Live blog of Gov. Sandoval’s State of the State

Victor Joecks

If you’re looking for Gov. Sandoval’s speech online, you can listen live at or watch a live stream via the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza.

Overall thought: A good speech that provided a clear roadmap for how to balance Nevada’s budget without raising taxes.

More from NPRI’s Geoffrey Lawrence:

“Gov. Sandoval should be applauded for submitting a performance-based budget that reduces General Fund spending by 8 percent, and for seeking to reduce or eliminate many duplicative government agencies and boards, grant more educational control to school districts and universities, and implement education reforms that have worked in other states. The governor made a clear and compelling case that Nevada’s government needs to be driven by the pursuit of results and that an emphasis on performance can produce equal or better results with fewer resources.

“The governor’s Executive Budget successfully incorporates many of the reforms long advocated by NPRI. While not perfect, the proposed Executive Budget demonstrates that the state budget can be balanced with existing revenues, and without the need for a tax increase.

The live blog entries are after the jump.

 7:10 Oceguera’s dancing around calling for tax increases, dancing, dancing, dancing. And I don’t think he ever comes out and says he wants to raise taxes. Will hold townhalls to try and generate support for job-killing tax hikes instead. 

7:07 Calls for eliminating bad teachers, but you get what you pay for in terms of per-pupil spending.
7:05 Tries to co-opt Sandoval’s bucket analogy, but I don’t think it’s working.

7:03 Need greater reductions in government spending, but it will … be … painful. Calls for the elimination of outdates agencies. Will offer specifics (but not right now, in fairness this is a short time)

7:01 Says Nevada’s difficulties are greater than Sandoval believes.
7:00 Now Oceguera’s response available at 8 News Now.

6:57 Ends speech on a positive note. You can download the speech here.

6:54 Calls for a defined contribution PERS plan for new government employees, but no details.

6:53 Calls for collective bargaining reforms.

6:46 Introduces school reformer Michelle Rhee. Sweet!

6:43 Wants to grant autonomy of tuition to the Regents.

6:41 Not much on vouchers, bummer. Just a quick mention.

6:40 Some great reforms here in education. Eliminate teacher tenure (tepid applause), eliminate programs rewarding advanced degree attainment for educators (because it doesn’t improve student achievement) and end social promotion. Ending social promotion would be huge.

6:38 Great takedown on class-size reduction. Why aren’t more students graduating? Proposes using class-size reduction money as block grants to districts. Praises CCSD Superintendent Dwight Jones.

6:37 Good stuff on education. System is broken not the teachers. More money isn’t the answer.

6:34 Sandoval promises more money for Nevada small businesses. Why does he want government picking the winners and losers here? As Sandoval’s mentioned previously, Nevada’s been trying these types of economic development models for 100 years. Why hasn’t it worked yet?

Maybe it’s necessary politically to make it seem like you’re doing something to “create jobs,” but these policies don’t work in the long term.

6:33 A good personal appeal to business leaders outside of Nevada.

6:32 Double groan. “I support all efforts to make Nevada the renewable energy capital of the country.”

6:28 Highlights a company attracting businesses to Nevada without government subsidies. Now that sounds like a winner.

6:25 “Our future lies in … renewable energy …” Has renewable energy turned a profit — anywhere — without government subsidies? How is this a plan for long-term economic growth?

6:24 Groan. Wants a 50 percent increase in goverment spending in economic development aka subsidies.

6:21 Great letter from a small business employee — great reminder of the burden of government taxes, fees and regulations.

6:20 Will reduce payments to Medicaid providers.

6:20 Looks to provide solutions, not being liberal or conservative.

6:18 Believes Obamacare is unconstitutional, but must prepare for it. Could cost Nevada $574 million by 2019.

6:17 $5.8 billion in total General Fund spending, I don’t think that includes the $425 million from construction monies.

6:16 “Monetizing the state insurance premium tax proceeds.” Not sure what this means, but sounds like he’s selling future tax revenues for a lump sum. Not ideal, if that’s the case.

6:16 Taking the room tax revenue for education funding not teacher salaries.

6:14 “We made better us of existing dollars…” Not taking from capital construction funds. Changing the reserve requirement to allow greater spending.

6:13 $118 million restored to Health and Human Services.
6:11 No mass layoffs, 5 percent pay cut replaces furloughs, 9 percent reduction in total local/state school support.

6:10 Sandoval says his budget includes an 8 percent reduction in total spending, which would put total General Fund spending at $5.8 billion. GF revenues are currently projected to be $5.3 billion.

6:08 Sandoval clearly refutes the $3 billion budget myth. Good work. Starts budget at $5.3 billion (revenue projections)

6:06 “Some believe government is the only solution to our current plight. I disagree. Unemployment, foreclosures, bankruptcy – the cure is not more government spending, but helping businesses create jobs. The key is to get Nevada working again.”

A great line, but the question is will Sandoval suggest helping businesses create jobs by keeping government out of the way or by having the government pick the winners and losers in the economy.

6:01 Sandoval enters to a nice round of applause. Generic thanks all around.

5:54 And now we wait until 6pm. You might be interested in this, via @twindra on Twitter:

Join Senator Horsford at 7:20 PM for a conference call! He will follow F2F with a call to constituents! (712) 432-0190 (712) 432-0190 pascode: 788180

5:48 An important reminder, please turn off your cell phones.

5:38 NPRI’s preview of the speech and what to look for in it.

*** As this is a live blog, please forgive any spelling errors. I may be making minor corrections throughout the speech.