Politics and Policy

The 2015 legislative session is only in its first weeks, but already some political observers in Nevada say the prognosis is not good. Republicans continue to deal with discord in their ranks. Governor Brian Sandoval's plan to increase taxes to fund education could face serious opposition from members of his own party. Meanwhile, police are investigating a possible extortion plot.

Nevada Treasurer Lambasted For Alternative Budget

Feb 12, 2015
www.nevadatreasurer.gov

If you’re scratching your head about why the treasurer is designing the state’s budget, you’re not the only 

  one. In an unprecedented move, Nevada State Treasurer Dan Schwartz, a Republican, came forward with a plan that’s about half a billion dollars lower than Governor Brian Sandoval’s. It also eliminates the governor’s proposed taxes on business to fund education.

Speaking in front of the Senate Finance Committee, Schwartz put it this way:

Debate over gun rights heats up in Carson

Feb 6, 2015

Guns could be coming to a campus parking lot near you. Some lawmakers in Carson City say that's a good thing, while others believe schools and universities should remain gun free.

Josh Wilsey, a junior at the University of Nevada, Reno, doesn’t really have a problem with guns on campus.

“I wouldn’t say it would really bother me. I think in Nevada you’re going to have guns everywhere anyway.”

Nevada Firearms Coalition

The Background Check Initiative would expand background checks to private gun sales made online and at gun shows. Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss reports that if lawmakers don’t approve the changes this session, voters will have their say in 2016.

This topic arouses passion from both sides. Don Turner has formed a political action committee to fight the Background Check Initiative.

“I’m president of Nevada Firearms Coalition," Turner says. "I’m also president of Nevadans for State Gun Rights.”

State of Nevada website

In his State of the State address, Republican Governor Brian Sandoval promised bold action for Nevada’s struggling education system and outdated tax structure:

We live in a state that is transforming before our eyes – with 21st Century companies, jobs and technologies that place us at the forefront of innovation and the new economy. Yet we still operate with decades-old funding systems and an education structure that will eventually grind us to an inevitable halt.”

Governor Brian Sandoval

Governor Brian Sandoval is calling for more than a billion dollars in revenue to fund Nevada's education system. That was among the many ambitious proposals the governor laid out in his State of the State address last night. Reno Public Radio's Will Stone has more.

From the very first minutes, Governor  Brian Sandoval wasn't just speaking to today's Nevada, but to a future one, where education and the economy no longer hold the state back.

gov.nv.gov

On the state capitol steps in Carson City Monday, Governor Brian Sandoval was sworn in for his second term after a landslide victory in November. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that several other Republican leaders joined him to take their oaths as constitutional officers for Nevada.

The ceremony was actually the only inaugural program in the country presented entirely by children. Kids emceed the event and performed poetry, music, and prayer, including a violin duo who played the state song "Home Means Nevada."

The head of a northern Nevada civil rights group says the incoming state Legislature should legalize marijuana for recreational use instead of leaving the question up to voters in November 2016.

In September, Jeffrey Blanck, president of the Reno/Sparks chapter of the NAACP, sent a letter to legislators that highlighted an ACLU study finding blacks are more likely than whites to face arrest and prosecution for marijuana possession.

Airman 1st Class Jamie Nicley / U.S. Air Force

After six years as Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid is leaving that post, now that Republicans control that chamber. Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell will soon step into that role while Reid transitions to leading the minority. Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss caught up with Reid just after the Senate wrapped up its session this week to look back on his tenure, including the recent passage of several Nevada lands bills.

City of Reno

From a pool of 74 applicants, the Reno City Council chose David Bobzien as its newest member. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss caught up with the former state assemblyman to learn about his immediate priorities for the post, which include bolstering the city's role in improving public education.

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