Nevada officials get rundown on possible benefits

The Clark County School District, Medicaid, state government, food stamp aid and transportation programs would benefit under the economic stimulus bill passed by the House of Representatives this week.

Also included is a package of tax credits for college tuition, renewable energy, energy efficiency and other items. The Senate is still considering its version of the legislation, and the final package might be different than what was presented Thursday.

Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., ran through a summary of the proposed appropriations with local and state elected officials at the Paradise Community Center on Thursday. She said that money is slated to plug holes in state and local budgets but that the primary purpose is to jump-start a stalled economy.

“I don’t think you can consider this a solution. I think you can consider this a temporary stimulus,” she said. “The amount of money that will come to the state will not make up for the whole deficit.

“There will still be a need for the Legislature to act deliberately and consider programs and make some cuts, but this will certainly help.”

Among the bill’s allotments for Nevada are $440.9 million for Medicaid; $512.8 million in a “state financial stabilization fund” to help with gaps in funding for education and other services; $179 million for the Clark County School District; and $84 million for food stamps, affecting 163,000 Nevada residents.

“All of us in government have had a vision of what we should do,” said Rory Reid, chairman of the Clark County Commission. “Somebody said that ‘a vision without resources is a hallucination.’ Now, our hallucination has become, I think, a vision again.”

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said the House’s quick passage of the bill was “a miracle.”

“J-O-B-S. That’s what it’s all about,” he said. “By Jan. 29, Washington finally did something right. It’s remarkable.”

Goodman had wanted funding from the stimulus bill to include some projects he champions in the downtown area, but Titus said there are no earmarked funds in the legislation.

Contact reporter Alan Choate at achoate@reviewjournal.com or 702-229-6435.

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