LAS VEGAS (AP) - Nevada officials are urging Congress to cut them a break in the economic stimulus bill.
In a letter sent late Friday to Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, Gov. Jim Gibbons and leaders in the state Legislature urged the Democrat to ensure that the final bill allows Nevada to skirt some requirements for receiving the stimulus money.
The bill requires that states maintain funding of some health and education programs before they can qualify for additional federal money. But the Nevada officials say they are "hard-pressed" to fund programs at the same levels they have in years past.
They argue that the provision means that "the states in the most need of stimulus funds are also the states that have the hardest time" getting the federal money.
The Senate version of the bill does include a waiver exempting states like Nevada from the requirement. Late Friday, the Senate narrowly defeated an amendment that would have stripped the bill of the waiver. Both Reid and Republican Sen. John Ensign voted against the amendment.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)