The legislature was stalled on several contentious issues, including deep cuts to education and social services. And the governor hadn’t been very active in earlier budget talks. But early Monday morning, the Republican governor and Democratic-controlled legislature reached a deal: Democrats were able to limit education cuts and the GOP avoided gaming tax hikes.
Fred Lokken is a political scientist with Truckee Meadows Community College. He says Gibbons was instrumental in brokering a compromise – thanks in part to the governor’s new staff.
Lokken: “That team has convinced him perhaps of the importance of being a team player and part of the solution and the change in behavior although seemingly late in his first term is much appreciated and apparently made a real difference in this special session.”
Lokken says another reason for the turnaround is that the Republican governor is facing a tough re-election bid this year with very low approval ratings and a narrow political base.