CARSON CITY — Gov. Jim Gibbons will discuss Nevada’s budget problems Friday afternoon with legislative leaders in a teleconference meeting in Reno and Las Vegas.
Gibbons and Northern Nevada legislators will meet in the Reno law office of Jones Vargas, while Southern Nevada legislators will gather in the firm’s Las Vegas office, 3773 Howard Hughes Parkway.
The offices were offered for the governor’s use by Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, who works for the law firm.
"We have no agenda other than talking," Ben Kieckhefer, Gibbons’ communications director, said Tuesday.
Kieckhefer said the governor thought the meeting was needed because of the Economic Forum’s analysis Monday that the state must cut spending by another $250 million during the current fiscal year because of tax revenue declines.
The Legislature does not meet in a regular session until Feb. 2, but Gibbons could be forced to call a special session because of tax revenue declines. He and legislators already have cut state spending by $1.2 billion.
Legislators elected or re-elected Tuesday night would be sworn in to serve in a special session if one is called by the governor.
Senate Minority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, said Democrats will try to accommodate the governor’s wishes for the Friday meeting.
"There is an urgency because of the budget, but we need to do it (make changes) in a very deliberate and responsible manner," Horsford said.
Kieckhefer said the legislators and governor need to "iron out our differences so we move into the ’09 session with a clear understanding of where we stand."
Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, announced last week that the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee would hold meetings in late November or early December to discuss the budget shortfall.
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