Two Weeks Left in Nevada's Legislative Session

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

CARSON CITY (AP) - Nevada lawmakers start their second-to-last
week of the 2007 session tomorrow with a push to wrap up major
remaining issues - including an unfinished state budget totaling
nearly seven (b) billion dollars.

Key elements of the spending plan for the next two fiscal years
include funding for Nevada's K-through-12 schools. Senate and
Assembly leaders have been holding closed-door sessions to reach an
agreement on the K-12 spending, and plan another one tomorrow.

A big issue is the Assembly push to expand kindergarten
throughout the state's public schools. Until the education funding
is worked out, legislators can't complete other spending plans.

Both Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means hold separate
budget-closing sessions on other aspects of the record state
budget. Finance also will discuss a bill enabling the state to
exceed its budget spending cap to help pay off some big unfunded
liabilities.

The lawmakers' Legislative Commission also meets tomorrow to
review temporary rules to stop part of the tax breaks under a
"green" construction law passed by lawmakers in 2005. The
lawmakers also are working on a new law that would override the
2005 law.

A subcommittee will meet to review an audit sought by some
lawmakers who wanted to see why three-point-four (m) dollars in
fees generated by a college savings program that was overseen by
former Nevada Treasurer Brian Krolicki was spent on ads instead of
going to state coffers. Krolicki is now the state's lieutenant
governor.
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On Tuesday, Assembly Ways and Means considers several measures,
including one that would increase good-time credits for inmates.
That's a key measure in the effort to ease costly prison overcrowding. Senate Finance also has a batch of measures up for discussion.

Both purse-string panels also will continue with their budget-closing process.

Senate Legislative Operations and Elections will review eight
measures calling for interim studies on subjects ranging from toll
roads to elections, growth control and mass transit. The studies
could form the basis of legislation presented to the 2009
Legislature.
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On Wednesday, Assembly Ways and Means and Senate Finance will
consider more appropriation measures, among them a nine (m) million
dollar bond issue that represents a final installment on Nevada's
share of a major Tahoe environmental improvement program launched
in 1997.

While most other committees have little to do now that a
deadline for voting out most bills has come and gone, Assembly
Judiciary has scheduled a work session, and Assembly Education
plans a hearing on a measure dealing with home-schooled children.

The hearing schedule shrinks even more on Thursday, with only a
couple of committees listed for hearings. That includes Senate
Finance, which plans to do more budget-closing work.

Thursday also is the deadline for the two money committees to
complete the process of resolving any differences between their
respective versions of the state budget. By the middle of the
following week, the actual budget bills are to be introduced.

Senate Finance is the only committee listed for a Friday meeting, again to conduct budget-closings.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


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