Gibbons blames Democrats for state's budget crisis
Gov. Jim Gibbons issued a press release Thursday blaming Democratic legislators for the state's budget crisis.
"The Democrat controlled Legislature raised taxes and increased spending while I stood by my promise to the voters by vetoing their higher taxes and spending," he said. "But they wouldn't listen and now we have to endure the consequences of their actions."
Gibbons pointed to budget additions by lawmakers as well as increases in the payroll, sales and other taxes saying those decisions make lawmakers at least partly responsible for the state's economic woes.
He said as a result, "all of our economic indicators re pointing toward the need for a special session of the Nevada Legislature."
He reaffirmed his opposition to any increase in taxes saying that would only put more people out of work.
"The cost of government services must be reduced to decrease government spending to sustainable levels,"
Gibbons issued the statement on the eve of the Nevada Economic Forum which meets at 9 a.m. today to review and reproject the major revenues which make up the state's General Fund.
If and when he calls a special session the Nevada Constitution gives the governor control over the agenda. If he doesn't include a topic or option - such as raising taxes - conventional wisdom says lawmakers can't act in that area.
In preparation for a special session, he has asked state agencies to prepare scenarios ranging from a 1.4 percent reduction in this biennium's General Fund spending to 10 percent.
Senate candidate Amodei receives endorsement
Former State Senator Ann O'Connell has endorsed Carson City Republican Mark Amodei in his bid to take Harry Reid's U.S. Senate seat.
O'Connell, who opposed any tax increases throughout her 20 year Senate career, cited Amodei's four-year legislative career as key to her support.
"At this critical juncture in our nation's history, the U.S. Senate is no place for on the job training," she said.
In addition to the endorsement, O'Connell said she has agreed to be Amodei's finance chairman for the campaign.
Amodei, who is leaving the Nevada Senate after 12 years because of term limits, is one of a dozen Republicans in the primary seeking to challenge Reid.
Montandon beats Gibbons, Sandoval in straw poll
Former North Las Vegas Mayor Mike Montandon beat both Gov. Jim Gibbons and former federal judge Brian Sandoval in a Wednesday straw poll of Clark County Republican activists.
Montandon said he was proud to have the support of "conservative grassroots activists" in the party.
A total of 34 percent of those polled said they favored Montandon. Gibbons claimed 29 percent of those polled and Sandoval 26 percent.
Although his first campaign report showed he has collected less than half the $900,000 Sandoval has, he pointed out that he has double the roughly $160,000 the governor reported receiving.
Nevada to get $6 million
for green job training
The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded Nevada's Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation $6 million in stimulus funds to create job training programs for workers in emerging "green" industries.
Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the money will create a network of education, training and support services to help Nevadans get jobs in clean energy industries.
"Nevadans will now have the opportunity to learn the skills they need to work at good paying jobs that can't be outsource in the area of energy efficiency and renewable energy," said Reid.
Gov. Jim Gibbons said the money is an important development in the state's efforts to recover economically from the recession.
Gibbons names Knecht Carson campaign manager
Gov. Jim Gibbons has named regent and former Nevada Assemblyman Ron Knecht chairman of his re-election campaign in Carson City.
"Governor Gibbons has been a good friend to me and the people in the Carson City area," said Knecht. "We need a leader who stands up for what he believes in and won't surrender to special interests. I believe that leader is Gov. Jim Gibbons."
Knecht served one term in the Nevada Assembly during the contentious 2003 session which, like the 2009 session, was dominated by a budget shortfall and battles over tax increases. Knecht was one of the 15 Republican holdouts who fought to prevent passage of tax increases.
He was defeated in his bid for a second term by Democrat Bonnie Parnell.
Knecht won election to the Nevada Board of Regents in 2006. His district includes Carson City, Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties as well as southern Washoe County.
GOP Senate candidate Lowden to meet voters
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sue Lowden will be in Carson City today to meet with voters.
Lowden will be at Red's Old 395 Grill at 1055 S. Carson Street from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. She said the purpose of the meeting is to give Carson voters a chance to meet her and discuss her positions on the issues and her qualifications for the Senate post.
Food and beverages will be served.
Computer system planned for college savings program
Nevada's College Savings program is planning a new computer system that will, for the first time, let parents manage their accounts online.
Treasurer Kate Marshall said the current computer system "doesn't work." Instead of managing their accounts, making payments and even simple things like changing an address online, parents must download and print out forms, then fill them out and return them to the program.
"Not only does the current software not work, it costs us $60,000 to $90,000 a year," she said.
Marshall said that charge is the annual licensing fee for the software.
The new system, she said, could cost as little as $237,000 and wouldn't have those annual fees. She said at that rate, it would pay for itself within four years as well as provide much better access for parents and others contributing to a plan.