Updates

Sandoval’s education improvement plans draw praise, concerns

Las Vegas Review-Journal
By Sean Whaley
Jan. 16, 2015

CARSON CITY — Gov. Brian Sandoval’s ambitious plans to reform and improve Nevada’s public education system have much to like, but plenty to be concerned about as well for parents, lawmakers, teachers, the business community and school officials.

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Nevada’s big businesses waiting for Sandoval budget details

Las Vegas Review-Journal
By Sandra Chereb, LVRJ Capital Bureau
Jan. 17, 2015

Gov. Brian Sandoval’s $1.1 billion tax package to fund education and other state services caught some industry groups off guard, but the state’s largest business organizations say they will await specifics of the proposal before passing judgment.

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Democratic leader Kirkpatrick urges courage, compromise to raise taxes

Las Vegas Sun
Associated Press
Jan. 15, 2015

CARSON CITY — Democratic Assembly Leader Marilyn Kirkpatrick is urging members of both parties to have the courage to make the hard choices Republican Gov. Sandoval outlined in a broad plan to raise taxes to improve education.

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SENATE DEMOCRATS RENEW PUSH FOR SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION, CALL FOR BIPARTISAN LEGISLATIVE ACTION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 12, 2015

SENATE DEMOCRATS RENEW PUSH FOR SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION, CALL FOR BIPARTISAN LEGISLATIVE ACTION

LAS VEGAS– At the Las Vegas NewsFeed today, Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford called on legislative leaders to commit to making funding for school construction the first priority for the upcoming session.  Specifically, Senate Democrats are pushing for a bipartisan bill expanding rollover bond authority for local school districts to be the first piece of legislation sent to the governor’s desk.  

“On the heels of last week’s Southern Nevada Forum and this morning’s Las Vegas NewsFeed breakfast, it is clear that there is bipartisan support for Senator Debbie Smith’s proposed school construction legislation,” said Senate Democratic Leader Aaron Ford. “We invite our Republican colleagues and Governor Sandoval to join us in pledging to make school construction the first thing we accomplish this session.”

In the special legislative session last year, Senate Democrats proposed adding the rollover of bonding authority to the proclamation. Had this been passed, it was projected that school construction would have begun within 6 months. 

Sen. Joyce Woodhouse, a member of the Senate Education Committee and 40 year educator, made the following statement:

“When we invest in safe, modern school facilities, we’re investing in the long-term success of Nevada students. Nevada’s children can’t reach their full potential in overcrowded schools that lack basic amenities, like air conditioning and heat. Leaders of both parties must come together and commit to immediately passing this school construction bill.”

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NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS HIRE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR LEGISLATIVE SESSION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 8, 2015

NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS HIRE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR LEGISLATIVE SESSION

CARSON CITY – Today, the Nevada Senate Democratic Caucus announced that it has hired Peter Koltak to serve as Communications Director for the 2015 legislative session. This marks the first time that the caucus has hired dedicated communications staff for a legislative session. 

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Senator Atkinson begins serving as CSG National Officer in 2015!

Congratulations to Senator Kelvin Atkinson for starting his 2015 tenure as a National Officer for the Council of State Governments (CSG)! 

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NV Energy pulls plug on three of Reid Gardner plant’s four coal-fired generators

Las Vegas Sun
By Kyle Roerink
Dec. 31, 2014

The Reid Gardner Power Plant has closed three of its four coal-generated units, a symbolic victory for Nevada’s environmental advocates and the Moapa Band of Paiutes.

NV Energy, the plant's operator, says it retired the three 100-megawatt generators on Dec. 20.

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Happy New Year!

NSD NY Post

Hate crimes down, but stat can be deceiving

Las Vegas Sun
By Ana Ley
Dec. 28, 2014

The FBI recently released statistics showing hate crimes are down in Southern Nevada and across the country.

Metro, Henderson and North Las Vegas police departments reported 68 incidents in 2013, down 21 percent from the year before. Agencies nationwide reported 5,928 offenses last year, down 10 percent.

