Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Mohlenkamp’

Gov. Sandoval Releases Expanded Budget Data

By Sean Whaley | 5:11 pm December 14th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Gov. Brian Sandoval today released budget data that had been sought by state lawmakers after a weeks-long disagreement over whether the information was public.

The state Budget Office posted the “items for special consideration” data on its website at noon. The items are requests made to Sandoval by state agencies for spending over and above their base-budget submissions. The base budget data was released by the Sandoval administration in October.

Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Included in the requests is a proposal to expand the Medicaid program to a new group of Nevada residents as provided for under the Affordable Care Act. As first reported by The Associated Press, Sandoval announced on Tuesday that he will propose expanding the program to provide health care coverage to 87,000 Nevadans, the cost of which will initially be paid for by the federal government. The 2013 Legislature will consider the recommendation.

Sandoval initially did not provide the additional budget information to the Legislature when it was expected on Oct. 15.

The decision prompted members of the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee in late October to question state Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp about the decision.

Legislative Counsel Bureau Director Rick Combs told lawmakers that the information has been provided to lawmakers by past governors.

Mohlenkamp said the base budget data provided to the Legislature met the requirement of the state law on budget disclosure and Sandoval also defended the decision.

“There is no violation of law,” Sandoval said in October. “We’re perfectly consistent and in accordance with Nevada state law.”

The budget dispute was first reported by the Nevada News Bureau. The Las Vegas Sun also reported on the impasse earlier this month, which led to several calls in the media and by others for Sandoval to release the data.

Sandoval then announced last week he would release the budget data this week, which happened today.

Given the limited amount of state tax revenues, many of the special consideration items are not likely to see funding in Sandoval’s 2013-15 budget, which will be released next month ahead of the start of the Feb. 4 legislative session.

Many of the requests are for new positions. A total of just over 518 positions are in the agency wish lists for the first fiscal year, with about another 100 proposed to be added in the second year.

But there are other types of requests, such as the $20 million being sought from the general fund by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development to provide more money for the Catalyst Fund, which will be used to attract new businesses to the state. The Legislature created the fund in 2011 and appropriated $10 million for its operation in the current budget.

The total requests from the general fund by the various agencies total $419 million.

The Nevada Policy Research Institute congratulated Sandoval on releasing the budget information, but said the requests should be ignored because they are meaningless.

“That’s because they assume that every government agency should be given a substantial funding increase through costs – including pay increases – that automatically roll up,” said NPRI Deputy Policy Director Geoffrey Lawrence. “This outdated and broken budgeting process, commonly referred to as ‘baseline budgeting,’ failed to exact any accountability over the use of public resources.”

The adoption by the 2011 Legislature of a new process, called performance-based budgeting, which was advocated by NPRI, among others, will ensure the state’s highest priorities are funded, he said.

 

Nevada Budget Likely To See Fewer Impacts From “Fiscal Cliff”

By Sean Whaley | 11:57 am November 20th, 2012

CARSON CITY – The impacts of the so-called “fiscal cliff” on Nevada’s state budget would likely be less significant than for many other states because of our lower dependence on federal spending, according to an analysis by the Pew Center on the States.

The impact on state tax revenues do not apply because Nevada does not have a personal or corporate income tax, according to the report The Impact of the Fiscal Cliff on the States. The report examines the potential effects on each of the states.

Analysis includes Nevada-specific numbers

On the federal spending cut side of the equation, Nevada’s share of federal grants subject to sequester, looked at as a percentage of state revenue, is slightly higher at 6.7 percent than the national average of 6.6 percent, and so could mean financial impacts.

But Nevada ranks well below the national average for federal spending on procurement, salaries and wages as a percentage of the state’s gross domestic product at 3 percent compared to the national average of 5.3 percent.

Nevada is also below the federal average for federal defense spending on procurement, salaries and wages as a percentage of the state GDP at 1.8 percent compared to the national average of 3.5 percent.

Federal non-defense spending on procurement, salaries and wages as a percentage of state GDP is 1.2 percent in Nevada compared to 1.8 percent nationally.

These numbers cited in the Pew report are all based on 2010 information.

And federal non-defense workforce as a percentage of total employment in the state is 0.9 percent in Nevada compared to 1 percent nationally, based on 2012 data.

But the Pew analysis notes: “The general economic slowdown that could result if the full fiscal cliff were allowed to take effect would likely overwhelm any of the separate impacts.”

Nevada officials are looking at the issue as one of several budget variables

The report, released Nov. 15, comes as Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval is finalizing his 2013-15 state spending plan, which will take effect on July 1, 2013.

The impact of the federal fiscal cliff is just one more variable that could affect Nevada’s general fund budget. Another is expanding Medicaid to a new group of eligible state residents. Sandoval has not yet announced his decision on whether to support the expansion, which would be paid for nearly entirely with federal funds in the first few years.

“The Budget Division is currently evaluating the impacts of sequestration on federal funding to the state of Nevada,” said Director Jeff Mohlenkamp in a statement. “Specifically, we are researching reductions that would have direct impact on services to citizens. Some federal reductions may eliminate the resources to provide services but not eliminate requirements to maintain service levels. The potential for this type of unfunded mandate is of particular interest to the Budget Division as we prepare the budget for FY 2013 – 2015.

“There is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding other elements of the ‘fiscal cliff,’ ” he added. “ We understand the possible implications on the larger economy. At this point, we cannot speculate further as most of the critical decisions have not been made.”

The Pew study shows some states more dependent on federal spending

The Pew report on the fiscal cliff says that federal grants to the states constitute about one-third of total state revenues, and federal spending affects states’ economic activity and thus their amount of tax revenues.

Roughly 18 percent of federal grant dollars flowing to the states would be subject to the fiscal year 2013 across-the-board cuts under the sequester, according to the Federal Funds Information for States, including funding for education programs, nutrition for low-income women and children, public housing, and other programs.

Because states differ in the type and amount of federal grants they receive, their exposure to the grant cuts would vary. In all, the federal grants subject to sequester make up more than 10 percent of South Dakota’s revenue, compared with less than 5 percent of Delaware’s revenue.

