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by Vern Perry, NSC Vice-President
Originally published on  January 13, 2011 - reprinted with permission

  The Nevada Legislature will start their 76th session on February 9, 2011. They are faced with trying to solve a major budget problem that they have been essentially ignoring for the many years that it has been building up (similar to the national mess we are in). The budget shortfall , in the next two year period, has been report to be somewhere between $1.5 billion to $3 billion. Every Nevadan will be effected by the impact this will have on their daily lives – jobs, taxes, fees, state and local services and programs, etc.

Last year Nevada received around $800 million in stimulus funds from the Feds, which they will not get this year, and government employees’ annual raises of $500 million might have to be rein-stated. And to top it off, on June 30th temporary furlough arrangements, wage cuts and tax extensions will expire.

The Band-Aid has come off and the artery is spurting blood.

Another very important challenge this legislature will have is re-districting the state for the next ten years. There will be a lot of horse trading with this issue. There are indications that redistricting will involve increasing the number of rural Assembly and Senate Districts to protect those voters from us guys. Also there will be a fourth US House District to be figured out. The gerrymandering should be phenomenal with the party leaders trying to ensure that their underlings have a large advantage in the general election.

Good luck to Governor Sandoval and the Nevada Legislature and God help the people of Nevada.