A look at the Governor’s agenda; from crime to education
CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - As the latest session of the Nevada State Legislature continues, Governor Joe Lombardo has introduced a number of bills on a wide range of issues.
Some of his first agenda items have been the state’s education system, starting with these bills:
AB330 would restore teacher’s ability to remove a student from their class if they pose a risk of violence, or if their behavior is interfering with the learning experience.
It would also require students who commit a battery, sell or distribute a controlled substance at a school or on a bus, or who are in possession of a firearm, to be suspended for the first offense and permanently expelled on the second offense.
The bill would also require that the data on discipline of students is reported to the administrative head of a charter school and the superintendents as opposed to a board of trustees.
- Create the Office of School Choice
- Require open zoning
- Increase Opportunity Scholarship funding from $50 million to $500 million
- Expand Opportunity Scholarship eligibility from 300% to 500% of the poverty level
- Allow for charter school development to address overcrowding
- Allow for a city or county to become a sponsor of a charter school
- Allow charter schools to apply for and possibly receive transportation funding
It would also teach Nevada Scholarships, Nevada Teacher Advancement Scholarships, career technical education, and declare a critical labor shortage for educators.
It would also reinstate Read by Grade 3 and create an Early Childhood Literacy and Readiness Program, and task the Commission on School Funding with monitoring, oversight, and accountability and implement performance standards.
In addition to the two bills introduced to the Assembly, the Governor also introduced a number of bills into the Senate:
SB412 would make any possession of fentanyl a Category B felony and empower judges and probation officers to impose tougher sanctions for parole and probation violations.
His bill would also not allow for early discharge for those convicted of committing residential burglary with a gun and lower the felony theft threshold.
It would also provide greater support for victims of domestic battery by strangulation and increase penalties for DUIs causing death and substantial bodily harm.
SB10 would appropriate $50 million to the State Infrastructure Bank to be used for rural school construction and workforce housing, and expand the use of existing funds to include workforce housing projects.
SB405 would mandate that all mail in ballots should be received by the time polls close on Election Day rather than the existing deadline of 5:00 p.m. four days following an election.
It would also eliminate COVID-19 era universal mail in ballots and stop sending them to all state residents.
SB405 would also require a valid form of ID to be used at polls and when ballots are mailed in by providing a driver’s license number or the last four digits of a social security number that can be verified against a voter database.
Lombardo’s bill would further require an end to unrestricted ballot harvesting.
It would declare that if someone other than the voter or an immediate family member intends to cast a ballot on behalf of a registered voter, that it must be reported and the number of ballots they can collect and submit should be limited to 30.
SB431 would eliminate the requirement that state employees not be paid more than 95% of the Governor’s salary.
It would also restructure the Office of the Governor to:
- Add Cabinet Secretaries and grants them regulatory authority (Secretary of Public Safety and Military Affairs, Secretary of Commerce and Administration, Secretary of Energy, Environment and Public Works, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary of Education and Workforce)
- Change the role of the Chief Information Officer to create the Chief Innovation Officer
SB431 would replace DETR with a restructured and refocused Office of Workforce and increase the cap in the state rainy day fund from 20% to 30%, and require the Economic Forum provide a recommendation for the amount of money that should be reserved in the rainy day fund.
The bill would place time limits under which the Governor can unilaterally operate under emergency powers to 90 days.
The Taxpayer Inflation Relief Act:
The Taxpayer Inflation Relief Act would suspend the gas tax for the next 12 months in a move Lombardo says would save Nevadans around $250 million dollars.
The Act would also lower the modified business tax rate by 15% to 1.17% and raise the exemption for businesses subject to the Commerce Tax by 50% from $4 million to $6 million.
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