Federal spending on defense accounts for more than 3.5 percent of the total gross domestic product (GDP) of the states, but there is wide variation across the states. Federal defense spending makes up almost 15 percent of Hawaii’s GDP, compared with just 1 percent of state GDP in Oregon.

The fiscal cliff, a series of expiring federal tax provisions and scheduled spending cuts, are set to take effect in January unless Congress reaches agreement on a deficit-reduction plan.

Scheduled tax changes account for roughly four-fifths – or $393 billion – of the total amount of the fiscal cliff. The scheduled spending cuts account for $98 billion – or about one-fifth – of the federal budget impact of the fiscal cliff. Over half of this amount is due to sequestration required under the Budget Control Act of 2011.

“To understand the full cost and benefits of proposals to address the fiscal cliff, policy makers need to know how federal and state policies are linked,” said Pew Project Director Anne Stauffer. “The implications for states should be part of the discussion so that problems are not simply shifted from one level of government to another.”

If the full force of the fiscal cliff is realized, the federal deficit would be reduced by $491 billion, the Pew Center analysis says. However, the Congressional Budget Office has projected that the entirety of the fiscal cliff would be a major driver of a general economic slowdown in 2013. Such an outcome would likely negate the more specific, separate impacts described in the analysis.

“Given the uncertainty about whether any or all of the policies in the fiscal cliff will be addressed temporarily or permanently, it is important to understand that the effects of the different components will vary across states,” Stauffer said.

 

Gov. Sandoval Says He Has Complied With Budget Disclosure Requirements

By Sean Whaley | 1:11 pm October 26th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Gov. Brian Sandoval said today his administration has fully complied with a requirement in state law to provide preliminary state budget data to lawmakers and their staff.

“The agency requests have been presented to the Legislature in accordance with the law,” he said. “I don’t see any problems.”

Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Lawmakers on Thursday questioned state Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp on why some components of the initial agency request budget, known as “items for special consideration,” were not supplied to their fiscal staff as has been past practice. The items are funding requests beyond the agency base-budget requests for the 2013-15 spending plan. Expanding Medicaid to a new population of eligible Nevadans as allowed for under the Affordable Care Act is one such request.

Mohlenkamp said his office does not believe the special consideration items are part of the budget information required to be provided under Nevada Revised Statutes 353.211.

Sandoval said today the issue should not be characterized as one involving the transparency of his office.

“We are still gathering information on the Medicaid question,” he said. “We have not gotten all the instructions that we need from the federal government in order to completely prepare that. So anything that would be presented would not be complete at this time.”

Sandoval said his recommended budget will be made public in a “matter of weeks” and that release should satisfy lawmakers.

The budget is typically presented following the governor’s State of the State address in mid-January.

Sandoval said today it is unfair for anyone to suggest his administration failed to follow state law in the release of the budget data without providing any specifics about the alleged violation.

“There is no violation of law,” he said. “We’re perfectly consistent and in accordance with Nevada state law.”

Lawmakers expressed their concerns at a meeting of the Interim Finance Committee.

Rick Combs, director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau, said the additional budget information has been provided to legislative staff historically as specified in state law. It has also been made available to the public after being transmitted  to fiscal staff electronically by the state budget office on Oct. 15.

“The part that is of concern to us there is twofold,” Combs told the committee. “Your staff doesn’t have access to the information. The other concern is that information that is provided to us on Oct. 15 is supposed to be open for public dissemination at that point.”

Legislative Counsel Brenda Erdoes said Nevada statues, both 353.205 and 353.211, require the information to be provided to legislative fiscal staff. NRS 353.211 says in part that the information to be provided must include: “Each agency’s requested budget for the next 2 fiscal years.”

Assemblywoman Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, said at the meeting it is an ongoing issue that needs to be resolved.

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Audio clips:

Gov. Brian Sandoval says his administration has complied with state law:

102612Sandoval2 :05 see any problems.”

Sandoval says the Medicaid expansion issue is still not finalized:

102612Sandoval :13 at this time.”

 

Dispute Emerges Between Sandoval, Lawmakers Over Access To Budget Data

By Sean Whaley | 5:23 pm October 25th, 2012

CARSON CITY – A dispute has emerged between Gov. Brian Sandoval and the Legislature over what information in the initial state agency request budget should be made available to legislative staff and the public.

At a meeting of the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee today, state Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp was asked about what is considered by legislative staff to be a departure from past practice regarding the budget information provided to legislative fiscal staff and the public.

The 2013-15 budget information conveyed to the Legislature on Oct. 15 does not include “items for special consideration” requested by state agencies. These items are budget requests from agencies that Sandoval will consider including in his final spending plan, but that have not yet been approved for inclusion by Sandoval.

Sandoval’s budget won’t be made public until mid-January.

Rick Combs, director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau, said this information has been provided to legislative staff historically as specified in state law. It has also been made available to the public.

LCB Director Rick Combs.

An example of an item of special consideration is the expansion of the Medicaid program to a new group of Nevadans as provided for in the federal Affordable Care Act. Sandoval has not made a decision on whether to expand Medicaid to this new group of Nevada residents.

Because of this apparently new interpretation by Sandoval, the Medicaid expansion information has not been provided to the Legislature’s fiscal staff and so is not available to the public either.

“The part that is of concern to us there is twofold,” Combs told the committee. “Your staff doesn’t have access to the information. The other concern is that information that is provided to us on Oct. 15 is supposed to be open for public dissemination at that point.

“Now if you, or a member of the public, asks us for anything that was in an item for special consideration, we don’t have it,” he said. “Even though we feel the statute requires that that to be available to you or a member of the public that ask for it.”

Combs said his staff  has asked for the information but has not received a response from Mohlenkamp.

IFC Chairwoman and Assemblywoman Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, asked Mohlenkamp for an explanation.

Mohlenkamp said a decision has not been made yet on whether to provide the information to legislative staff, and that the budget information transmitted to lawmakers has fulfilled the statutory obligation to lawmakers.

“We’re still considering whether we will be able to provide access to LCB fiscal,” he said. “That decision hasn’t been made. I’ve been in coordination with the governor’s office on this and I’m hopeful that we will be able to give a firm and final response in the near future. But right now that decision hasn’t been made.”

Mohlenkamp said there are all kinds of agency requests beyond Sandoval’s flat-budget guidelines that may not end up as part of the budget, and so should not be subject to speculation.

