Sandoval signs bills implementing $17.9 billion budget |

Sandoval signs bills implementing $17.9 billion budget

CARSON CITY, Nev. – Gov. Brian Sandoval on Tuesday signed into law the five pieces of legislation that implement the state budget for the coming two years.

They are the K-12 education bill, the Appropriations and Authorizations acts, the Capital Improvement Projects measure and the bill setting salaries and imposing pay cuts for state workers.

In both the Senate and Assembly, the measures all passed with just over the minimum Republican support necessary to achieve a two-thirds margin. In truth, the budget bills themselves don’t require two-thirds. Only the measures increasing revenue to the state require higher than a simple majority. But two-thirds was deemed politically necessary for those backing the additions made to the governor’s original proposed budget.

The Appropriations Act contains nearly all the General Fund spending for the state over the coming biennium – some $6.2 billion – plus about $940 million in Highway Fund money.

The Authorizations Act makes up the other funding in the budget – federal money and self-supporting and fee revenues. It totals about $11.7 billion. But it does contain a bit of General Fund money that goes to the Nevada Department of Transportation and the Gaming Control Board.

The K-12 education bill contains the $2.19 billion in General Fund money appropriated to the Distributive School Account. In addition, that measure appropriates $121 million each year for special education and $140 million a year for class size reduction as well as appropriations for early childhood education and adult education.

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The bill sets per pupil funding from the state at an average of $5,263 for fiscal 2012 and $5,374 for FY 2013. Each county receives a different amount, adjusted for local wealth.

The pay bill sets maximum salaries for all unclassified state workers. But it also includes the language implementing the 2.5 percent pay cut for all state workers except elected officials as well as language imposing six unpaid furlough days on state workers each year – valued at another 2.3 percent pay reduction.

Finally, Sandoval signed the Capital Improvement Projects bill. Unlike the huge bonding plans in past years, this year’s bill contains just $58.2 million in bond projects plus $14.32 million reclaimed from previous years’ projects – a total of just $72.5 million in projects. All of those are necessary repairs and maintenance projects.