Democrats reject Sandoval proposals to cut K-12 spending

CARSON CITY -- Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday rejected proposals from Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval that would have cut more than $700 million in state K-12 spending from 2011-13.

During a joint committee of Senate and Assembly money committees, which could continue into the evening, the Democratic majority spiked proposals to reduce school worker pay 5 percent, divert school construction bond reserve money to operations, and suspend merit pay increases for teachers, which amounted to the bulk of the money in question.

The cumulative affect was to approve programs that would cost well beyond the amount allocated in Sandoval's proposed $5.8 billion budget.

The governor's budget is based on his promise to oppose tax and fee increases.

Democrats say it isn't enough to fund adequate education and social services.

The committee votes on Tuesday covered items in the distributive school account, which Sandoval proposes to be about $3.2 billion.

Sandoval is scheduled to make a televised address tonight to sell his own budget plan and announce about $267 million in new funding based on revised revenue projections.

Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at or 702-477-3861.