The change is significant enough that Geoff Dornan, the long-time capital bureau reporter for the Nevada Appeal, made a rare public comment at the meeting.

“We have always gotten the items for special consideration,” he said. “This change completely changes how the law has been interpreted, for longer than Mr. Mohlenkamp, no offense, has been working for the state.”

Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, also expressed concern, saying that if Sandoval decides not to propose expanding Medicaid to the new eligible population, then the budget data collected to provide background on this item of special consideration might never be provided to lawmakers or the public.

Kieckhefer said he would have a problem if that information was never made public.

Mohlenkamp said the Sandoval administration has not yet decided whether that information would be made public at some point.

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Audio clips:

LCB Director Rick Combs says the lack of budget data creates two concerns:

102512Combs1 :13 at that point.”

Combs says the LCB fiscal staff cannot provide information to lawmakers about the special budget requests because it does not have the information:

102512Combs2 :16 asks for it.”

Nevada Appeal reporter Geoff Dornan says the budget information should be made public:

102512Dornan :33 capital press corps.”

State Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp says  a decision has not been made on whether to provide the information to legislative staff:

102512Mohlenkamp :21 hasn’t been made.”

 

 

 

Nevada Agencies Request $6.46 Billion In New Budget, Up $279 Million From Current Spending Plan

By Sean Whaley | 1:02 pm October 15th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s next two-year general fund budget would grow by $279 million to $6.46 billion based on the initial spending requests submitted by state agencies, information released today by the Budget Division shows.

State Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp, who will continue to piece together Gov. Brian Sandoval’s final recommended 2013-15 budget through at least December, said the increase in spending is due primarily to the growing public education and Medicaid populations. The public education piece is estimated at $18 million. The Medicaid population increase is expected to cost $104 million.

State Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp. / Nevada News Bureau file photo.

The budget is still subject to a variety of revisions by Sandoval between now and January when it is released to the public and lawmakers. The final budget will depend greatly on available tax revenue, which will be set by the state Economic Forum in early December.

“We’re wrestling quite a few different variables that all have to be factored in before ultimately those decisions are made,” Mohlenkamp said.

The agency request budget also includes the cost of expanding Medicaid to already eligible Nevada residents expected to enroll in the program because of the federal Affordable Care Act. This piece is expected to cost $86.6 million.

The budget does not include an expansion of Medicaid to a newly eligible group of Nevadans provided for under the health care law, Mohlenkamp said. Sandoval has yet to make a decision on that issue, he said.

“We have decision units prepared, that should the governor make the decision to opt in, then we can very quickly make that happen within the budget,” Mohlenkamp said.

The budget does anticipate the continuation of several tax increases that are now set to sunset on June 30, 2013. It also, for now, continues salary reductions and furloughs for state workers that would save approximately $160 million.

Sandoval has said he will consider restoring some of the reductions if general fund revenues are sufficient to do so.

Geoffrey Lawrence, deputy policy director for the Nevada Policy Research Institute, praised Sandoval and his budget staff for helping state agencies limit their spending increases.

“While not perfect, these agency budget requests are a concrete step toward limiting the growth of government from already inflated levels,” he said. “Besides limiting spending increases, this budget shows the power of performance-based budgeting, which focuses on providing the highest level of outcomes for every dollar spent.”

Lawrence also warned lawmakers against using any higher revenue projections from the Economic Forum to boost spending.

“Higher-than-expected revenue projections from the Economic Forum should be used to lower taxes on struggling Nevada families, instead of as an excuse to increase government spending,” he said.

Mohlenkamp said the spending numbers released today are expected to be within the general fund tax estimates set by the Economic Forum.

“We do believe that we are in the range, but we don’t know how close we are to actually what the Economic Forum will come in at,” he said. “But that’s pretty much of an unknown right now.”

The final budget will be the first to comprehensively include performance-based budgeting, Mohlenkamp said. The process is expected to make the budget more transparent so the public can easily understand where the money is being spent. It will also provide better accountability on whether the state is achieving its goals, he said.

Several major initiatives being proposed in the budget include a restructuring of the Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services, with the mental health side going to the Health Division, and the developmental services piece going to Aging and Disability Services.

“It’s a fairly major restructuring that is going on within Health and Human Services,” Mohlenkamp said.

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Audio clips:

Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp says Gov. Brian Sandoval has not yet made a decision on expanding Medicaid:

101512Mohlenkamp1 :25 decision on that.”

Mohlenkamp says the state’s tax revenues remain an unknown until the Economic Forum meets:

101512Mohlenkamp2 :19 unknown right now.”

 

 

Board Recommends $100 Million Capital Construction Plan, Now State Has To Find Funding

By Sean Whaley | 11:27 am September 18th, 2012

CARSON CITY – A state panel today recommended a $100 million capital construction plan to Gov. Brian Sandoval for the next two years, but finding funding for the many desperately needed maintenance projects is still a work in progress.

Sandoval will review the list and potentially make some revisions before submitting it to the 2013 Legislature as part of his overall budget.

Of the total construction budget, about $80 million will require some form of state funding.

The state Public Works Board approved the list of 83 projects, most of which are maintenance and health and safety related, from asbestos removal at the Henderson Armory to boiler improvements at Lake’s Crossing Center for the Mentally Disordered Offender in Sparks.

But Jeff Mohlenkamp, state budget director and member of the board, said he is still researching funding alternatives to pay for the projects. Property tax revenue that has typically been used to pay for such projects in the past is not expected to generate enough funding because of Nevada’s economic difficulties.

State Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp. / Nevada News Bureau file photo.

Mohlenkamp said he is still reviewing possible alternative funding options.

“We’re hoping to be able to come up with close to the amount being requested, but that’s not a done deal yet,” he said.

“I’m not sure that we’ll be able to come up with the full $80 million at this point,” Mohlenkamp said. “That’s something that I will be researching and going forward working with the governor’s office on. But certainly we’re going to try. The vast majority of these projects are really critical infrastructure projects and we’re going to try to fund as many as possible,”

The capital construction program for the current budget totals only $53 million, with $27 million in bonding from property taxes.

