CARSON CITY, Nev.
Nevada lawmakers and the governor huddled on and off again in Carson City on Monday, trying to find a solution to the state's budget crisis with a week to go in the legislative session.
No deals were imminent by early evening.
Legislative leaders were closed lipped, and Gov. Brian Sandoval, while working most of the weekend, has not spoken publically about the budget mess since Thursday's Supreme Court ruling sent the budget process into chaos.
Democratic and Republican lawmakers met with the governor in his Capitol office late in the day, then dodged the press waiting in a hallway by hurrying out a back door. Mary-Sarah Kinner, Sandoval's press secretary, was sent to inform waiting reporters the meeting was over and the governor had no comment.
Earlier in the day, Dale Erquiaga, senior adviser to the Sandoval, confirmed that the administration and legislators were about $300 million apart in reaching an agreement.
Negotiations have been ongoing throughout the Memorial Day holiday over Sandoval's $6.1 billion two-year spending plan after the Supreme Court ruling raised legal issues on some funding tactics totaling about $656 million.
Talks have focused on temporary taxes that are set to expire June 30 and worth roughly $679 million.
Sandoval, who campaigned on a no-new-tax plank, until the ruling opposed lifting the sunsets on the taxes. They are now back on the table, and Republicans are seeking reforms to education and collective bargaining as part of a deal to support extending the taxes.
Time is running out. Under the Nevada Constitution, the 120-day legislative session ends no later than 1 a.m. June 7.
In a unanimous ruling, Supreme Court justices said it was unconstitutional for the state to sweep $62 million from a southern Nevada clean water fund in 2010 to help pad revenues and close an $805 million deficit. While the decision focused on that money grab, it called into question Sandoval's plan to take school bond reserve accounts and some property taxes from Clark and Washoe counties to help balance his budget.