Governor Gibbons Speaks Out on Budget Cuts - 8 News NOW

Jonathan Humbert, Legislative Reporter

Governor Gibbons Speaks Out on Budget Cuts

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Nevada's budget problems have gone from bad to worse in just two months. The state now has a $440 million shortfall. That's more than six times what was first thought. But both sides of the budget battle say the worst is still to come.

On each side of the fight, from the governor to parents like Valerie Soto, Nevada's fiscal future is on weak ground and for some, the rain has begun to fall.

Read Gibbons Budget Proposal

"I don't even want to think about what'll happen. Four percent, nine percent, eight percent. Whatever he cuts, it's going to directly effect everyone," said Soto.

Her 3-year-old daughter is autistic, and state programs have been helpful along the way. The latest program is called ABA.

"Which is now allowing my daughter to say her first words," said Soto.

But those cherished moments may vanish as funding slips through the cracks. Groups opposed to the cuts say the governor should tap into the rainy day fund now to fight off more of a backward slide.

Gibbons Letter to Superintendent

"Well, that would be a silly thing because we don't know what emergencies are going to occur next year," said Governor Jim Gibbons.

Gibbons says the worst may be yet to come. That means Nevadans are going to have to cope with this new reality.

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"We're only taking four and a half cents out of every dollar. Even you and I in our personal lives can do with four and half less cents out of every dollar and still survive," he said.

But Soto says survival is at stake for thousands of disabled children in need.

Education Funding Cuts

"Some will have to be institutionalized, and what is he going to do then? He won't be in office though," said Soto.

And with nearly half a billion dollars on the line, neither side in this latest fight wants to get it wrong -- and pay the price.

The prison system and Kindergarten through 12 schools are part of the budget cut mix as well. For months the governor said they would be off the table. Not so anymore.

In October, the cuts were projected to be from $70 million to $100 million. That quickly ballooned to $285 million and now stands at $440 million. Governor Gibbons plans to release more details about exact cuts in January.

Email your comments to Legislative Reporter Jonathan Humbert.

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