In past sessions when the economy was strong, the Legislature would appropriate tens of millions of dollars for new buildings, from prisons to museums, relying on property tax revenue growth to sell bonds to pay for them

But the ongoing recession in Nevada has eliminated the revenue as a significant funding source for at least the near term.

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Audio clip:

State Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp says he is still working on alternatives to funding the much-needed state construction projects:

091812Mohlenkamp :17 many as possible.”

 

State Officials Looking For New Sources Of Funding For Construction Projects As Property Tax Revenues Falter

By Sean Whaley | 11:49 am August 29th, 2012

CARSON CITY – A state panel was told today that for yet another two-year state budget, there will be virtually no money available from property tax revenues for capital construction projects.

The state Public Works Board heard the disappointing news today as it began a two-day review of projects being sought by state agencies ranging from the Department of Corrections to Tourism and Cultural Affairs.

Public Works Board Manager Gus Nuñez said state agencies have submitted 201 projects worth $528 million for consideration for the upcoming budget. The state funding portion totals $460 million.

The Nevada State Museum in Las Vegas, one of the last major state construction projects.

The capital construction program for the current budget totals only $53 million, with $27 million in bonding from property taxes.

Jeff Mohlenkamp, state budget director and member of the board, said the state’s small share of property taxes has traditionally been used to finance bonds to pay for construction projects. But there is virtually no revenue in the current budget to fund projects, and the same is expected as the budget is prepared for the 2013-15 biennium.

“Once again we feel that there is going to be very little if any capacity for bonding within property taxes,” he said. “Right now I’m currently in discussions with the Treasurer’s Office and believe that that is not going to be a source of additional bonding capacity for us to look at.”

Mohlenkamp said there are some other limited sources of funding, including unspent money from previously approved projects, highway funds and federal funds, which can contribute to the state capital construction program.

But property taxes have historically been the main funding source for projects.

Mohlenkamp said he is looking at an alternative source of funding but is not yet prepared to offer any details about what it would be.

“I’m currently working with the Treasurer’s Office and working internally with the governor’s office to try and identify a separate funding source to maybe generate some additional bonding capacity,” he said. “I’m not in a position to be able to disclose exactly what that is yet or how much money we can get. I do believe it is going to be far short of the requested demand. And when I say far short I mean far short.

“However I also realize in having discussions with Gus that there are some critical needs the state has to address,” Mohlenkamp said.

In past sessions when the economy was strong, the Legislature would appropriate tens of millions of dollars for new buildings, from prisons to museums, relying on the property tax revenue growth.

But the ongoing recession in Nevada has eliminated the revenue as a funding source for at least the near term.

The first presentation heard by the board came from Peter Barton, administrator of the Division of Museums and History. The agency’s requested projects include new air conditioning to replace antiquated units at the Lost City Museum in the Moapa Valley and a new freight elevator at the Nevada State Museum in Carson City. The elevator has failed and is now out of service, he said.

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Audio clips:

State Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp says property taxes won’t be available for construction projects in the upcoming budget:

082912Mohlenkamp1 :22 to look at.”

Mohlenkamp says he is looking at alternative revenue sources to fund critical projects:

082912Mohlenkamp2 :32 has to address.”

 

State Officials Crunching Numbers For Gov. Sandoval To Make Decision On Medicaid Expansion

By Sean Whaley | 3:22 pm July 12th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Nevada officials are busy preparing cost and enrollment estimates so Gov. Brian Sandoval will have reliable information before deciding whether to expand Medicaid following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last month upholding much of the Affordable Care Act.

But even if Sandoval does not expand Medicaid to 138 percent of the federal poverty level as provided for in the law, the program is expected to grow significantly as Nevadans who are now eligible but not enrolled decide to sign up when the health insurance mandate takes effect on Jan 1, 2014.

The effective date is in the middle of the first year of the upcoming two-year budget now being prepared by the Sandoval administration. The Legislature will take up the budget, and the Medicaid issue, when the 2013 session starts in February.

State officials are readying data for Sandoval to make a Medicaid decision

Mike Willden, director of the Department of Health and Human Services, and state Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp, are gathering the data to show the anticipated effects on the state budget of these two distinct Medicaid groups.

“Our goal is to have the numbers over to the governor by the end of next week,” Willden said. “We’re just not ready to give out numbers yet and I don’t want to give out bad numbers. There are 10 moving parts.”

Mohlenkamp said the court threw everybody “a bit of a curve,” when it decided states do not have to opt into an expanded Medicaid program.

State Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp. / Nevada News Bureau file photo.

“So we’re now in the process of analyzing what that looks like, the pros and cons of that, the financial impact on the state of the options, and, is it absolutely straightforward; you either opt in or opt out,” he said. “Or are there other options within the Supreme Court ruling that we can consider.”

Sandoval’s initial response was to reject an expansion

When the Supreme Court said the federal government could not penalize states if they do not choose to opt into the Medicaid expansion, Sandoval’s initial comment was that the state could not afford to do so. But he is awaiting the information before deciding how to proceed.

“This is going to be a governor’s office decision,” Mohlenkamp said. “The governor will make the decision as to the policy of the state going forward. He has not yet made that decision. He’s looking for a very critical analysis of what the options are and the pros and cons for the state.”

The bigger cost to the state general fund will likely come from those eligible but not enrolled in Medicaid, because the state share of adding those individuals is projected to be 38 percent in 2014, compared to a 62 percent share from the federal government.

This cost to the strapped state budget will occur whether or not an expansion is approved by the Nevada Legislature.

All of the analysis is dependent on the implementation of the federal health care law. Republican members of Congress and GOP presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney want to repeal the law.

Federal funding will cover most, but not all, of a Medicaid expansion

Federal funding will pay for 100 percent of any Medicaid expansion for the first three calendar years beginning in 2014, with the state required to pick up a percentage of the cost beginning in 2017. The first year state cost is 5 percent, in 2018 the state cost is 6 percent, in 2019 the state cost is 7 percent, and in 2020, the state cost is 10 percent.

But Willden said there are also administrative costs to the state that are not fully covered by the expansion but instead are shared between the federal government and the state at a 50-50 match. They include information technology costs and the cost to hire new eligibility workers, for example, he said.

State Health and Human Services Director Mike Willden / Nevada News Bureau file photo.

