(Sean Whaley/Nevada News Bureau) – For Gov. Brian Sandoval, every penny counts as he tries to balance a two-year state budget with drastically reduced tax revenues.
At the Board of Examiners meeting today, Sandoval was able to eliminate a new vehicle purchase worth about $40,000 for the state dignitary protection program by finding a suitable vehicle in the state motor pool to fit the bill.
The Nevada Highway Patrol had initially proposed purchasing a vehicle for the program, which provides security to the governor and members of his family.
Under past administrations and when the state had more revenue, items like the vehicle purchase likely would have been approved without a second thought by the board.
The board, made up of Sandoval, Secretary of State Ross Miller and Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, also approved five new lease agreements for state agencies that saved just under $150,000. The lease extensions and renewals were negotiated at lower rates due to the weaker commercial real estate market.
Sandoval, who previously served on the Board of Examiners as attorney general, also asked several questions about the various contracts set for board approval to ensure the spending was justified.
“I think we should be a good steward of every dollar that we spend whether it be federal funds, highway funds or general funds,” he said. “Every dollar matters.”
Sandoval has proposed a $5.8 billion general fund budget for the coming two years that contains no new taxes or fee increases. The budget does impose a number of significant cuts to education and other programs, however, which have generated some criticism from affected groups and their advocates, but praise as well from others for holding the line on spending.
The Legislature, which convened Monday, will spend the next four months reviewing Sandoval’s spending plan and finalizing a budget.