At face value, that sounds like good news, but experts warn the numbers can be deceiving.

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Students caught skipping school face driver’s license suspension starting Jan. 1

Las Vegas Sun
By Cy Ryan
Dec. 26, 2014

CARSON CITY –In Clark County, more than 120,000 students were reported truant during the 2013-14 school year. 

Now a statewide law will aim to reduce those numbers. Teens who continually skip school will face delay or suspension of their driver’s license, under a new law that becomes effective Jan. 1.

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Teens with too many unexcused absences risk not getting drivers license

8 News Now, KLAS-TV Las Vegas
By Sharie Johnson, Anchor/Reporter
By Mark Mutchler, Photojournalist
Dec. 18, 2014

LAS VEGAS -- Many teen drivers might think it's cool to ditch school, but a law going into effect on Jan. 1 may have them thinking differently.The new law will prevent teens with too many unexcused absences from getting their driver's license.

Senate Bill 269 or SB 269 takes a hard look at the attendance record of students under 18 who want to apply for a driver's license or a permit.  The teens have to submit a DMV 301 form and get it signed by their school showing that the student has had less than 10 unexcused absences.

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A State Senator’s Political and Personal Journey to Marriage Equality

Vegas Seven
By Lissa Townsend Rodgers
December 18th, 2014

This year’s landmark decision to repeal Nevada’s ban on gay marriage sent hundreds of same-sex couples marching down the aisle. Nobody was more thrilled to lead the way than Kelvin Atkinson.

Imagine the scales of justice. On one side: religious edict, social norm and legal precedent. On the other side: love. Even the most confirmed cynic knew how this battle was going to end. But the twists in Nevada’s roller-coaster ride to marriage equality were something nobody could have predicted.

The ride finally ended in October, when a legal ruling—many would argue a long-overdue legal ruling—opened the doors to same-sex marriage. Hundreds of couples, supported by loved ones of every sexual orientation, immediately and blissfully burst through those doors, while the Las Vegas tourism industry immediately and blissfully pounced on a new revenue stream. Amid the bouquets, boutonnieres and tears of joy, two things became clear: First, marriage equality, while enormously significant to the LGBT community, was never just a “gay issue.” Second, society at-large has finally accepted a fact that Nevada Senator Kelvin Atkinson has long known: “You don’t control your heart and who you fall in love with.”

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‘Money, money, money’ stressed in education reform talks

Las Vegas Review-Journal
By Trevon Milliard
December 17th, 2014

A lot of plans and not enough money.

That was the message running throughout Tuesday’s conversation for improving Nevada’s public schools, as stated by some of Nevada’s leading education officials and a reform-minded state lawmaker.

The state won’t waver in its devotion to its new academic standards — Common Core State Standards — as some would like to see happen as it has in other states, said Sen. Joyce Woodhouse, D-Henderson, chairwoman of the Legislative Committee on Education. But teachers need to be trained for bringing students up to these more rigorous standards, she said.

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Senator Aaron D. Ford Joins DLCC 2015 Board of Directors

Nevada Democratic Senate Leader joins board that will continue efforts to grow number of Democratic chambers and cut into Republican majorities

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 11, 2014) – At their annual winter meeting today, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) Board of Directors elected seven new Board Members and its national Executive Board officers for 2015.  Drawn from legislative leaders in every region of the country, the DLCC's Board of Directors is the national governing body of the organization. Its leaders are deeply involved in legislative campaigns in their states and drive Democrats' nationwide strategy to win elections in state legislatures.

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Nevada expects to be $162 million short of budget by July

Las Vegas Sun
By Michelle Rindels, Associated Press
Dec. 8, 2014

Gov. Brian Sandoval is again calling for changes to Nevada's tax system after receiving more bad news about the state budget.

Members of the Interim Finance Committee heard Monday that the state expects to be $162 million short of expectations by the end of the fiscal year in June. Gambling and mining tax revenues are lagging, and thousands more students are enrolled in public schools than projected.

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