“And so we’re trying to again cost out for the governor, clear through 2020, because there are state costs involved in those out years even though everybody says it’s 100 percent federal the first three,” Willden said. “There are state costs in the out years, there are also state costs associated with the administrative costs for the new eligibles.”

There will be some savings because mentally ill people now being treated by the state at full cost to the state general fund will be Medicaid eligible, and there will be some savings to the counties because they now use county general fund money to pay for medical care for individuals who would become Medicaid eligible, he said.

The counties are analyzing that potential impact, Willden said.

Another question that is being researched with federal officials is whether the opt-in option would require a full commitment to the 138 percent of poverty level, of if some lesser level could be pursued, he said.

“The goal is to try to get all of this to come together in the next couple of weeks,” Willden said. “That way the governor would have enough information to at least review on the opt in, opt out opportunity.”

Medicaid expansion would cover new groups, including childless adults

If Medicaid is expanded in Nevada, new participants will be childless adults, who are not covered by the state program now, Willden said. The other expansion will come from parent caretakers of children who are covered at 75 percent of poverty now.

Medicaid now covers primarily low-income children, the disabled, pregnant women and seniors. These groups are now covered at different poverty rates ranging from 100 percent to 138 percent.

State lawmaker concerned about long-term financial implications of an expansion

State Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, who will be involved in the Medicaid issues in 2013 as a member of the Senate Finance Committee, said Sandoval is taking a prudent course because there are so many unanswered questions given the Supreme Court’s surprise decision allowing states to opt out of the expansion.

A critical question is what happens with the generous federal funding after 2020 and as Congress and the President grapple with unsustainable spending on federal programs, he said.

“It is a very good deal in the first couple of years,” Kieckhefer said. “I mean the feds pay 100 percent of the medical costs for the first three years. That’s a great deal. It then goes down to 90 percent after the fifth year. And there is nothing that mandates that that goes on forever.

“So I think the stronger concern is, how does the federal government continue to justify paying 90 percent of those costs as it’s trying to deal with the massive federal deficit and reducing that deficit,” he said. “And I think that there is a strong likelihood that eventually the feds start shifting that cost burden back to the states and that’s a risk that the state needs to weigh.”

Assembly Ways and Means Chairwoman Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, said her plan is to have an overview of the court ruling from staff at the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee on Aug. 23.

“I want to just make sure that we have a really good understanding of what all the possibilities and ramifications are,” she said. “I want that to be the first informational piece and then we can go from there.”

Nevada’s health insurance exchange is another factor in the complex review

Another variable in the assessment is the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange now being readied in Nevada where residents will be able to shop for health insurance beginning Oct. 1, 2013. Nevadans between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level will be eligible for subsidies when they purchase insurance.

The ACA rules appear to indicate that if Medicaid is not expanded, Nevadans who would have been covered in an expansion could go to the Exchange and receive a tax credit as long as all other requirements are met.

The Exchange is gearing up now with federal funds, but the state will have to pick up the cost of its operation when federal grants run out in 2015, Willden said.

Another issue is whether there are enough doctors and other medical providers to offer services to an expanded population, he said.

Willden said in May that as many as 150,000 additional Nevadans would be eligible for Medicaid if the law was upheld by the court, but that estimate was two years old and was made before the court said states could opt out of the expansion.

He estimated that bringing new residents onto the rolls would cost the state general fund an estimated $574 million between now and 2020.

But Kieckhefer said only $63 million of that cost estimate was due to the Medicaid expansion. The rest was due to those already eligible who were expected to enroll as a result of the mandate to obtain insurance.

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Audio clips:

Mike Willden of Nevada Health and Human Services says his agency is trying to estimate the cost of a Medicaid expansion program through 2020:

071212Willden1 :22 the new eligibles.”

Willden says the goal is to get the data to the governor in the next couple of weeks.

071212Willden2 :13 opt out opportunity.”

State Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp says the pros and cons of a Medicaid expansion are being analyzed:

071212Mohlenkamp1 :19 we can consider.”

Mohlenkamp says Gov. Brian Sandoval will make the call on a Medicaid expansion but that he has not done so yet:

071212Mohlenkamp2 :16 for the state.”

State Sen. Ben Kieckhefer says he is concerned about the potential long-term financial obligation to the state:

071212Kieckhefer :26 reducing that deficit.”

 

State Lawmakers Call For Review Of 20-Year Solar Contract

By Sean Whaley | 5:01 pm April 24th, 2012

CARSON CITY – State lawmakers today approved $46,284 from a legislative contingency fund to help the Nevada Office of the Military cover a budget shortfall due to high energy costs resulting from a solar project built at three of its sites around the state.

But lawmakers also asked for an attorney general review of the 20-year deal with Sierra Solar to see if the 15 cent per kilowatt hour charge for the electricity can be modified. The rate is now higher than what the agency could get buying power directly from NV Energy.

The contract was entered into in December of 2010, before Gov. Brian Sandoval began his term.

Photo by Fernando Tomás via Wikimedia Commons.

Jennifer McEntee, administrative services officer for the agency, said the energy costs to the state are higher at the three sites because the facilities receive more state general fund support than other facilities operated by the agency. The budget shortfall is the result of this higher state share of the energy costs, she said.

State Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp told lawmakers, meeting as the Interim Finance Committee, that future solar projects will not go forward without a guarantee that they will be at least cost neutral to the state.

“I do think that there is still some really good opportunities for solar, however it really has to be dialed in in order for it to pencil out,” he said.

Keys to successful projects are obtaining both federal tax credits and rebates from NV Energy, Mohlenkamp said.

Lt. Col. Rick Blower said when the contract was approved, electricity rates were expected to rise. Rates have come down instead, however. But it is yet to be determined if the 20-year contract is a bad deal for the state, he said.

Sen. Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, asked if there is an opportunity to renegotiate the contract.

Mohlenkamp said any such effort would be difficult, given the investment by the company in the equipment at the three facilities.

Horsford asked that the attorney general’s office review the agreement anyway.

“It’s not that the technology or the approach on renewables is the problem, it’s the fact that someone negotiated a bad deal on behalf of this department,” he said. “We can’t pay for something at a higher rate per kilowatt hour than what we can get in the market from other competing resources.”

