(Katelynn Richardson) – Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak’s 2023-2025 budget proposal includes a 10% raise for state employees during 2023 and more than doubles public education funding over the next two years.
Under Sisolak’s proposed budget, state employees would receive a 10% raise during the first year of the biennium and a 5% raise in the second year. Employees would also receive a $1,250 retention benefit in both years.
Public education funds would also be increased from $3 billion from the last biennium to a record $8.2 billion, which the governor will give school districts discretion in spending but hopes will be used to increase teacher salaries.
“I am grateful to the Governor’s Finance Office, our State agencies and my team for their diligent work to prepare an executive budget that will help improve the quality of life for all Nevadans,” Governor Sisolak said in a Wednesday statement. “This budget includes investments in our state’s future including capital project construction, record education funding, tools to protect our state’s natural resources, and a pay raise for the State employees who serve constituents daily.”
“I am especially proud of the work we’ve done to help increase education funding to unprecedent[ed] levels – almost a 150 percent increase and it’s my strong desire these funds get down to teachers and students,” Sisolak continued.
An additional $18 million was earmarked for investments in education nonprofits, such as Spread the Word Nevada and programs at Nevada’s colleges and universities.
Other budget highlights announced by the governor include $100 million for an affordable housing revolving loan fund, $1 billion for infrastructure and capital improvement projects, more than $50 million for investments in state mental health facilities, and $5 million for a Holocaust education campaign to fight antisemitism.
Earlier this month, the Nevada Economic Forum projected $11.4 billion in tax revenue would be available during the 2023-25 biennium.
Governor-elect Joe Lombardo said he would give Sisolak’s budget consideration, spokeswoman Elizabeth Ray told The Nevada Independent. In a statement responding to the Economic Forum’s projections earlier this month, Lombardo reaffirmed his commitment to fiscal responsibility and said the numbers show no need for a tax increase.
Katelynn Richardson | The Center Square