LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — All state employees will be required to take one furlough day each month beginning in July, and merit raises have been frozen, according to a letter from Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak.
Initial plans to lay off 450 workers have been scaled back, but 50 workers will be eliminated in agency cuts, the letter said. Health and retirement benefits are unchanged.
Sisolak clarified the budget shortfall, which is nearly a third of Nevada’s annual budget. Money needed for the Distributive School Account is in addition to revenue lost to COVID-19, which is now estimated at about $900 million. Put together, it adds up to a $1.3 billion shortfall for Fiscal Year 2021.
Details from the letter from Sisolak had already filtered out to employees.
In a March 17 announcement, Sisolak shut down “non-essential” businesses. That was followed by nearly three months of empty casinos and hotel rooms, and unemployment that eventually hit 33% in Las Vegas.
“The projected shortfall may shift as we continue to receive and analyze new economic data,” Sisolak said. “But I have the responsibility for developing the proposals to address the Fiscal Year 2021 shortfall based on what we know today.”
He warned that cuts were coming for even the most important state agencies, including health and human services, K-12 and higher education and public safety.
Sisolak also said he is working with Nevada’s congressional delegation to advocate for federal funding for state and local governments. He acknowledged that a special session of the legislature would convene.