Buckley: Lawmakers ‘half an inch’ from agreement

CARSON CITY — In a state budget of more than $6 billion, legislators are at an impasse over $14 million, according to Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas.

The subcommittee hearing to finalize the higher education budget, the last major piece in the spending puzzle, has been pushed back yet again, to 3 p.m., as members of the “core group” of key lawmakers continue to negotiate behind closed doors.

“We are half an inch away, and like all negotiations, the last inch is the hardest,” Buckley said. Both sides feel they have compromised enough and can’t bridge the final gap, she said, declining to discuss in detail who was on which side or what the negotiating positions are.

Buckley said she has hope the matter can be resolved today. A hearing was originally scheduled for Friday but postponed when agreement couldn’t be reached.

A meeting of the core group just broke up, with legislative leaders going back to their party caucuses to discuss their positions.

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