The governor of Nevada has asked the U.S. Education Department to exempt the state from a requirement that it restore several hundred million dollars in spending on higher education to claim its share of federal stimulus funds, the Las Vegas Sun  reported. The economic stimulus law requires states to spend at least as much on higher education in 2008-9 and 2009-10 as they did in the 2006 fiscal year to get their share of the $54 billion state stabilization fund,  which is designed primarily to stave off cuts to education and other essential social programs. But Gov. Jim Gibbons, who has been locked in a very public fight with Nevada's college chancellor over the governor's perceived lack of support for higher education, said the federal requirement would force the state to restore $268 million in cuts to higher education, which his aides told the Sun Nevada doesn't have. Gibbons said the requirement intrudes on states' authority.