Ballot Question 5 Creates Some Confusion - 8 News NOW

Ballot Question 5 Creates Some Confusion

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LAS VEGAS -- This November's ballot has five questions for Clark County residents. But some voters tell 8 News NOW they're confused by the way the questions are written.

Ballot Question 5 asks whether state lawmakers should have to ask first before taking money from county governments to balance the budget.

State lawmakers face a difficult decision in how best to bridge a possible $3 billion budget shortfall. Last year, they did it partially by taking money from county and local governments. Now, Clark County is fighting back.

"I think it's important the legislature not do what they did last time and raid county coffers. They've depleted most of the reserves already that exist in our funds and to come back and attempt to balance their budget on the backs of city, county, and local municipalities is just unfair and bad business practice," said Commissioner Steve Sisolak, Clark County.

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, Clark County School Board President Terri Janison and other local leaders stand in support of Ballot Question 5. The measure is purely advisory, meaning it does not create a new law if voters approve it. Instead, it's supporters hope it will send a clear signal to state lawmakers, including Assemblyman Mo Denis, who opposes Question 5. He says it takes away the state's options to balance the budget. Some voters agree.

"I don't see why the state shouldn't be able to tell a local government, look you have to collect taxes on a water revenue, you have to apply to state highways or something of that effect. I think that since the cities exist at the will of the state anyway, why can't the state tell them what to do with the money," said Phil Shindelus, who voted no on Question 5.

Some voters, including Scott Olifant, found the ballot question confusing. "It's poorly phrased, poorly written," he said.

After we showed him the official ballot arguments, Olifant went as far as saying he may have voted otherwise.

"It would be hypocritical to say that the state government shouldn't live within its means and the local government should. They all should live within their means," he said.

The Reid gubernatorial campaign said Rory will vote yes. The Sandoval campaign refused to answer the question.

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