The Nevada Assembly has effectively abandoned a controversial measure that would’ve allowed the Clark County School District to donate unspent school funds toward a $1.2 billion state budget hole caused by the coronavirus.
Assembly Bill 2 was left to die on the chief clerk’s desk just two days after a series of combative floor exchanges with district Superintendent Jesus Jara, who was grilled by lawmakers worried about sweeping funds from schools already facing $163 million in spending cuts.
Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson, D-Las Vegas, on Saturday accused Jara of backing away from the measure after it had already been approved for the special session agenda laid out by Gov. Steve Sisolak.
“You don’t get to light a firecracker and run just before it goes off,” he added.
Frierson expects the Assembly to take up a pair of Senate measures later this afternoon.
Day five of Nevada’s 31st special legislative session will see
State senators on Monday were expected to take another look at a measure that would stall or scrap at least a dozen major construction projects in an ongoing effort to dig the state out of a $1.2 billion budget hole caused by the coronavirus.
The proposal, filed as Senate Bill 1, is scheduled to be heard during a Monday work session that will also feature a reexamination of Senate Bill 2, which would permit the Nevada Board of Regents to waive Millennium Scholarship requirements for students “negatively impacted during the pandemic.”
Lawmakers took Sunday off after holding lengthy Saturday hearings on state worker furloughs recommended by Gov. Steve Sisolak, along with a controversial proposal that would temporarily fast-track the collection of taxes owed by mining companies.
The Legislature is yet to schedule a vote on those bills.
Sisolak last week released a 40-page budget-repair blueprint centered around “deep cuts in services and proposals.” The plan leaves it up to the Legislature to decide whether to pursue “augmentation of existing revenue sources” via tax increases.
If and when legislators succeed in cleaning up the COVID-caused budget mess, the governor has said he will “issue a subsequent proclamation for the Legislature to consider policy items that rise to the extraordinary occasion of a special session.”
Those items are widely expected to include reforms to the state’s criminal justice system, along with major changes to the state’s embattled unemployment office.
James DeHaven is the politics reporter for the Reno Gazette Journal. He covers campaigns, the Nevada Legislature and everything in between. Support his work by subscribing to RGJ.com right here.