Budget committee passes surprise ‘premium holiday’ for public employee health plans

Michelle RindelsMichelle RindelsRiley SnyderRiley Snyder
Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton (D-Las Vegas), chair of the Ways and Means Committee, announced a plan during a Friday joint budget meeting to give participants in the Public Employees Benefits’ Program (PEBP) a one-month “premium holiday” during which enrollees don’t have to pay their share of their health insurance costs. That would apply to about 44,000 active and retired public employees, according to legislative staff.
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Lawmakers approve doubling size of state pension plan’s investment team to two

Members of a joint budget committee on Monday approved closing the state employee pension system’s budget with the addition of a new investment officer alongside Edmundson to help manage PERS’s $54 billion in assets. The new position comes with a base annual salary of $189,222 along with benefits, paid for by PERS administration fees.
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Veterinary telemedicine hearing goes off the rails amid confusion, amendments

The bill’s intent is straightforward — allow licensed veterinarians to practice telemedicine only after an in-person examination of an animal. Under the proposed bill, veterinarians would not have to examine every member of a herd to consult with a veterinarian, and a doctor with access to medical records could also consult on a case via remote communication.
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Sisolak: Higher tax revenue and federal dollars will help ‘transform’ state, but many details remain unclear

Sisolak delivered prepared remarks and spoke to reporters briefly on Wednesday, just a day after the state’s Economic Forum released new revenue forecasts estimating that taxes flowing into the state’s general fund will be about $910 million more than initial forecasts in December — including a $586 million upward revision for the upcoming two-year budget.
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With faster-than-expected recovery, Nevada projected to have $586 million more to spend in next two years

A tree in front and the Nevada Legislature building behind it
The revised forecast is a marked improvement from the Economic Forum’s last revenue forecast from December, when the five-member panel of appointed economists and analysts projected general fund revenues of $8.5 billion over the next two years — down about half a billion dollars from the prior budget cycle. This time, the Forum projected $4.4 billion in the fiscal year that starts in July, and $4.7 billion for the following fiscal year, for a total of $9.1 billion in the next biennium — a $586 million upward revision.
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After arguments, decision likely coming soon on long-simmering payroll tax, DMV fee lawsuit filed by GOP senators

Photo of the top front of the building with the words Supreme Court of Nevada
Justices made no ruling on Monday, but beyond the constitutional questions, a decision to uphold the district court’s ruling last September in favor of Senate Republicans could have major implications for lawmakers crafting the state budget this session. The extended payroll tax rate being challenged in the lawsuit brings in tens of millions of dollars in state tax revenue — meaning legislators could soon be facing a large budget hole with just weeks left in the session.
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