Nevada LegislatureSocial Justice

Republican Walkout Triggers Budget Showdown in Final Days of Legislative Session

The Nevada Legislature was supposed to move forward with the one big tax proposal of this session. Instead, the marijuana excise tax Governor Brian Sandoval (R) proposed was defeated by the Senators from his own party. As a result, the public education budget, including vouchers, is undergoing major changes. The marijuana excise tax was the highlight of Sandoval’s State of the State address. And yet, Senate Republicans vote against Sandoval’s marijuana tax. Why did they? And what happens now? (more…)

Nevada LegislatureSocial Justice

Who’s Vouching for What: Governor’s ESA Voucher Bill Gets Heard at Nevada Legislature

For weeks, Governor Brian Sandoval (R) and Nevada Legislature Democratic leaders have sparred over funding his controversial voucher program, Education Savings Accounts. Then, at 3:00 PM yesterday, the two budget committees announced a joint hearing on Sandoval’s voucher bill. Why did this hearing happen, and how might the Legislature reshape this voucher program? We dig deeper below. (more…)

Nevada Legislature

Why Is Adam Laxalt in the Hot Seat? The GCB Scandal, Explained

In March 2016, Attorney General Adam Laxalt asked Nevada Gaming Control Board (GCB) Chair A.G. Burnett to intervene in a lawsuit between Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson and a former employee. Burnett, a registered Republican who was appointed to the GCB by Governor Brian Sandoval (R) in 2011, balked over the suggestion that even Laxalt’s own deputy attorney general rejected. Burnett then secretly recorded conversations with Laxalt involving Laxalt’s request that the State of Nevada intervene on behalf of…

Nevada Legislature

Crisis Averted? Nevada Economic Forum Announces $140 Million Budget Surplus

For months, members of the Nevada Legislature have been trying to figure out how to balance the state budget. Today, they moved several steps closer to their final goal… And they didn’t really have to do anything. What happened at the Nevada Economic Forum, and why should we care about it? Let’s just say there are at least 140 million reasons. (more…)

Nevada LegislatureSocial Justice

Nevada Legislature Tackles “Pink Tax” with SB 415 and AB 402

Remember the “pink tax”? This refers to the inequity women face in pricing of consumer products. The most notorious “pink tax” is the sales tax charged on feminine hygiene products. Two bills in the Nevada Legislature offer Silver State women relief from perhaps the most onerous “pink tax”. I watched the hearing for one of them, then the press conference for the other. (more…)

Nevada Legislature

Adam Laxalt’s a No Show to the Nevada Legislature (Again)

Like the first budget hearing for the Nevada Attorney General’s Office, Attorney General (AG) Adam Laxalt again declined to explain himself before the Nevada Legislature. Instead, several staff appeared in Carson City and Las Vegas to explain what they’ve been up to. Today’s hearing seemed like smoother sailing at first, but there were eventually hiccups along the way. (more…)

ColumnsNevada LegislatureSocial Justice

Dollars and Sense: A Crash Course on Nevada’s Education Budgets

Education first: It’s technically the law here in Nevada. Legislators must approve the K-12 public education budget before deciding anything else in the overall final budget. Does that actually have an effect on how much funding goes into classrooms? And what kind of challenges lie ahead in deciding the budget for higher education? Below, we speak with two legislators with experience in public education and major say in how these budgets come together. (more…)