Nev.'s Sandoval Keeping Budget Requests from Public

Wednesday, 05 Dec 2012 01:35 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Nevada legislators are accusing Gov. Brian Sandoval of breaking with protocol, if not the law,  because of his decision to keep state agency supplemental spending requests secret, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
The Republican governor two years ago released the spending requests, which had been the usual practice of previous governors, letting lawmakers and the public see various department spending demands before he released his final two-year budget plan to the legislature.
This year, however, Sandoval has only released the spending requests that fit within the caps he issued as part of his budget instructions.
Sandoval is keeping several supplemental spending requests under wraps, including the cost for expanding Medicaid, restoring a child care program for the poor, and new computers and vehicles for state agencies.
Lawmakers from both parties told the Sun they want an honest accounting of what the true budget plan to be submitted in January will actually look like. They say the public has a right to see as well what kind of increases and cuts may be included.
Budget director Jeff Mohlenkamp said the governor’s office is following the law by not releasing the information, noting that supplemental requests don't have to be made public unless they  become part of the actual budget submission.
According to the Sun, Sandoval, up for re-election in 2014, has promised not to cut K-12 education programs and to protect social services for the poor — without raising taxes.

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