Lombardo backtracks on promise, threatens to shut down essential state services
Another day, another instance of Governor Lombardo breaking his word. After initially promising he wouldn’t veto the budget over his out of touch priorities, Lombardo has changed his tune and is now threatening a government shutdown if he doesn’t get his way. This could impact critical state services like veterans’ benefits, public safety, and schools.
Read more below on Lombardo’s political games.
May 17, 2023
- Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo vetoed a trio of gun-control bills Wednesday while his office threatened to ax the state budget if his priorities aren’t addressed, in the strongest conflict yet for Nevada’s split-party government.
- It’s a combative shift for Lombardo, who previously said he would not use the “big hammer of veto” to get his school-choice legislation passed by the Democratic-controlled Legislature. He has also remained tight-lipped on several ambitious Democratic proposals, including the gun control measures before Wednesday.
- If a budget is not approved by July 1, state services, including schools and state agencies, may shut down.
- “If he follows through and stakes out an extremist position, he will have to explain to Nevadans why their kids’ schools are not opening on time, public safety services are reduced, and other essential state services are shut down,” Democratic Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro said in a statement.
Tabitha Mueller, Jacob Solis
May 18, 2023
- Minutes later, his chief of staff, Ben Kieckhefer, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Steve Sebelius that the governor would “veto the state budget if his priorities aren’t passed.”
- If the state budget isn’t finalized by the end of June, it has the potential to leave the state unable to pay employees, and state-run services could go unfunded. It could also run up against the timeline for the federal government to raise the debt ceiling, which would present other (mostly bad) issues.
- Kieckhefer did say during a press briefing in May that a balanced and responsible budget is the “single most important thing that we need walking out of this legislative session.”
- “I think the governor has proposed that and if zero policy bills pass, from either party, and we pass a budget that does that, we think it’d be a good outcome,” Kieckhefer said.
- Though Lombardo’s team would not comment on what gubernatorial priorities needed to move forward to avoid a budget veto, a proposed Opportunity Scholarship increase and other key budget priorities are likely top of mind for the governor.
- In January, however, Lombardo told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he would not use the “big hammer of veto” to ensure the Legislature approves his school choice legislation — namely that vast expansion of Opportunity Scholarships — and described a methodical approach to achieving greater school choice that included expansion of the more modest Opportunity Scholarships program.
- “Outside of presenting the challenge to the Supreme Court, we do it through the budgeting process and available resources,” Lombardo said at the time. “In other words, you’re going to have to take small bites, until we can all get on the same shoes.”