(UNLV College Republicans) – In last night’s State of the State address, Governor Sandoval outlined cuts to higher education amounting to “less than 7%.” He went on to say that “with the loss of one-time stimulus dollars, the total reduction is 17.66%.”
In his response to Sandoval’s address, Assembly Majority Leader John Oceguera stated that “some say the true impact is 36% or more.” Due to the fact that the state’s general fund amounts to a fraction of the Nevada System of Higher Education’s total revenue, the actual impact of these cuts on the entire NSHE budget is far lower than these numbers suggest.
“Once again, Democrats are preying on the emotions of concerned Nevadans,” said Mark Ciavola, president of the UNLV College Republicans. “In order to calculate the exact impact of these cuts, they would need to be compared to the entire NSHE budget which includes private dollars, sales, research and grants, and not just the portion received from the state’s general fund.”
Governor Sandoval arrived at his 17.66% figure by including a loss of stimulus dollars received in the 2009-10 fiscal year. These stimulus dollars were a one-time payment, and were not expected to be part of this year’s budget.
“The university system, if properly administered by competent leadership, would be aware that the stimulus was a one-time deal and would have made appropriate measures to ensure they were braced for the shock when the money vanished in 2011,” said Patrick R. Gibbons, former Education Policy Analyst for the Nevada Policy Research Institute.