(Sean Whaley/Nevada News Bureau) – Democratic legislative leaders today questioned a comment from the Sandoval administration that two job creation bills they are pursuing will be vetoed for creating a hole in the governor’s recommended state general fund budget.
But Gov. Brian Sandoval reiterated his veto position, saying the two measures would create more than a $400 million hole in his proposed budget without offering any way to close the gap. Most other bills won’t be evaluated until they reach his desk, he said.
“There is a big budget issue there,” he said today. “Because they create a major hole in the budget without the provision of any type of strategy or plan as to how to back fill that loss of revenue.”
At a Monday briefing, Dale Erquiaga, senior adviser to Sandoval, said any measure that creates a hole in the proposed $5.8 billion general fund budget faces a veto from the governor.
The unequivocal comment was a departure from past statements that Sandoval will evaluate each bill once it reaches his desk before deciding to sign or veto the legislation.
In discussing several legislative priorities today, Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, was asked to comment on the Sandoval administration veto threat.
“The governor also said before that he would wait until the bills went through both houses to see how they came out before they got to his desk before he talked about vetoes so it seems like there’s a change of position there,” he said.
“I think what we’ll do about it is we will work with business, who is fairly excited about some of these bills, to try to override a veto,” Oceguera said.
Senate Bill 192, would direct 2 cents in existing property taxes to Clark and Washoe counties to use to bond for public works construction projects. It passed the Senate on a party line 11-10 vote on Monday and headed to the Assembly.
Nevada Senate Republicans said the measure would create a $94.3 million budget hole.
Sandoval wants to use the money to support the Nevada System of Higher Education.
Assembly Bill 183 passed the Assembly on Friday, also on a party line 25-16 vote. It will now be considered in the Senate. It would allow school districts to use $400 million in bond reserve funds to improve older schools.
Sandoval has instead proposed that the money be used to fund school district operating costs as part of his budget.