Nevada Supreme Court Says Tax Plan Can Pass With Simple Majority

Nevada Legislature 2003
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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.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.