CARSON CITY — A Senate-Assembly budget panel recommended Friday that the Nevada Department of Public Safety rely on federal funding to cover costs of law enforcement jobs that would be eliminated under Gov. Jim Gibbons’ proposed budget.
The Republican governor proposes a decrease of just over 11 percent in DPS state funding, by cutting $13.4 million from a legislatively approved figure of $121 million. Seventy-six positions would be eliminated.
The budget subcommittee decided against adding back nine detective and narcotic officer positions at a cost of $1.5 million, recommending instead that the Division of Investigations and narcotics control departments wait for federal grants to fund the positions.
The proposed cuts present a real challenge, Scott Jackson, investigations chief at the state Department of Public Safety, had told the subcommittee previously.
Sen. Bob Coffin, D-Las Vegas, voted against the recommendation, calling reliance on federal funds a gamble. He told panel members that rural areas are vulnerable to drug activity.
Assemblywoman Kathy McClain, D-Las Vegas, the subcommittee chairwoman, said she understands the situation is difficult, but “at some place we have to draw the line.”