Governor Sandoval's State of the State Adddress

January 17, 2017 Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval delivered his State of the State speech outlining his priorities for the 2017 Legislative Session. Readers may access a transcript of Governor Sandoval's speech here.


The Governor submitted a biennial budget of $8.1 billion--10% larger than the last budget. He attributed the increase to a needed investment in workforce development, education, infrastructure, and medicaid caseload growth. To help fund the increase, the Governor proposed a 10% excise tax on all retail sales of recreational marijuana, to be invested exclusively in education. This tax is in addition to the existing 15% excise tax on wholesale marijuana transactions.

The Governor discussed the following items in his budget:

  • $200 million to the Rainy Day Fund
    4% cost of living adjustment for state employees
    $20 million to the Millennium Scholarship program
    $115 million in investments for higher education
    $21 million to enhance career and technical programs in community colleges
    $10 million to prepare students for careers in advanced manufacturing, nursing, autonomous systems and teaching
    $58 million for new student enrollment at UNR and UNLV
    $53 million to UNLV's medical school
    $41.5 million for a new college of engineering at UNR
    $42 million to expand successful Zoom School programs
    $30 million for Victory Schools
    $30 million in per-pupil funding for special education students
    $5 million for gifted and talented programs
    $2 million for high-speed broadband in schools
    $60 million for ESAs
    $3.5 million for the creation of a cyber defense center
    $1.5 million statewide risk assessment program for youth in the juvenile justice system
    $43 million to build a veterans' home in Northern Nevada
    $5.7 million to restore the Stewart Indian School in Carson City
    $11.5 million for community-based elderly waiver
    $1.5 million for Meals on Wheels
    The Governor also talked about the following:
  • Opioid Abuse: The Controlled Substance Abuse Protection Act (training and reporting and heightened reporting for medical professionals)
  • Workforce Development goal: 60% of Nevadans 24-35 will have post-secondary degree or credential by 2025 (currently only 30%)
  • Teach Nevada scholarship program
  • Tesla's decision to expand investments in Nevada
  • The Juvenile Justice System Reform Act
  • Gold Star relief from out-of-state tuition
  • Service member foreclosure protection
  • Walker River Recreation Area
  • Funding to preserve Lake Tahoe
  • Opposition to Yucca Mountain
  • Skill based gaming and wagering on Esports
  • Funding for I-11
  • Opposition to federal rules related to public lands
  • Traffic study for interchange through Truckee Meadows