2015 Legislative Update For Week of 3/9/15
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Weekly Update

 

Shovels Ready

Two bills restore school construction funding

NV Legislature hears overcrowding pleas, acts on crisis situation
This week, two bills regarding the rollover bond for school construction and improvements were signed into law. The bond is a 10-year extension of existing voter-approved property tax rates for school construction and does not increase taxes. 

SB119, the first bill relating to the school construction rollover bond, also removed the prevailing wage requirements from school construction projects for skilled workers. It was heard in the Assembly Government Affairs Committee work session last Tuesday. The bill did not receive enough support and died in committee. 

Then, SB207, a “clean” school construction rollover bond bill, was introduced as an "emergency bill.” It passed both the Senate and Assembly and was signed into law by the Governor on March 4. SB207 did not have the removal of prevailing wage requirement language in it.

After SB207 passed, the Assembly Government Affairs committee reconvened their work session and passed SB119 out of committee 8-6, without recommendation. It reached the Assembly floor for a vote and passed 23 to 19. The Governor signed SB119 into law last Friday. The language in both bills, related to school construction is redundant. However, the passage of SB119 returns the prevailing wage exemption to school construction projects.

HOPE members came out strong in support of the rollover bond and several testified before the Government Affairs committee. Our parent voice was heard and we will continue to to have an ongoing dialogue with upcoming bills that relate to our platform (see HOPE's Top 5 Goals below). 

HOPE members also sent messages of thanks to the legislators who put our children first, and we have received great feedback from Carson City on this type of support, as well. The legislators whose leadership pushed this bill through to become law are Senators Michael Roberson (
Michael.Roberson@sen.state.nv.us), Becky Harris (Becky.Harris@sen.state.nv.us), Ben Kieckhefer (Ben.Kieckhefer@sen.state.nv.us) and Assemblymen John Hambrick (John.Hambrick@asm.state.nv.us), and Paul Anderson (Paul.Anderson@asm.state.nv.us). These Legislators and Governor Sandoval (brian@briansandoval.com) deserve appreciation.

However, due to the ongoing overcrowding problems in Clark County School District, an announcement was made last Friday by CCSD regarding the addition of 11 more schools that are now on year-round status for the ’15-’16 school year. 

CCSD Community and Government Relations reports that a joint meeting of the Board  of School Trustees and the Bond Oversight Committee has been scheduled for Thursday, March 12 to discuss the impact of SB207 and to approve the initial two-year plan, allowing school construction on the first wave of projects to begin as soon as possible. The Shovels Ready list has not been made permanent yet; if you have an opinion regarding the priority of a school site in your area, reach out to your Trustee. Your opinion matters and they are listening.

Money Talks

Education budget discussions continue

On Tuesday March 3rd, the Senate Committee on Finance and Assembly Committee on Ways and Means Joint Subcommittees on K-12/Higher Education/CIPS heard the budget for the Office of Educator Effectiveness and Family Engagement, among others. The education budget hearings will continue to be heard on Tuesday March 17th.  


 

Follow Up

Assembly Bills Heard, moving forward

Assembly Committee on Education March 2nd work session: 

  •  AB30 adjusts how the state measures student achievement. State Superintendent, Dale Erquiaga  added an amendment to include literacy rates for students with limited English proficiency. The bill passed out of committee and awaits hearing on the Assembly floor.  

  • AB55 regards granting temporary teacher licenses of up to six months. The bill will be heard again on Monday. 

COMING UP THIS WEEK

  • 3/9 @ 3:15pm Assembly Committee on Education: AB206 addresses additional resources being provided to parents or guardians of a pupil in public school in relation to bullying.
  • 3/9 @ 3:15pm Assembly Committee on Education: AB165 establishes the Nevada Educations Choice Scholarship Program whereby Taxpayers of Payroll or Modified Business Taxes may receive tax credits for donation of funds for scholarships at non-profit private schools. In this work session, amendments may be made reducing total amount of contributions from $10 million to $5 million, giving preference to currently enrolled students and prioritizing students who qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL).
  •  3/9 @ 3:30pm Senate Legislative Operations and Elections: SCR1 creates an interim study concerning professional development of teachers and administrators.
  • 3/12 @ 5:30pm Joint meeting of CCSD Board of School Trustees and Bond Oversight Committee to discuss the impact of SB207 and approve the initial two-year plan.
  • 3/17 @ 7:30am: Newsfeed Breakfast on K-12 education, sponsored by the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce.

YOUR TWO CENTS

Contact legislators

Getting in touch with your legislators is easy and they really do want to hear from you. Your opinions help shape our laws. Don't forget to tell them you're a member of HOPE!
  • The Share Your Opinion page offers a form for one-stop communication with minimal effort and no searching for legislator contact information.
  • Contact members of the Senate and the Assembly directly. Each branch of the Legislature has all the contact information for its members listed on one page.

ON OUR RADAR

Educational bills worth mentioning

  • SB204: Relates to a safe and respectful learning environment and provides for protections related  to bullying and cyber-bullying in public schools. No meeting is scheduled yet.
  • Budget 101-2617: provides for the "sunset" of a temporary diversion of funds away from the Distributive School Account (DSA) and into the General Fund. The diversion is scheduled to end without renewal on June 30th, 2015. HOPE supports the sunset, which will allow the 3 percent room tax revenue to go back to the DSA, as was approved by taxpayers in the 2009 Initiative.

Stay informed with what's going on during the session by using the Nevada Electronic Legislative Information System (NELIS). It offers access to Bills, Budgets, and Committees, a useful Calendar, contact information for Senate and Assembly members, and you can also sign up for Personalized Legislative Tracking.

The spotlight
on policy change

HOPE's Top 5 Goals

What does HOPE want? We want to see change in areas that will improve the chances of a better education for our current and future students. Our platform is broad and inclusive:
  • Pre-K for under-resourced children
  • Universal full-day Kindergarten
  • Embedded and collaborative Professional Development
  • Funding Formula reform and a Stabilization Account
  • Rollover bonds for school construction and refurbishment

A voice for
Nevada's children

We all need HOPE!

HOPE is guided purely by the goal to provide the best education possible for all students in the state. Our parent advocacy group formed in 2014 to fill the void where family and community involvement was largely missing. Our membership allows us to offer a unified voice representing families and community members all over Southern Nevada. It also helps educate and inform local and state level decision-makers and legislators on specific needs of students and teachers in Clark County and beyond.

Share HOPE with your friends and ask them to sign up today to become a member — www.hopefornevada.org. With your support, we will always have HOPE for Nevada's students!

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