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What's Next For Gov. Sandoval's Education-Boosting Budget

School room

Gov. Brian Sandoval's education-focused budget is moving ahead.

Governor Brian Sandoval’s education-focused budget made it through the state Senate intact this week.

But now his budget, which vastly increases funding for the state’s school system, heads to what is expected to be a fight in the Assembly.

Steve Sebelius, political columnist for the Las Vegas Review Journal, told KNPR’s State of Nevada the question isn’t whether the money will be approved but how the state will get that funding.

He said it could be through a modified business tax, a hike in the form of a flat fee business license tax or a progressive business license fee increase like the one proposed by the governor.

“The difference in philosophy is really what’s important and what comes out of Assembly is what’s going to be very interesting,” Sebelius said.

Sebelius said Nevada is one of only four states where business revenues are not taxed.

“Business revenue has never been taxed with the exception of the gross gaming tax we’re one of four states in the country that does not tax business revenue,” he said.

However, before the governor’s plan gets to his desk it must go through the Assembly where disagreements in the Republican Assembly Caucus have been very public.

“It is much more vicious and the personality conflicts are bubbling over to the surface this week when you saw one assembly member rise and instruct one of her colleagues to sit down in a very crude way,” Sebelius said.

For his part, Gov. Brian Sandoval says he's confident that the majority of his education proposals will make it through the Nevada Legislature.

The popular Republican governor proposed a number of K-12 programs and expanded funding as part of his two-year, $7.3 billion budget, with more than $1 billion in new and extended taxes.

The changes include adding teacher performance pay, creating tougher anti-bullying laws and holding back third-graders who don't meet reading requirements. 

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)


Steve Sebelius, columnist, Las Vegas Review-Journal

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Joe Schoenmann joined Nevada Public Radio in 2014. He works with a talented team of producers at State of Nevada who explore the casino industry, sports, politics, public health and everything in between.