Governor: Marijuana tax will go to fund education

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CARSON CITY, NV (KOLO) With many Nevada teachers dealing with some of the largest class sizes in the country – and legalized marijuana being extremely lucrative - Governor Steve Sisolak is unveiling a plan (Senate Bill 545) to use the new business to solve the lingering problem.

Governor Sisolak announced his plan at a news conference at his office in the state capitol building in Carson City May 14, 2019.

"I made a commitment and leadership made a commitment to get money into teachers' pockets,” Governor Sisolak said. “That's what we're going to do by fencing off this money and making sure it goes to the teachers.”

The plan would divert the 10% tax on retail marijuana to be used to fund education. Originally, that money was intended for the state's rainy day fund. The governor calls this a major step toward fulfilling his pledge to improve the state's public schools.

Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson was also on hand for the press conference, and he estimates this will result in about $120 million over two years going to help public education. He says the taxes are expected to generate $58 million in 2020 and $61 million in 2021.

“While there is still more work to be done, this is an impactful solution we can make today that will direct more money to our teachers and students that deserve it,” said State Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, who was also on hand for the announcement.

Sisolak said keeping the promise to give teachers a raise has been the most difficult challenge since he took office, but emphasized that he is still committed to making it happen.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2019