11 May 2023
A joint budget committee moved Wednesday to approve $1.2 billion in state capital improvements for dozens of large and small projects statewide.
That number includes nearly $400 million in general fund spending, buoyed by another $672 million in bond capacity and $94.9 million from other sources, including nearly $70 million in federal dollars.
$808 million is set aside for 29 construction projects, with another $259 million budgeted for maintenance and the remainder spread across more than a dozen planning and other statewide projects.
At the top of the list: a major expansion of state office space in Southern Nevada coming at the behest of Gov. Joe Lombardo’s office. The governor had originally called for the construction of two new buildings in Las Vegas at a cost of more than $350 million, part of a larger plan by his office to overhaul the structure of state government.
But last month, the state’s Department of Administration walked away from that plan, pivoting instead to the purchase of a campus of existing office buildings south of the Harry Reid International Airport. At a price tag of nearly $214 million, the plan involves purchasing 18 buildings totaling more than 835,000 square feet, with three buildings set aside for the Legislature and the remainder reserved for executive agencies.
That price tag would be coupled with an additional $74.5 million in money from the general fund, which would cover improvements to 15 of those buildings. That improvement money has been pilloried by the state Democratic Party, which has characterized the spending as the governor’s office prioritizing $25 million for “furniture,” part of a wish list it released after the Economic Forum delivered new revenue projections earlier this month. (The pro-Lombardo Better Nevada PAC has since feuded with the party on Twitter over the claim).
Outside those proposals, other big-money projects include:
$106 million in bonding for a new DMV facility on Silverado Ranch Boulevard in Las Vegas
$99.8 million for a remodel of the Southern Nevada State Veterans Home in Boulder City
$158.5 million for the construction of a new office building in Carson City
Editor’s Note: This story appears in Behind the Bar, The Nevada Independent’s newsletter dedicated to comprehensive coverage of the 2023 legislative session. Sign up for the newsletter here.
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