Nevada Senate Leader: Go Slow on Budget Cuts

Nevada Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio says Gov. Jim Gibbons should not immediately cut university, mental health and child welfare spending and wait for the Legislature's consent before reducing state government agency budgets.

Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie agrees, saying it would be prudent to delay cuts until at least early December, when more information will be available on whether sales, gambling and other tax revenues are still declining.

In response to revenue shortfalls, selected state agencies, including higher education, were asked by Gibbons two weeks ago to prepare priority lists on how they would cut their budgets by 5 percent, or a combined $184 million. The lists must be submitted to the governor by Monday.

Gibbons exempted K-12 public education, the prison system and public safety agencies, such as the Nevada Highway Patrol, from any cuts.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)