Senate majority leader Steven Horsford decided three days was long enough for the post-inaugural honeymoon of bipartisan rhetoric.
In an e-mail Thursday under the subject line "some things are worth fighting for" Horsford, D-Las Vegas, said what he thinks about the suggestion by Gov. Brian Sandoval and other Republicans that the general fund budget can be balanced mostly through cuts, including to education funding.
"Sadly, extreme right-wing interests are lining up to use the budget crisis to dismantle our state," Horsford wrote. He added, "I did not enter public service to slash funding for our schools or leave our most vulnerable citizens without care. That’s why I will fight every day to protect Nevada families from the extreme agenda that threatens our future."
The communique is a shot across the bow at Sandoval, who has attempted to hew to an anti-tax philosophy similar to that of former Gov. Jim Gibbons but with less strident rhetoric and more bipartisan outreach.
Sandoval, Horsford, Assembly speaker John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, and minority leaders Sen. Mike McGinness, R-Fallon and Assemblyman Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka, will be major players in the 120-day legislative session that begins Feb. 7.
The big questions include whether Sandoval can keep his promise to balance the budget that is projected to have revenue of $1 billion to $3 billion less than needed to maintain existing service levels and whether Horsford and Oceguera can put together enough Democratic and Republican votes to override Sandoval vetos.
Horsford’s e-mail comes one day after Sen. Bill Raggio, R-Reno, announced he would resign before the session. Raggio was widely known as a bipartisan deal maker with close ties to Sandoval and high credibility in the legislature.