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Gov. Sandoval Proposes $7.3 Billion Budget; Urges Lawmakers To Raise Taxes

Lance Iversen / AP / file

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval acknowledges a guest in the gallery during his State of the State address in Carson City, Nev., Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015.

Lance Iversen / AP / file

Jan. 16, 7 A.M. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has unveiled a budget that would raise taxes by more than one billion dollars-- and give the majority of that back to schools.

The proposal calls for restructuring the flat, $200-a-year business license fee into one that varies based on a company's gross receipts. The extra money would be used to expand full-day kindergarten statewide, and provide extra resources to schools with a high number of English Language Learners and children living in poverty.

Sandoval released his plan yesterday evening, then made the pitch during his State of the State Address.

"I know this approach will cause debate," he says. "You will all find that there is no perfect solution."

Sandoval says despite the improving economy and job growth, Nevada won't be able to pay its bills without some big changes. He's also asking the legislature to increase cigarette taxes 31 cents a pack to raise $38 million.

9 A.M. CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Gov. Brian Sandoval is urging lawmakers to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes over two years to fund significant improvements in education he says are long overdue.

The Republican elected to a second-term in a landslide said in his "State of the State" address Thursday night that Nevada's economy is steadily growing and diversifying after suffering through the Great Recession. But he says leaders still have work to do.

Sandoval proposed a two-year budget totaling about $7.3 billion. It includes about $1.14 billion in additional revenue, mostly in the form of business taxes. It also would increase the cigarette tax from 80 cents to $1.20 a pack.

He wants to spend $781 million more on schools and another $100 million on higher education.

Democratic leader urges courage, compromise to raise taxes

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Democratic Assembly Leader Marilyn Kirkpatrick is urging members of both parties to have the courage to make the hard choices Republican Gov. Sandoval outlined in a broad plan to raise taxes to improve education.

Kirkpatrick was the speaker of the Assembly before Republicans won control of both houses in November for the first time in 20 years.

She said after Sandoval's "State of the State" speech Thursday night that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have gotten used to failing to get things done because they refuse to compromise.

Kirkpatrick says improving Nevada's schools and universities will require "give and take" on all sides.

She also emphasized not everyone is sharing in the state's economic recovery and that more must be done to help the poor and working-class families.