Recommendations could save state $500 million over five years

Nevada’s state coffers could see upwards of $500 million in savings and additional revenue over five years under steps recommended by a commission tasked with finding ways to make government more efficient.

The recommendations, the first to come from the Spending and Government Efficiency Commission, now go to Gov. Jim Gibbons. In some cases the commission simply called for studying the possibility of savings, so implementation could be months or years away. Some of them are also bound to be controversial because they touch on social and health services.

Commission members forwarded 11 of 12 recommendations, holding one back for further study.

They include:

– Closing the Nevada State Prison in Carson City.

– Studying the impact of a four-day work week for state employees.

– Adopting a managed care model for the Aged, Blind and Disabled groups under Medicaid, and funding additional staff to go collect improperly paid Medicaid claims.

– Eliminating some DMV title processing staff and fixing longstanding problems with the enforcement of mandatory auto insurance law.

– Going after federal matching funds for existing state programs that help poor people who are severely injured.

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