Sisolak budget includes hefty raises for state workers

Nevada Legislature

Nevada Legislature

Gov. Steve Sisolak on Thursday announced a series of enhancements he is including in his proposed budget for the coming two years.

That list includes hefty raises for state workers – about 10 percent the first year and another 5 percent in the second year. He said the raises are intended in part to offset the increases in Public Employee Retirement System premiums coming next year. Those increases are 4 percent for regular state workers and 6 percent for public safety workers.

“The item will go a long way toward helping close the gap between state employees and their counterparts in the private sector and other government entities,” he said.

In addition, he has included a $1,250 retention benefit each year of the biennium.

The proposed enhancements, however, will be up to Gov.-elect Joe Lombardo when he succeeds Sisolak in January.

Sisolak said he also is including an increase in the state’s K-12 funding. He said the new pupil centered funding formula for schools is significantly higher than the money available in the current biennium and school districts will have the ability to decide how to spend much of the increase.

He said he hopes school districts will use the money to raise salaries of existing teachers and increase the starting pay for new teachers, adding school districts could also significantly raise the pay of non-teaching staff, including bus drivers and cafeteria workers, and possibly lower average class sizes.

The proposed budget also includes increases in Millennium Scholarship and Promise Scholarship programs.

Sisolak said he is proposing an increase of more than $157 million over the biennium to increase foster care rates, including specialized homes to care for children with autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as to care for sexually exploited children.

He also proposed creating a $100 million affordable housing revolving loan fund to get affordable housing projects up and running.

The budget includes nearly $1 billion in capital improvement projects to provide safe and efficient work environments for state workers including new training facilities for the Nevada National Guard.

Finally, the plan includes rate increases for some Medicaid providers, including nursing facilities, and home healthcare workers who take care of the most vulnerable community members.


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