Senate Votes No on Marijuana Tax Bill & Funds Education Without - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Senate Votes No on Marijuana Tax Bill & Funds Education Without ESA's

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On Thursday, the Senate voted on two closely watched bills: one proposing the marijuana tax structure and another that funds education without education savings accounts. Some are suggesting these votes were made because of political disagreements.

The marijuana bill, Senate Bill 487, as currently written, would have set tax rates for recreational marijuana, and adjust the tax structure for medicinal marijuana. Different taxes would have applied to marijuana products starting at growth and production. There would have been more taxes on the retail sales and those would have varied depending on whether it was medicinal or recreational.  

The vote needed a 2/3 majority to pass the Senate and the final vote was 12 for and 9 against. All those opposed were republican representatives.

In Governor Brian Sandoval's state of the state address, he asked for an additional tax on recreational sales, which is a key part of his budget. 

"I'm disappointed in the result and believed we had been negotiating with democratic leadership on ESAs and their priorities in good faith." Governor Sandoval wrote, "I understand why the republicans voted against the marijuana tax and any suggestion that their actions were anti-education is not correct."

Governor Sandoval mentions Education Savings Accounts.

ESA’s are relevant because by voting down the marijuana taxation bill, The Nevada Independent says that a hole of about $64 million dollars was created in the Distributive School Account. They say Democrats found that funding by voting on an education bill that excluded any money for Education Savings Accounts. 

Senate Bill 544 passed with 12 Democrats in favor. Not a single Republican was present for the vote.

The Assembly Republican Leadership said that regarding the future of ESA’s, the “Democrats have completely reneged on promises made.”

Mari St. Martin with the Governor's office says that Governor Sandoval has not yet decided if he will veto the K-12 budget. 

And as far as marijuana taxation goes, Will Adler with the Nevada Medical Marijuana Association says, “This is not the end.” He says that ultimately he is grateful this bill was discussed today and not late the night of the deadline. This gives them time in the session to bring up marijuana taxation in one way or another.


UPDATE: Senate Bill 544 passed in the Assembly on Friday, June 2nd. Read more on the controversial bill here

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