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Budget committee passes surprise ‘premium holiday’ for public employee health plans

May 7th, 2021 - 4:56pm
Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton (D-Las Vegas), chair of the Ways and Means Committee, announced a plan during a Friday joint budget meeting to give participants in the Public Employees Benefits’ Program (PEBP) a one-month “premium holiday” during which enrollees don’t have to pay their share of their health insurance costs. That would apply to about 44,000 active and retired public employees, according to legislative staff.

Legislative panel approves higher education budget cuts with coming federal aid, additional state funds in limbo

The Legislature on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020 during the third day of the 32nd Special Session in Carson City.
May 7th, 2021 - 2:00am
Despite revised state tax revenue projections amounting to more than $586 million over the biennium and expected billions in federal coronavirus relief, lawmakers nonetheless moved forward with approving $169 million in cuts to the state’s higher education system on Thursday.

Legislative Coverage

Check out our comprehensive, wall-to-wall coverage of the 2021 Legislature

Lawmakers approve doubling size of state pension plan’s investment team to two

May 6th, 2021 - 9:30am
Members of a joint budget committee on Monday approved closing the state employee pension system’s budget with the addition of a new investment officer alongside Edmundson to help manage PERS’s $54 billion in assets. The new position comes with a base annual salary of $189,222 along with benefits, paid for by PERS administration fees.

Nevada Recovery Dashboard

As the state’s economy continues its recovery, The Nevada Independent will track the most important economic indicators across the state on this page, including unemployment numbers, gaming revenue and housing prices.

Bill would expand anti-discrimination protections to digital sphere

Assemblyman Howard Watts wearing a great sport coat and green tie while wearing an animal print face mask
May 6th, 2021 - 9:00am
But in Nevada and many other states, those protections do not explicitly extend to the digital realm. During a Senate Commerce and Labor Committee meeting on Monday, Assemblyman Howard Watts (D-Las Vegas) said he is looking to change that with AB207, a bill clarifying that Nevada's public accommodations law also applies to e-commerce.

Veterinary telemedicine hearing goes off the rails amid confusion, amendments

May 6th, 2021 - 2:00am
The bill’s intent is straightforward — allow licensed veterinarians to practice telemedicine only after an in-person examination of an animal. Under the proposed bill, veterinarians would not have to examine every member of a herd to consult with a veterinarian, and a doctor with access to medical records could also consult on a case via remote communication.

Sisolak: Higher tax revenue and federal dollars will help ‘transform’ state, but many details remain unclear

May 5th, 2021 - 3:30pm
Sisolak delivered prepared remarks and spoke to reporters briefly on Wednesday, just a day after the state’s Economic Forum released new revenue forecasts estimating that taxes flowing into the state’s general fund will be about $910 million more than initial forecasts in December — including a $586 million upward revision for the upcoming two-year budget.

Progressives, industry representatives debate health care affordability, access during high-profile public option hearing

Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital staff gather in the emergency room area in Elko
May 5th, 2021 - 2:00am
There is near-universal agreement that the state of health care in Nevada leaves something to be desired. Where there is less agreement, though, is what should be done about it.

With faster-than-expected recovery, Nevada projected to have $586 million more to spend in next two years

A tree in front and the Nevada Legislature building behind it
May 4th, 2021 - 4:29pm
The revised forecast is a marked improvement from the Economic Forum’s last revenue forecast from December, when the five-member panel of appointed economists and analysts projected general fund revenues of $8.5 billion over the next two years — down about half a billion dollars from the prior budget cycle. This time, the Forum projected $4.4 billion in the fiscal year that starts in July, and $4.7 billion for the following fiscal year, for a total of $9.1 billion in the next biennium — a $586 million upward revision.

After arguments, decision likely coming soon on long-simmering payroll tax, DMV fee lawsuit filed by GOP senators

Photo of the top front of the building with the words Supreme Court of Nevada
May 3rd, 2021 - 4:27pm
Justices made no ruling on Monday, but beyond the constitutional questions, a decision to uphold the district court’s ruling last September in favor of Senate Republicans could have major implications for lawmakers crafting the state budget this session. The extended payroll tax rate being challenged in the lawsuit brings in tens of millions of dollars in state tax revenue — meaning legislators could soon be facing a large budget hole with just weeks left in the session.

