In March 2020, the governor over-reacted to the COVID pandemic and shut down the state without consulting with, let alone getting approval from, the Nevada Legislature.
Because of the budget hole the governor’s shutdown orders created in our budget, this body convened in a special session last July, drained our Rainy-Day fund, and approved various spending cuts.
Since that time, legislators have found some extra money in the sofa cushions and it’s burning a hole in their pockets.
So instead of first replenishing the Rainy-Day fund, there’s a rush to spend the money on restoring cuts that were deemed non-essential last July.
When you add all these items up – a penny here and penny there – we’re talking some real money. By my calculation, over $155 million in total spending.
This is fiscally reckless, especially in light of today’s ruling by the Nevada Supreme Court that the 2019 Legislature unlawfully imposed around $100 million dollars in tax hikes that now must be returned to taxpayers.
Most of these appropriations are included in next year’s budget. Instead of spending the money this year, we should do the fiscally responsible thing and use this money to replenish the Rainy-Day fund that was drained last summer or use the money to cover the loss because of the Nevada Supreme Court’s decision.
As such, I will be voting against all appropriation requests and encourage my colleagues to do the same.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.