t should be whipped into working harder, whipped while they are working hard, and whipped when they aren’t working, just so they don’t get fat and lazy!

    When they raise taxes, it is because you aren’t whipping them hard enough. They don’t want to be whipped, get out of government, and earn your own money!

  4. canary says:

    Obama will give Nevada to China. Then there will be plenty of work on the railroad for his high speed bullet trains, even though crash easy.

  5. GetBackJack says:

    Whenever I see this sort of ‘budget crunch-oh what oh what will we do?’ story I always wonder … if you’re 6% under water, cut everything in the Budget 6%-7%. Straight across the board. No exceptions. But I never hear a peep of that kind of talk.

    I must be a lousy business man, lousy at math and a lousy head of household.

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