A longtime Democratic state senator last week got personal with his criticism of Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval's proposal to limit general fund spending to $5.8 billion for 2011-13, a 6.4 percent cut from current spending.
Sen. Mike Schneider, D-Las Vegas, said he was "shocked" by the proposal and went on to invoke the name of Sandoval's friend and mentor, former Republican Gov. Kenny Guinn, who fell from a roof and died July 22.
"I'm just sorry Kenny Guinn didn't live long enough to consult with the new governor," Schneider said when asked about Sandoval's budget proposal. "Kenny Guinn wouldn't have submitted a budget like this. I'm kind of shocked at the budget we have, to tell the truth."
Guinn was a father figure to Sandoval and other state Republicans, and one of his final public appearances before his fatal accident was at Sandoval's primary victory party June 8 in Reno.
Sandoval senior adviser Dale Erquiaga said Friday neither he nor the governor would have any response to Schneider's remarks.
Chancellor's budget figures called 'disingenuous'
Dan Klaich, chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education, made headlines statewide last week with his impassioned testimony against budget cuts proposed by Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval.
To illustrate the effect of Sandoval's proposed $162 million cut in spending for colleges and universities, Klaich said the decrease translated to more than 1,800 employee layoffs or a 73 percent increase in tuition.
On Friday Sandoval senior adviser Dale Erquiaga responded to Klaich's spin on the figures.
Erquiaga pointed out that the Board of Regents will control how the cuts are implemented, not Sandoval.
And, Erquiaga said, even system officials say they don't intend to offset the spending reductions entirely with layoffs or tuition.
"I will tell you that presenting worst-case scenarios doesn't do any good," Erquiaga said. "Everyone knows they are not going to try to fill that gap entirely with tuition, including them. To say that they would is disingenuous."
Tweet of the week
From @RGJRayHagar: "Capital press corps humor: Sandoval's meeting with firefighters union was cancelled because everybody called in sick." Follow #nvleg #nvgov @Political_Eye and @SoNevBenS on Twitter for more updates from Carson City.
Contact Benjamin Spillman at bspillman @reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861.