106°F
weather icon Clear

Error leaves NSHE budget $6.4M short, workers to get smaller raises

CARSON CITY — The Nevada System of Higher Education says it won’t be able to fully fund a 3 percent cost of living adjustment for its workers after an error from the governor’s finance office left its budget $6.4 million short.

The error could mean that higher education workers will get a cost of living raise of only 2.4 percent over the next two years, as opposed to the 3 percent raise that all other state employees will receive as part of the promise Gov. Steve Sisolak made during his State of the State address in January.

System Chancellor Thom Reilly said in a statement Tuesday that the Governor’s finance office alerted higher education officials to the errors Monday — the final day of the Legislature.

“We immediately reported it to legislative leadership,” Reilly said, adding that officials estimate the system is roughly $6.4 million short of the roughly $31.8 million required to cover the raise.

But according to the governor’s office, that calculating error was brought to the Legislature’s attention nearly three months ago.

In March, the Governor’s finance office realized that it had miscalculated the amount of salary adjustment funds needed for the pay raise and then flagged it for Legislature staff, according to the governor’s office.

The governor’s office said that legislative staff responded in mid-May and said that they would be funding the budget with the miscalculation included.

But Sen. Joyce Woodhouse, D-Henderson, who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance, said Tuesday that she was not made aware of the error until the final hours of the Legislature, which adjourned near midnight Monday, when she received a text from Reilly.

By that time, the budgets for higher education and those pay raises had already been closed, and any additional money that could have been used to fill that gap had already been appropriated.

Woodhouse added that she has “full trust” in her legislative fiscal staff.

What happens next is unclear.

The Board of Regents will hold its quarterly meeting on Thursday and Friday in Reno, where it is expected to discuss the budget hole and possible avenues for remedying it.

Reilly said that NSHE plans “to work with the Governor’s office and Legislature to attempt to address the deficit.”

UPDATE: NSHE provided the following statement Wednesday night saying that they will be providing the full 3 percent raise to higher education workers.

“After discussions with the Governor’s office and legislative staff, we understand that the amount funded was the result of using a different calculation method. NSHE and its Board will work to ensure employees receive their three percent COLAs as recommended by the governor and approved by the Legislature,” NSHE said.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Olivia Diaz talks about her win in Ward 3 - VIDEO
Las Vegas City Councilwoman-elect Olivia Diaz talks about her election win in Ward 3 and what lies ahead for her.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
Bernie Sanders visits Las Vegas
Sen. Bernie Sanders made a stop at Roy W. Martin middle school on Thursday, during his campaign trail.
THE LATEST
Iranian envoy gets surprise G-7 invite from French leader

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Trump had not “set preconditions” on negotiations with Iran.

Trump facing limits of go-it-alone stance at G-7 summit

The annual G-7 summit has historically been used to highlight common ground among the world’s leading democracies.

Nevada corrections workers file for union recognition

Nevada corrections workers filed to be recognized as a union affiliated with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the first group of state workers to take advantage of a new law that allows for collective bargaining.