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Nevada state budget (2010-2011)

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Nevada had a budget of more than $16 billion for the biennium ending in 2011, after closing an approximately $887 million budget gap.[1] Revenue relied upon to balance the budget included $197 million from state agency funds, $105 million in federal funds and $62 million in mining proceeds. New fees were also implemented, resulting in an estimated $50 million in revenue. New fees would be implemented on mining claims, applications for water rights, new gaming licenses, bank foreclosures and parks.[2] The state, however, faced a $3 billion deficit for the next biennial budget.[3] The administration of Governor Jim Gibbons therefore had to review state programs to determine what services could be continued and which had to be eliminated.[3]

Nevada received approximately $160 million from the federal government under HR 1586, a $26 billion plan to give states money for Medicaid and education that the president signed into law on August 10, 2010.[4]

Going into the fiscal year, Nevada had a total state debt of $15,334,815,843 when calculated by adding the total outstanding debt, pension and OPEB UAAL’s, unemployment trust funds and the 2010 budget gap as of July 2010.[5]

2011 State spending & deficit in billions[6]
Total spending Human services Education Protection Infrastructure Government
$6.2 $1.8 $3.4 $0.5 $0.05 $0.33
2011 Local spending & deficit in billions[7]
Total spending Pension Healthcare Education Welfare Protection Transport Deficit
$22 $0.00 $1.10 $4.8 $1.7 $3.2 $2 $23.8

FY 2010-11

See also: Archived Nevada state budgets

The state’s FY 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) compiled by the state government can be found here.

Nevada lawmakers passed a $6.8 billion two-year budget in 2009, and at the beginning of FY 2011 faced a $3 billion shortfall.[8] Senate Fiscal Analyst Mark Krmpotic said that the overall ending fund balance in the state treasury was about $79 million ahead of what it was projected to finish fiscal year 2011 — a total of $323 million. He said reversions of unspent money came in $36 million higher than expected, totaling $84 million.[9]

Nevada accepted $83 million in education funds as part of the federal jobs bills approved by Congress in August 2010.[8] Gov. Gibbons said he wanted to make sure the funding didn't come with ongoing financial obligations for the state before he accepted the money.[8] The bill also included $79 million in matching Medicaid funding for Nevada, which lawmakers had included in the state's budget.[8]

Budget background

See also: Nevada state budget and finances

Nevada’s Constitution requires the state to have a balanced budget and not deficit spend. Individual state agencies submit their budget requests along with past expenditures and revenue to the governor who proceeds to issue a budget recommendation for the upcoming fiscal year to the Nevada State Legislature. Both the State Assembly and the Senate are required to make any necessary changes or adjustments to the budget until the bill is passed in both houses.[10]

Regular sessions of the legislature begin the first Monday in February of odd-numbered years. Nevada is one of only six states that have true biennial sessions. From 1961 through 1997, the length of legislative sessions in Nevada depended upon the time required to process proposed legislation, review the spending proposals of state agencies, and adopt a biennial state budget. Some sessions lasted as long as 169 days. At the 1998 general election, Nevada voters approved a constitutional amendment limiting future regular biennial sessions to 120 days. The amendment also required the governor to submit the executive budget to the legislature two weeks before the start of session.[11] Bills that contain a tax or fee increase require a two-third majority vote (14 in the Senate and 28 in Assembly) to pass.[12]

  • The General Fund was a significant source of revenue for the state, accounting for 37 percent of total projected revenue. Federal funds accounted for almost one quarter, 21 percent, of the state’s projected revenues. Other revenue encompasses a variety of items from private gifts and donations to various fees, assessments, and taxes.[10]

Budget transparency

See also: Evaluation of Nevada state website

Government tools

Nevada Open Government was a website where records of Nevada state spending were made available. The site was limited in the scope of information it contained when it was evaluated in 2008. It was anticipated that more government spending data would be placed online as more funds became available.

