August 23, 2014
CARSON CITY -- The Nevada Supreme Court says the Legislature only needs a simple majority to pass a state tax and spending plan.
In a surprise six-to-one decision -- the state high court tells lawmakers to get back into session to end their stalemate over taxes and school spending.
Justices say the vote needs to be just 50 percent-plus-one to pass a measure balancing the state budget and funding schools.
The Legislature has already approved an overall budget.
But it fell one vote short of a two-thirds vote to pass the tax
program to fund it.
The court order -- made public by Chief Justice Deborah Agosti -- says public education is the top issue before Nevada lawmakers.
It sides with Republican Governor Kenny Guinn.
He asked the court to step in after the Legislature deadlocked without meeting a constitutional requirement to pass a balanced budget by July 1.
Justice Bill Maupin dissented.
He says he'd rather give legislators until July 28 to find a way to fund the nearly $5 billion two-year budget.
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