-

Audio clips:

State Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp says the state will be careful moving forward with solar projects to ensure they are at least cost neutral:

042412Mohlenkamp1 :10 normal commercial terms.”

Mohlenkamp says some solar projects are expected to be worth pursuing:

042412Mohlenkamp2 :08 to pencil out.”

Sen. Steven Horsford says the issue is someone negotiated a bad deal:

042412Horsford1 :25 of this department.”

Horsford says an attorney general review of the contract is needed:

042412Horsford2 :09 other competing resources.”

 

 

Solar Project No Short-Term Energy Panacea For Nevada Office Of Military

By Sean Whaley | 3:51 pm April 3rd, 2012

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s Office of the Military figured it would be money ahead after entering into a contract with a firm to build solar panels on three of its sites around the state to supply it with electricity.

But today officials with the office won approval from the state Board of Examiners to seek $46,284 from a legislative contingency fund to pay excess utility costs. The reason is because the solar energy being provided under the contract is costing the agency more than if it purchased electricity directly from NV Energy.

Photo by Fernando Tomás via Wikimedia Commons.

The actual shortfall is $74,000 but budget savings are being used to help reduce the amount needed from the contingency fund.

Jennifer McEntee, administrative services officer for the agency, said the 20-year contract with Sierra Solar 1 charges 15 cents per kilowatt hour. Currently NV Energy is charging about 11 cents per kilowatt hour. At the time the contract was signed, NV Energy was charging 14.75 cents per kilowatt hour so it looked like a good deal.

The board, made up of Gov. Brian Sandoval, Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and Secretary of State Ross Miller, approved the request, which will now go to the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee.

State Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp also told the board that such contracts going forward are being reviewed carefully to ensure they make financial sense for the state.

“I can assure you that we are looking very carefully at the future awards that we give out,” he said.

Sandoval was told there is no interest in renegotiating the rate by the contractor although some concessions were made. The deal was approved before Sandoval was elected governor in December 2010, retroactive to September 2009.

“We actually spent probably about six months with representatives of Sierra Solar attempting to renegotiate,” said Lt. Col. Rick Blower. “Their position had always been that they have invested millions of dollars to build this system and that the income stream was what made it possible for them to build the project with their funds with no state funds or federal funds.”

Sandoval said after the meeting: “As I said we will be vigilant as we move forward to make sure we’re not in that position again.”

-

Audio clips:

Lt. Col. Rick Blower says the agency got some concessions from the contractor:

040312Blower1 :27 burden to us.”

But Blower says the company would not lower its charges:

040312Blower2 :19 or federal funds.”

Gov. Brian Sandoval says the state will make sure it is not placed in such a position again:

040312Sandoval :07 that position again.”

New Report Says Nevada Remains Average In Providing Public Access To Government Spending

By Sean Whaley | 4:25 pm March 15th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Nevada barely earned a C grade for its efforts in providing online access to government spending data with a score of 70, according to the latest report: “Following the Money 2012”, released this week by a national group.

The report from the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) ranked Nevada 31st among the states, with Texas coming in at No. 1 with a score of 98 and Idaho coming in last with a score of 6.

Following the Money 2012.

Nevada’s score declined slightly from the 2011 report when it earned a 74.

It is the U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s third annual ranking of states’ progress toward “Transparency 2.0” – a new standard of comprehensive, one-stop, one-click budget accountability and accessibility.

The report found that continued progress has been made over the past year, with new states providing online access to government spending information and several states pioneering new tools to further expand citizens’ access to spending information and engagement with government.

The release was timed to coincide with Sunshine Week, a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information.

Nevada was identified as one of 14 “emerging states” with a C grade for its transparency website, which was described as having checkbook-level detail that is easily searchable, but that is far less comprehensive in terms of detail as the 21 states with A and B grades.

Nevada’s under-performing areas include the inability to search for information by a keyword or activity, only partial ability to obtain contract or summary information, a lack of access to tax expenditure reports, and the inability to download data.

Nevada’s transparency ranking may soon improve, however, as the state moves into a new era of Priorities and Performance Based Budgeting (PPBB).

State Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp discussed the new budget process, which was used to a limited extent in the 2011 budget, during a budget planning session today with state administrators. The new budget development process was required as a result of legislation passed in 2011.

One of the goals of the new budget process is to provide increased accountability of state government, he said.

Gov. Brian Sandoval has involved his entire cabinet in the process, which has identified four strategic priorities for his administration: sustainable and growing economy, educated and healthy citizenry, safe and livable communities, and efficient and responsive state government.

There are also eight core functions of government, from public safety to education and workforce development.

“Our goal throughout this process was to improve transparency,” Mohlenkamp said.

Change is not easy, he said.

“But major decision-makers in the state, starting with the governor, have put their weight behind moving Nevada forward,” Mohlenkamp said.

-

Audio clips:

State Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp says the new budgeting process is about transparency:

031512Mohlenkamp1 :30 trying to accomplish.”

Mohlenkamp says Gov. Sandoval and others want to move forward:

031512Mohlenkamp2 :14 moving Nevada forward.”

 

Nevada State Administrators Get Budget Details In All-Day Planning Session

By Sean Whaley | 3:28 pm March 15th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s top state administrators gathered together in meeting rooms and via the internet today to hear first-hand about Gov. Brian Sandoval’s initial plans for his 2013-15 budget.

The all-day meeting called “Budget Kickoff” was intended to provide instructions to state administrators on how to begin preparing their spending plans for the new two-year budget that will take effect on July 1, 2013.

State administrators were briefed today on the 2013-15 budget plan. / Photo: Nevada News Bureau.

Agencies are expected to see flat budgets compared to the current spending plan after Sandoval surprised many around the state on Tuesday by announcing he would extend an expiring package of tax increases into the next budget cycle to avoid any further cuts to education and critical social services.

In announcing his intentions, Sandoval said: “I’m not going to pit kindergartners against senior citizens. I’m not going to pit higher ed students against people that need essential services.”

Agencies are also being directed to prepare their spending proposals using the new Priorities and Performance Based Budgeting process required as a result of legislation approved in the 2011 legislative session.

While the next budget won’t take effect for more than 15 months, the planning process begins early. Sandoval must submit his proposed budget to the Legislature by January 2013 in advance of the February 2013 legislative session.

