Gov. Steve Sisolak on Wednesday said he is “committed to changing systemic issues that make Nevada the hardest hit state in the nation when there’s an economic downturn.”
The first-term Democratic governor’s comments came via a live-streamed address on YouTube the day after the Economic Forum updated the state’s official budget forecast to include $586 million more in general fund dollars for the upcoming biennium.
In his prepared comments, Sisolak identified financial priorities for the state: “Refill our savings, pay off debts and restore difficult cuts we suffered in areas like mental health and education. We need to bring our state back to baseline. We also need to fix what’s broken by investing in new systems — including (the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation)”
Lawmakers drained its $401 million Rainy Day Fund one year ago in order to help offset the economic impact of business closures. They cut hundreds of millions from the state budget during a special session in July. DETR has also had to borrow money from the federal government to keep up with the unprecedented strain on its unemployment insurance system.
Sisolak also identified “expanding childcare, helping small businesses (and) investing in community based services” as priorities. He did not provide any specific details but said “we need to ensure our recovery process brings along every Nevadan.”
He added, “Yesterday’s Economic Forum report showed us that those in our state who make the most were impacted the least, and those who make the least were impacted the most.”
Sisolak’s recommended state budget was based on the Economic Forum’s December forecast. The budget is now in the hands of the Legislature, which has less than a month to pass a complete budget before their session is scheduled to end on May 31.