Rep. Dina Titus denies she is aiming for ambassadorship, signals support for death penalty repeal

May 3rd, 2021 - 2:38pm
Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) on Monday denied reports that she is interested in leaving her House seat to become an ambassador in the Biden administration, calling them "rumors" and saying she is focusing on serving the needs of her constituents.

Additional cuts coming to taxicab authority, amid ride decline blamed on pandemic, ride-sharing apps

May 3rd, 2021 - 10:00am
Steep declines in taxicab rides — annual double digit decreases over the last six years, culminating with a 62 percent revenue drop in the 2021 fiscal year — spells bad news for the state’s largely fee-funded Taxicab Authority, which oversees and regulates the industry in Clark County (taxi operations in other counties are overseen by the Nevada Transportation Authority).

Lawmakers push to fund statewide sexual violence support services through marriage license fee increase

State Senator Julia Ratti speaks with Secretary of the Senate Claire Clift
May 3rd, 2021 - 9:30am
Though existing marriage license fees support domestic violence services throughout the state, there is no statewide funding source for sexual violence services. Only the Rape Crisis Center of Las Vegas receives a 15 percent carve-out from marriage license fees for sexual assault services.

Change in state pre-kindergarten funding method could be on the horizon

May 3rd, 2021 - 9:00am
The subcommittee gave preliminary approval for two things — total funding of $19.8 million in each year of the upcoming biennium for entities participating in the state pre-kindergarten program as well as a methodology change for allocating those funds.

Follow the money: Breaking down $2.8 million in combined legislative campaign spending from major industries

The Nevada Legislature building
May 3rd, 2021 - 2:00am
In the last installment of our legislative "Follow the Money" series for 2021, we break down more than $2.8 million in legislative campaign spending from more than a dozen major industries.

There’s one month left in the session. Here’s where the Legislature is on taxes, the death penalty and more.

May 2nd, 2021 - 2:00am
Outside of the budget, legislators are beginning their typical ritual of rolling out ambitious bills in the waning days of the session, including a state-based public health insurance option, fixes to the oft-criticized unemployment insurance system, and a major transmission and electric vehicle omnibus bill.

Democrats rejecting GOP bill to modernize unemployment system, say project should wait for federal funds

April 30th, 2021 - 5:33pm
“There's a $40 million price tag associated with that bill they introduced,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chris Brooks (D-Las Vegas) said in an interview on Friday. “They don't have any $40 million ideas for revenue.”

Advocates say taxing, regulating companies such as Airbnb could raise millions in taxes; opponents say it could hamper industry

April 30th, 2021 - 2:00am
AB363, sponsored by Assemblywoman Rochelle Nguyen (D-Las Vegas) and heard Thursday in the Assembly Revenue Committee, would establish requirements, rules, enforcement mechanisms and tax collection methods for short-term rentals brokered by companies such as AirBnB, Vrbo and other third-party services that rent out rooms, apartments and homes for a short period of time.

On ‘Denim Day’, lawmakers support sexual assault survivors while pushing for sexual violence reform

April 29th, 2021 - 10:30am
But lawmakers and advocates with the Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence said Wednesday that the denim was more than a solidarity fashion statement — it also provided a real opportunity to highlight bills this session aimed at curbing sexual misconduct and violence.

Lawmakers again propose streamlining ‘random’ interim committee process

April 29th, 2021 - 10:00am
Clearing up that interim work schedule — the last interim period saw 21 statutory committees, 7 study committees and 41 non-legislative committees — is the point of AB443, which was heard for the first time last week in the Assembly Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections (the measure was exempted from legislative deadlines).

Nevada Recovery Dashboard

The Nevada Independent will track the most important economic indicators across the state on this page.

What Happened Here: A six-part series on COVID-19 in Nevada

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