Legislative Session Winds Down, Lots of Work Left - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Legislative Session Winds Down, Lots of Work Left

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There are two weeks left in Nevada's 78th Legislative Session, with lawmakers working to finalize the budget. Governor Brian Sandoval is calling for $1.1 billion in new and extended taxes, over the next two years.  

Once again, education is a focal point at the legislature. Over the weekend, lawmakers approved Sandoval's proposed education budget.

"There's widespread agreement in this state that we have to do things for education that we haven't done before," Assemblyman Pat Hickey, (R) Reno said.

The education budget includes funding for all-day kindergarten and children with disabilities. It also funds as read-by-three and gifted and talented programs. Now, lawmakers have two weeks to approve a revenue package that requires a two-thirds majority vote.

"We're talking about a pretty sizable revenue package," Assemblywoman Teresa Benitez-Thompson, (D) Reno said. "So, it's going to be a hard lift and we can't take anything for granted, right now."

While there has been opposition to the Common Core standards, the educational plan will remain in place.

"You tell me you're educating my child, so let's see it and some actual test results," Benitez-Thompson said. "Then, as part, I can use these test results to see how my child is doing in math over the past two years. How are they doing in reading and comprehension?"

Funding for charter schools could also receive more discussion.

A full-fledged school choice bill for parents to be able to have children go to schools of their choice and money follow them may be a part of the end deal of this session," Hickey said.

A bill that would allow concealed weapons on college campuses still has life, but likely won't have enough support for senate passage. The debate on regulations on ride-sharing companies, like Uber, will likely continue.

"I'm not sure why it's so controversial but it's a big bill and it's still out there and we haven't quite finished it yet," Senator Greg Brower, (R) Reno said. "So, we will be taking that up in the next couple of weeks."

The Senate passed about 70 bills over the weekend. Hundreds more could still be voted on, between the two houses.

"We're trying to stay on top of all of the discussion when it comes to transportation, when it comes to energy, education, we have to make sure the policy is right," Marilyn Kirkpatrick, (D) Las Vegas said.

Lawmakers say they have found some savings in the budget process. Sandoval's proposed budget is $7.3 billion. We should know how the legislature's budget compares, later this week.

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