The governor also pledged to move ahead with establishing Nevada as a leader in online gambling. His administration has legislation being drafted paving the way for Nevada to join with other states to offer Internet poker.

"No opportunity is as rich with promise as our primary industry, gaming," Sandoval said.

Sandoval's budget includes expanding Medicaid eligibility as called for under the federal Affordable Care Act, a move the governor said will insure an additional 78,000 of Nevada's neediest residents. But the governor, who opposed the federal law and hoped for its repeal, said he would insist Nevada be able to opt out of the program in future years "should circumstances change."

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