If the Titanic had only hit the tip of the iceberg it might still be afloat today.
Tuesday evening Gov. Brian Sandoval delivered his State of the State speech to lawmakers and outlined his proposed budget for 2017-19, which would grow from $7.3 billion from this past biennium to $8.1 billion in the next, about 10 percent.
But the fact of the matter is that is just his general fund budget, the part under which taxes pay for expenditures. If you add in all the expenses covered by fees and fund transfers and federal slop the total budget for the coming two years is really $26.1 billion, up from $23.5 billion, an 11 percent increase.
Fully 44 percent of that is spent on Health and Human Services, which includes Medicaid, which is largely covered by federal funds for now.
One of the most closely watched aspects of Sandoval’s smorgasborg of increased funding for everything from a veterans home to state parks was his plan to dollop out $60 million to fund education savings accounts. According onenewspaper account, that be $25 million the first year and $35 million the second — enough for 4,800 students at first and then 6,700, even though more than 8,000 have already applied.
Another account reports the governor is considering means testing for determining who gets the education saving accounts — something the new Democratic majority has been demanding.
When Sandoval announced his funding proposal for ESAs, Republicans applauded and Democrats sat on their hands, prompting the governor to quip, “I know it would be a split house on that one.”
The governor had his chance to fund education savings accounts in the special session in which lawmakers doled out $750 million for a new football stadium in Las Vegas, but he failed to put that on the agenda.
Nevada continues to dole out billions for billionaires and pittance for parents.