Politics and Policy

School campuses have become the latest testing ground for the debate over gun rights in Nevada. A bill that would allow those with concealed weapons permits to bring their guns on campus drew crowds to Carson City this week.

To hear both sides tell it, guns are either the panacea for some of the worst afflictions on campus—sexual assault and school shootings among them—or a toxic solution in search of a problem. 

www.leg.state.nv.us

Two Republican assemblymen are making peace after a physical altercation earlier this week.

John Moore filed a complaint with legislative police against Assembly Majority Leader Paul Anderson saying he refused to let Moore leave an impromptu meeting in a stairwell of the legislative building. This was during a recess when the two were discussing Moore’s vote on a bill.

Assemblywoman Shelly Shelton spent much of her testimony telling anecdotes like this:

"In 2010 in January, Jerald Young defended himself against three men. It was clear from video surveillance he was trying to get away from them, but Mr. Young  was charged with multiple charges, and it took him years to be acquitted by a jury." 

Anh Gray

Right now, there are close to 2,000 portable classrooms in Washoe and Clark Counties alone because of overcrowding. Couple that with calls from business leaders, parents and both parties to improve education in Nevada, and you'd expect a bill that would create more schools to sail through.

“Except that we’re going to do that by stepping on your parents' backs. It’s the parents versus the kids. That’s what you’re doing with this bill. For someone to have the audacity to put this in front of my face and say it’s about schools...”

Nevada’s rural community colleges are cash-strapped. That will only get worse under the current budget proposal. Leaders from those colleges will be in Carson City on Tuesday in hopes of improving their outlook. 

Higher education in Nevada has faced some rough years. Now, the picture is beginning to change, but for rural community colleges, namely Western Nevada College and Great Basin, major cuts are still imminent.

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.”

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