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Saturday, February 27, 2010

7 % additional cut in education

State spending on education would be cut by 6.9 percent under a budget deal Democrats and Republicans reached tonight, according to a source who has seen the draft budget document.
Members of the political party caucuses still must agree to the plan, which could be approved by the special session as soon as Sunday.

The deal was reached after two meetings between legislative leaders and Gov. Jim Gibbons on Day 5 of the special session.
Gibbons had initially proposed a 10 percent cut in state spending on K-12 and higher education for a potential savings of $250 million, and Democrats were pushing for a 5 percent reduction.
The level of education cuts was the major spending dispute as lawmakers put together the plan to fill an $887 million budget gap.

Governor Gibbons used his veto pen and the potential of action under emergency powers should the legislature not come to agreement on budget cuts. He has been sucessful, so far, in keeping any proposed tax or tax payment advance from being passed. 

Deep cuts under the governor in 2008 and 2009, along with severe drops in property value and tax revenue, already have K-12 and higher education operating at budget levels lower than 2004, despite inflation and a large increase in students and demand.

Sources: Las Vegas Review Journal, Las Vegas Sun, AP, Channel 3 and Channel 8 news.

Chili Quake and Pacific Tsunami

8.8 Earthquake with 6.6 aftershocks hits Chili, causing tidal wave warnings in Hawaii and elsewhere. The Huffington Post has a list of ways you can help and updates on the story.  This is the first Pacific Wide Tsunami warning since 1964. Quakes as high as 6.3 are hitting in neighboring countries.

US Tourism bill passes

Senator Harry Reid's US Tourism bill passes, with promise of bring new International tourism to Nevada and the US.