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Gov. Sisolak releases Executive Budget, plan to revitalize state economy

Gov. Steve Sisolak speaks virtually about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Nevada on December...
Gov. Steve Sisolak speaks virtually about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Nevada on December 30, 2020.(KOLO)
Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 7:45 PM PST
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - Governor Steve Sisolak has released the summary of his Executive Budget for the 2021-2023 biennium. In a release from Sisolak’s office it states: This budget highlights the pain wrought by the pandemic while also setting forth a clear plan to revitalize, innovate, and grow Nevada’s economy.

“My Executive Budget for 2021-2023 recognizes the emergency we are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic while also setting forth a clear plan to revitalize, innovate, and grow Nevada’s economy.” said Gov. Sisolak. “I am committed to remaining flexible and working closely with the legislature in this unprecedented and evolving fiscal situation. Throughout this dynamic process, the priorities will remain the same: recovering from this crisis and creating jobs, educating our kids, promoting justice and equality, and most importantly now, protecting the health of our people.”

During the 31st Special Session in July of 2020, the Nevada State Legislature had to make cuts to the approved Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 budget based on summer revenue projections. However, December 2020 revised revenue projections were better than predicted. According to Sisolak, state revenues never dropped as low as lawmakers’ worst expectations.

Here are a few highlights from the Governor’s Executive Budget:

  • General Fund (GF) expenditures of $8,688,624,000, which represents a reduction of $187,279,876 (or 2%) compared to the 2019-2020 biennium.
  • One-shot GF expenditures totaling $226 million in FY 21 due to greater than expected revenue projections and state reimbursements through federal funds, including, but not limited to, $25 million to fulfill the State’s commitment for construction of a state-of-the-art Medical School at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The Governor is also recommending that additional one-shot funding be dedicated for immediate small business assistance, which will be detailed in his State of the State.
  • $342 million in supplemental appropriations which are necessary to complete the current fiscal year. The largest of these appropriations is K-12 Education at $331 million over the biennium to fund state and local revenue shortfalls experienced as a result of mitigating and responding to COVID-19.
  • K-12 and NSHE state expenditures total $7 billion over the current biennium. K-12 expenditures for the biennium total $4.9 billion in state funds for a total of $6.63 billion including local funds, which represents a decrease of $30 million compared to the current biennium. NSHE expenditures for the biennium total $2 billion, which equates to a decrease of $80 million compared to the current biennium. K-12 and higher education are expected to receive significant funding in the form of federal aid, but guidance is still forthcoming, and these dollars could not be included in this budget.
  • Phased implementation of the Pupil-Centered Funding Plan from Senate Bill 543 of the 2019 Session. This phased approach uses only State revenues currently distributed through the Nevada Department of Education. This is the first step in implementing a pupil-based funding formula that is equitable and transparent.
  • Funding for an Engineering and Academic Research building at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas - $36.8 million in General Obligation Bonds.
  • Restoration of the 6% rate reduction for Medicaid and NV Check Up providers and restoration of the rate increase for Neonatal Intensive Care Units.
  • Increased General Funds of $3.14 million in funding for Autism Treatment and Assistance programs to address the projected waitlist.
  • Total Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) funding at $415 million including an investment of $176 million in CIP for maintenance projects statewide.
  • An investment of $75 million for future infrastructure and economic development projects proposed to be used to launch the State Infrastructure Bank to leverage outside capital.
  • Restoration of the Going Home Prepared program to assist inmates with supports for successful transition back into their communities.
  • $5 million to the Knowledge Fund to encourage creation and support for new business, business innovation, and to leverage federal funds.
  • State employee furloughs implemented effective January 1, 2021 will not be continued in FY22 - 23.
  • Expanded Public Employees’ Benefits Program (PEBP) coverage options to include new low deductible copay-based option and stable premiums for the upcoming plan year.

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