LAS VEGAS — Nevada System of Higher Education representatives presented new budget proposals to the Board of Regents April 10 in response to Governor Steve Sisolak’s request for state agencies to reduce spending. The budget adjustments are in response to economic declines due to the COVID-19 pandemic and reflect proposed fiscal year cuts of 4 percent for 2020 and a potential 6, 10 or 14 percent cut for 2021.
The budget reduction scenarios presented by NSHE were put together by Chancellor Thom Reilly and the Council of Presidents with input from faculty and student leadership and, according to Reilly, reflect a “shared sacrifice” model similar to what was adopted during the Great Recession.
“The weeks and months ahead will be a difficult burden for all of us to shoulder, however, if we share this burden the individual sacrifice can be lessened,” Reilly said.
Focusing on avoiding layoffs and mitigating impacts to low-income students, NSHE also included approximately $60 million from the federal legislation known as the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” or ”CARES Act” to first meet the gap in the budget reduction.
Additional measures include leaving vacant positions unfilled, enacting a hiring freeze, repurposing capital funds, reducing operating costs and contracts, reducing some administrative and professional staff pay, furlough days, and temporary per credit surcharges.
The budget reduction for NSHE totaled $124.7 million for the two-year period – $27 million in 2020 and $97 million in 2021.
The proposed budget cut will next be sent to be reviewed by the Office of the Governor.