The following table evaluates the level of transparency provided by Nevada Open Government.

Criteria for evaluating spending databases
State Database Searchability Grants Contracts Line Item Expenditures Dept/Agency Budgets Public Employee Salary
Nevada Open Government
600px-Red x.png
600px-Red x.png
600px-Red x.png
600px-Yes check.png
600px-Red x.png

Limitations and Suggestions

As the table above notes, the site lacked information on grants, contracts, and state employee salaries.

Independent transparency sites

The Nevada Policy Research Institute developed its own transparency website.[13] This site focused primarily on local transparency, complementing the state's site, which focused primarily on state spending transparency.[14]

Accounting principles

See also: Nevada government accounting principles

The Nevada Legislative Auditor for the Legislative Counsel Bureau, Audit Division audits Nevada's state agencies and publishes audit reports online. Paul Townsend was Legislative Auditor. The Legislative Auditor was a statutory officer appointed by the Director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau with the approval of the Legislative Commission for an indefinite term whose qualifications and duties were defined by law. The Legislative Auditor serves as staff to the Nevada Legislature and its various committees, and was the chief of the Audit Division.[15]

The Institute for Truth in Accounting (IFTA) rates Nevada “Timely” in filing the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) – The annual report of state and local governmental entities. IFTA rated 22 states timely, 22 states tardy, and 6 states as worst. IFTA did not consider Nevada's CAFRs, and those of the other states, to be accurate representations of the state’s financial condition because the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) basis did not include significant liabilities for the pension plans and for other post employment benefits, such as health care.[16] Nevada's CAFRs were prepared and published online by the Nevada State Controller's Office.[17]

Kim Wallin was elected Nevada's State Controller in November of 2006.[18] The Nevada State Controller was one of the six constitutional officers of the state and was elected to a term of four years. The Controller was the chief fiscal officer charged with administering the state accounting system and the state's debt collection program under the Nevada Constitution Article 5, Section 19.[19]

Credit Rating Fitch Moody's S&P
Nevada[20] AA+ Aa2 AA+

See also

External links

Additional reading


  1. The Nevada Appeal, "State agencies ask for $8.3B," October 16, 2010
  2. Las Vegas Review-Journal, "SPECIAL SESSION: Session adjourns with balanced budget deal approved in Carson City," March 2, 2010
  3. 3.0 3.1 Nevada News Bureau, "Nevada Budget Director Paints Grim Picture," August 6, 2010
  4. Federal Fund Information for States, “ARRA FMAP Extension & Education Jobs Fund Totals,” August 11, 2010
  5. State Budget Solutions, “States Hide Trillions in Debt,” July 22, 2010
  6. Nevada Budget Office, Budget FY2011 (dead link)
  7. USA Spending, "State Guesstimated* Government Spending," 2011
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Businessweek, "Nevada gov would accept $83M in education funds," August 13, 2010
  9. Nevada Appeal, "Nevada was $38M in black," December 14, 2011
  10. 10.0 10.1 State of Nevada, "Introduction to State Budgeting," October 2007 (dead link)
  11. Nevada State Legislature Website, accessed October 31, 2009 (dead link)
  12. Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau Research Division, "Nevada State 2009 Legislative Manual," February 13, 2009 (dead link)
  13. Nevada Policy Research Institute, "New Transparency Website Launched," September 8, 2008
  14. Transparent Nevada, "About Us," accessed April 24, 2014
  15. Nevada Legislative Audit Division Website, accessed October 31, 2009 (dead link)
  16. Institute for Truth in Accounting, “The Truth About Balanced Budgets—A Fifty State Study,” Page 35
  17. CAFRs (dead link)
  18. The Green Papers, "Nevada's General Election," accessed October 31, 2009
  19. Nevada State Controller's Office Web site, accessed October 31, 2009
  20. State of Indiana, “State Credit Ratings-as of June 24, 2009"