Gibbons: Cut budgets by 8 percent |

Gibbons: Cut budgets by 8 percent

Gov. Jim Gibbons today raised the amount agencies must cut from their budgets to 8 percent.

The announcement was made at this morning’s cabinet meeting and sent to all agencies in a memo at noon.

“Based on our revised projections of the general fund shortfall for fiscal year 2008 and 2009, the Budget Division has deemed it necessary to increase the recommendations for budget reserves from 5 percent to 8 percent,” states the memo from Director of Administration Andrew Clinger.

That will reduce general fund spending by state agencies not exempted from the cuts by $281.6 million, a significant increase from the $181.1 million agencies had to cut at the 5 percent level.

The total matches the amount of the projected sales and use tax shortfall Clinger presented to legislative and local leaders at a forum on the budget crisis a week ago.

But it doesn’t include any reductions in projected revenue from the Modified Business Tax and Real Estate Transfer Tax, both of which are expected to fall short as well.

Those numbers will be out next week.

The memo directs agencies to provide the budget office with their recommendations on how to make those cuts by Dec. 5.

The list of exempted agencies includes K-12 education, the Department of Public Safety, judicial and state worker salaries and the Department of Corrections.

But Gibbons added juvenile justice and child welfare to the list of those exempt from the reductions. Clinger said with juvenile justice and child welfare on the list, just about half of general fund spending is now exempt from any cuts the governor eventually orders.

The Biggest hit remains the Department of health and Human Services which will now have to reduce spending $140 million compared with $95.7 million under the 5 percent reduction.

And at the university system, where Chancellor Jim Rogers has been fighting loudly to be exempted, the cuts will increase from $64 million to $102.5 million.

The memo also repeats that the agency recommendations are to be treated as confidential saying the governor will make public his final plan once he rules on where and what will be cut.

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