This number represents Nevada’s state government budget so far this fiscal year – about a million dollars per hour, round the clock.
Nevada’s fiscal years run from July through June. In the first year of the current two-year “biennium” total spending will be about eight and a half billion dollars, increasing to about nine billion during the second fiscal year. About 19% of this total will be taken from Nevada residents as local and state taxes, 21% will be taken from Nevada visitors from other states, with the other 60% coming from fees, fines and federal taxes.
This java spend-o-meter was originally commissioned for the 2006 crusade for the Tax And Spending Control Amendment, a proposal led by former State Senator Bob Beers to amend Nevada’s Constitution to require a vote of citizens in order to increase spending by Nevada’s state and local government faster than the combined rates of inflation and Nevada’s population growth. (Nevada’s government has been growing much faster than this combined rate for more than a decade)
Almost twice as many voter signatures were gathered than were required, but the Supreme Court agreed with Nevada’s governments that such a spending limitation would be bad for government. The court removed the question from the ballot, prohibiting voters from expressing their common sense.
Senator Beers brought a proposal to amend Tax and Spending Control into the state Constitution to the Legislature in 2005 and 2007. In both sessions, his bill was voted down in the Senate Finance Committee.