Gibbons spokesman: 300 state layoffs, pay cuts a possibility
Tribune Capitol Bureau
CARSON CITY, Nev. – A spokesman for Gov. Jim Gibbons said Tuesday the budget office has calculated the state’s revenue shortfall at $880 million this budget cycle, and that meeting that may require up to 300 layoffs.
Dan Burns said the governor met with city and county officials Monday, school district officials today and will sit down with lawmakers Wednesday to discuss how to handle the budget crisis.
He said lawmakers will get two lists of ideas from the administration.
“There’s the list of things we should do and the list of recommendations we’d rather not do,” Burns said.
The tentative list, Burns said, includes up to 300 layoffs, but he emphasized that all depends on what other decisions the governor and lawmakers agree on so that number is far from etched in stone.
The governor and legislative leadership will meet Wednesday and Thursday to start ironing out the details. They have promised to work together on a plan before calling a special session of the Legislature.
Burns said Gibbons will lay out the situation and at least some of his ideas on how to cope with it in next Monday’s television address to Nevadans.
“In the state of the state, you can expect a description of the dire situation the state is in,” he said. “You can also expect to see some of the solutions.”
Asked about added furloughs or pay cuts, Burns said: “Let’s be clear, this cannot be done without having an impact on salaries.”
Gibbons said Monday he doubted state workers would take much more than a 6 percent salary cut before walking away from the job. Those comments were made after he exited a meeting with more than 30 city and county officials.
He assured those officials it is not his intention to take more revenue away from local governments, which he and lawmakers hit for nearly $300 million during the 2009 Legislature.
“Grab a hold of the notion of shrinking government because it’s our destiny,” Burns said.
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