“You know how difficult the last couple of sessions have been, and you understand the depth and the breadth of the cuts to state spending,” said Heidi Gansert, Sandoval’s chief of staff, in introductory remarks to the assembled administrators. “You’ve also heard about the positive economic news in recent months. Sales tax collections are up. Gaming revenues are improving. Unemployment is slowly declining. All signs that Nevada’s economy is turning the corner.”

But Medicaid caseloads have tripled over the past decade and new costs are looming due to mandates from the federal health care law, she said. The ballot proposals being circulated to raise taxes are not an option as far as Sandoval is concerned, Gansert said.

By continuing the sunsetting taxes, no Nevadans will pay any more in taxes in the next budget than they are now, she said.

“The governor has said we will grow our way out of this recession and we will, it’s just going to take more time,” Gansert said.

She had some good news for state employees, noting that the unpaid furloughs, 2.5 percent salary reductions, frozen merit pay increases and the elimination of longevity pay are all under review for the next budget for restoration if possible.

Janet Rogers, an economist with the Budget Division, said the national economy is improving, but slowly, and Nevada is lagging behind.

State Budget Office economist Janet Rogers talks about the economy as Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp looks on. / Photo: Nevada News Bureau.

“In the train that represents the national economy, Nevada is the caboose,” she said. “During the recession, for those of you who have been here, know, we had the largest employment drop of any state, the highest unemployment rate, the highest foreclosure rate and we were the last state to enter the recovery.”

State Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp talked about the potential impacts of the health care reform law, saying it will have a significant effect on the state’s Medicaid population.

The federal government is expected to pick up the costs of Medicaid recipients eligible under the law, but an influx of enrollees among residents who are already eligible for the health insurance program for low income, disabled and senior citizens is also expected, and these costs will have to be covered in part by the state, he said.

Nevada’s Medicaid caseload has increased from an average of 117,627 recipients in fiscal year 2001 to 285,732 in fiscal year 2011.

“Now the overall impacts of the health care reform aren’t clear,” Mohlenkamp said. “We don’t know what the number is going to be but we do know it’s significant, and we’ve done some broad estimations in our budget preparation.”

-

Audio clips:

Sandoval Chief of Staff Heidi Gansert says the Nevada economy is improving:

031512Gansert1 :23 turning the corner.”

But Gansert says it will take more time to grow out of the recession:

031512Gansert2 :06 take more time.”

Budget Office economist Janet Rogers calls Nevada the caboose on the national economic recovery train:

031512Rogers :22 enter the recovery.”

State Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp says the new health care law will have big impacts on Nevada’s Medicaid program:

031512Mohlenkamp :11 our budget preparation.”

 

 

Nevada Tax Collections Remain On Track Overall Despite Gaming Volatility

By Sean Whaley | 4:38 pm December 1st, 2011

CARSON CITY – Despite ongoing volatility in Nevada’s gaming industry, strong consumer buying is helping to keep the state’s tax revenues on an even keel four months into the new two-year budget, state officials say.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Government via Wikimedia Commons.

Nevada’s taxable sales increased by more than 10 percent in September, the first double-digit gain seen in the report since December 2010, which was helped by a large natural gas pipeline project in Northern Nevada. Before that, the last double-digit gain came in February 2006.

Car sales were up 9.4 percent in the September report, while business at bars and restaurants was up 14.5 percent and the accommodations category was up 21.6 percent.

Compared to the May 2011 Economic Forum projections, the general fund portion of the sales and use taxes is about 1.45 percent or $2.9 million above their forecast for fiscal year 2012 through September, according to the Nevada Department of Taxation.

Gaming revenues have been a disappointment, however, due largely to the influence the card game baccarat, played by high rollers on the Las Vegas Strip, has had on the monthly casino win.

The September gaming win was down 5.9 percent compared to September 2010 due in large part to baccarat.

Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for the Gaming Control Board, said gaming percentage fee tax collections so far this fiscal year are 7.4 percent, or nearly $16 million, below the forum projections made in May.

The live entertainment tax collected on major casino shows is about $6 million above projections, however, which reflects the increase in visitor volume seen in the casino industry, he said.

“Every indication we get from the operators is that the business models are good,” Lawton said. “Everyone knows visitation is up, hotel revenues are up, air traffic is up. It’s just the volatility of baccarat tends to rear its ugly head. We’re expecting it to come back in, like I said, October and November, to have a couple of strong months to finish off the calendar year.

“We’re only four months in so I don’t think we need to push the panic button yet,” he said.

Nevada state Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp said in a statement that overall tax revenues are tracking above projections. The budget office will continue to closely monitor the collections, he said.

“We are very pleased with the increases in sales tax revenues,” Mohlenkamp said. “For fiscal year 2011 we experienced increases of 5.3 percent over fiscal year 2010. Further, sales tax has increased on (a) year-over-year basis for 15 consecutive months and is on track to outpace projections during fiscal year 2012.”

The 2012 fiscal year began July 1. Nevada’s legislatively approved budget runs for two years, through June 30, 2013. Sales and gaming taxes together make up about 58 percent of the revenue needed to support Nevada’s $6.2 billion, two-year general fund budget.

Nevada’s fiscal position appears to mirror that of many other states, according to a new report from the National Association of State Legislatures (NCSL).

The organization’s “State Budget Update: Fall 2011” analysis shows that only four states, California, Missouri, New York and Washington, are reporting a new budget gap since the fiscal year began. Fifteen states had reported budget gaps at this time in 2010.

“Better revenue performance is driving the improvement in state finances,” the report said. “Collections in most states have stabilized or are growing, and the general revenue outlook for the remainder of the fiscal year reflects confidence in continued modest growth.”

The report said of Nevada: “Nevada continues to experience economic challenges related to high unemployment and a weak housing market. Although these conditions have been considered in the state’s revenue forecast for the current biennium, continued weakness in employment could affect sales tax and payroll tax revenues.”

The Nevada Economic Forum, a panel of five financial experts who set the tax projections that must be used to balance the state budget, will meet Dec. 13 to hear an update on the state’s tax collections. It cannot change the projects made in May that were used to finalize the current budget, however.

-

Audio clips:

Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for the Gaming Control Board, says baccarat plays a significant role in monthly gaming revenues:

120111Lawton1 :26 the calendar year.”

