Nevada Lawmaker Questions Secrecy In Budget Cut Process

A key Nevada lawmaker is questioning a court ruling enabling Gov. Jim Gibbons to hide details of proposed budget cuts -- and promises to work to close legal loopholes that can be used to defend the secrecy.

Sheila Leslie, vice-chairwoman of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, also said Democratic leaders of the Assembly would support an appeal of Carson City District Judge Todd Russell's ruling Tuesday that favored the Republican governor.

However, the Reno-Gazette Journal, which sued to force Gibbons to make public more information on the cutback plans, doesn't plan to appeal Russell's ruling to the state Supreme Court.

Leslie says the bigger issue is --quote-- "What's the big secret here? Why can't we be consulted now?"

She adds that what has been described as a possible public forum on the cutbacks isn't likely to provide the detail that the public and lawmakers want.