Lawton says gaming percentage fee collections are down 7.39 percent below forecast:

120111Lawton2 :17 back in May.”

Jeff Mohlenkamp Already Tackling Challenges As Nevada’s New Budget Director

By Sean Whaley | 9:21 am August 19th, 2011

CARSON CITY – When Jeff Mohlenkamp decided to accept the job as Nevada’s newest budget director, he knew going in it was going to be a challenge.

The state’s economic slump continues to be a drag on funding government services, although gaming and sales tax revenues have shown some improvement in recent months.

The Department of Administration, which Mohlenkamp oversees as a significant part of his duties, is in the midst of a major merger, with the former Departments of Personnel and Information Technology coming under the agency’s umbrella.

And Mohlenkamp, who has the job of preparing the governor’s budget every two years for submission to the Nevada Legislature, will now be required to use a radically different process, called performance-based budgeting, to prepare the governor’s spending plan.

But after five weeks on the job, Mohlenkamp, 48, who has a varied background in state service dating back to 1986, is enjoying the challenge offered to him by Gov. Brian Sandoval, who named him to the position in June. Former budget director Andrew Clinger left following the end of the 2011 legislative session to become Reno city manager.

Mohlenkamp said his background and experience appeared to fit the bill for Sandoval.

“It’s a daunting task in some regards but I find it to be very exciting,” he said. “The challenges are many. It’s working right with the governor and his staff to achieve some of the over-arching goals of the state.”

Jeff Mohlenkamp, Nevada's new budget director. / Photo: Sean Whaley, Nevada News Bureau.

While times are tough, it is those very challenges that can push those in charge to step up and think critically about delivering state services in the most effective way, he said. But that process should be happening in good times as well.

“Sometimes tough times force us to modify the way we do business and look carefully at the way we do business, but it really is something we should be doing not only in difficult times but all the time,” Mohlenkamp said.

The state should be well served by the Legislature’s approval of a measure requiring performance-based budgeting, he said. The new process, also called priorities-based or activities-based budgeting, was partially implemented in the 2011 session by Clinger at the request of former Gov. Jim Gibbons.

Historically state agencies have just “rolled up” their program costs, based on increased caseloads and inflation, in preparing new budgets every two years. Programs were not regularly analyzed to determine if they were still needed.

“I think the ultimate goal, whatever terminology is used, is to move towards a different way of looking at state government and the functions it performs,” Mohlenkamp said. “And trying to evaluate what functions or activities government needs to be engaged in, and the relative value of those activities and those functions. It means looking at budgets through a different lens.”

The merger of the various former departments and agencies into the Department of Administration is a major challenge, but much of the work was already under way when he arrived on the job July 11, he said.

Bringing all the services the state provides to other agencies – from personnel needs to information technology – into one central agency, will provide the opportunity to improve services to the many different departments and divisions statewide, Mohlenkamp said.

“Looking at how we can better serve our customers is going to be one of my primary focuses,” he said.

Mohlenkamp’s career in state service began shortly after graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno, in 1986, with a degree in accounting and business management. He went to work for the Gaming Control Board, serving in different positions, including several years as a supervising investigator for the Corporate Securities Division. In this position he reviewed such major publicly held companies as Bally’s and IGT.

After 17 years with gaming, he went to work for the state Division of Internal Audits in 2003, doing performance based reviews of a variety of agencies, including many in the Department of Health and Human Services. From there he worked as the administrative services officer for the Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services, first working under former administrator Carlos Brandenburg, who Mohlenkamp cited as a mentor.

Brandenburg said he was fortunate to have Mohlenkamp as his ASO.

“What separated him from the previous ASOs that worked for me is that a lot of the ASOs strictly crunched the numbers,” he said. “Jeff separated himself because he not only crunched the numbers, and he was very, very good at that, but he also wanted to understand services.

“I knew for a fact that the governor was going to get himself a great, hardworking person,” Brandenburg said. “A person that looks at the numbers, and crunches the numbers, but he also tries to understand the service part of the system.

“What he tells you you can take to the bank,” he said.

Mohlenkamp then moved to the Department of Corrections, where he served as a deputy director of support services, overseeing inmate services, and legislative and financial matters.

Both with mental health and corrections, Mohlenkamp spent a lot of time at the Legislature testifying on budgets, experience that will no doubt serve him well when he has to present Sandoval’s next budget in 2013.

Mohlenkamp said he considers himself a straight shooter, giving lawmakers the information they need to make decisions.

“My goal is to answer straight questions with straight answers,” he said. “The legislative process isn’t always fun, but it’s always interesting.”

Sandoval said Mohlenkamp had the qualities he was looking for in a budget director.

“Jeff is somebody that I’ve known who has served the state with distinction for many, many years,” Sandoval said. “I first met him when he was at gaming when I was on the Gaming Commission. He has also worked at Health and Human Services, he’s worked at prisons, he has testified in front of the Legislature, he has a tremendous amount of experience with budgets, he is very proud of his state and very committed. And so all those attributes were what I was looking for in terms of a budget director.”

“Obviously Andrew Clinger is going to be somebody who is difficult to replace, but Jeff has already dived straight into the job and is doing a great, great service for the people of Nevada,” he said.

When he isn’t putting in long hours in his new job, Mohlenkamp said he likes to sail, scuba dive and spend time with his two children.

Audio clips:

New state Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp says performance-based budgeting will require a new type of analysis:

081811Mohlenkamp1 :26 and those functions.”

Mohlenkamp says state agencies should be evaluating their programs in good times as well as bad:

081911Mohlenkamp2 :13 all the time.”

Mohlenkamp says his new job is daunting but exciting:

081911Mohlenkamp3 :23 of their careers.”

Former MHDS Administrator Carlos Brandenburg says Mohlenkamp did not just crunch the numbers:

081911Brandenburg1 :20 to understand services.”

Brandenburg says Sandoval recruited a great budget director:

081911Brandenburg2 :15 of the system.”

Gov. Brian Sandoval says Mohlenkamp has served the state with distinction for many years:

081911Sandoval1 :26 a budget director.”

Sandoval says Mohlenkamp has dived right into the job:

081911Sandoval2 :11 people of Nevada.”