May 29, 2018
29 May 2018

Political Update – May 29, 2018

 

Why more funding won’t prevent future CCSD budget deficits

By Victor Joecks
Las Vegas Review-Journal
May 24th, 2018

When you don’t know what you’re talking about, use the children to send your message. That’s what adults upset over the Clark County School District’s budget problems have done.

“The school district is not paying teachers enough money, and that is hurting our teachers,” said Ryan Brady, 10, a fourth-grader at Stanford Elementary School. “That is also hurting the community, because you’re taking teachers away with budget cuts.”

Ryan was one of six students Wednesday supposedly upset about budget deficits. Be real. Adults — be they parents, teachers or union officials — turned these kids into media props. Being a cute 10-year-old might draw the cameras, but it doesn’t mean whoever wrote your script knows what they’re talking about.

In the short-term, there’s an obvious tension between Ryan’s two statements. If you pay teachers more, the school district — with limited financial reserves and no ability to raise its own revenue — will have fewer teachers.

The $68 million in budget reductions may be only the beginning, too. The district has yet to reach pay agreements with four of its five bargaining units — for the school year that ended Thursday. There’s also a pending $7 million award to support staff employees for work done during the 2012-2015 school years. The district appealed that a year ago.

Lose any of these decisions, and schools will have to use next year’s budget to pay employees for work they already did.

Quote of the week

 


Quote:

“Asked to raise their hands if they would pledge not to raise taxes if elected governor, Chris Giunchigliani and Steve Sisolak both stood stock still. 
– Ken Ritter
“Guns, minimum wage, taxes among topics in Nevada Democrats’ debate”.
Reno Gazette-Journal,
May 22nd, 2018.

Guns, minimum wage, taxes among topics in Nevada Democrats’ debate

Reno Gazette-Journal,
May 22nd, 2018

LAS VEGAS — Gun control, minimum wage and taxpayer support for a Las Vegas stadium were among the topics two top Democratic candidates for Nevada governor sparred about Monday during a live televised debate just three weeks before the primary.

Asked to raise their hands if they would pledge not to raise taxes if elected governor, Chris Giunchigliani and Steve Sisolak both stood stock still.

Giunchigliani called the tax question premature.

Sisolak said he couldn’t predict what will happen in the next four years.

Keystone’s Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.

Keystone’s Mission:

• To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor’s office.
• To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
• Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth.

P.O. Box 93596 | Las Vegas, NV 89193-3596

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May 22, 2018
22 May 2018

Political Update – May 22, 2018

   

  

Pew analysis: Nevada can operate for less than 4 days on its rainy day fund

 

By Bethany Blankley
Nevada Watchdog
May 17th, 2018

 

If Nevada was forced to rely solely on its rainy day fund, its state government could operate for fewer than four days, according to a new study from Pew Charitable Trusts.

"Nevada closed fiscal 2017 with $326 million in their total balances – enough to operate the state for 29.8 days," Jonathan Moody, a researcher at The Pew Charitable Trusts, told Watchdog.org. "This places the state slightly above the 50-state median of 29.3 days. However, the state’s rainy day fund held $38.9 million, or 3.6 days’ worth of operations. This total is below the 50-state median of 19.8 days for rainy day funds. Looking at just the rainy day fund, Nevada had the sixth fewest days’ worth of savings in their rainy day fund.”

Pew's report, "Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis", concludes that seven U.S. states have less than one week’s worth of operating funds, including Nevada.

“Nevada’s rainy day funds base deposits on when the state ends the year with a surplus," Moody said. "Of note, Nevada experiences considerably more revenue volatility – the state has the 22nd highest volatility score, meaning that there is more unpredictability in the state’s revenue from year-to-year.”

The Pew report provides a comprehensive analysis of a range of financial data for all 50 states. One aspect tracks both the “rainy day funds” and “total balances,” defining rainy day funds as the amount of money that policymakers set aside and total balances as the sum of rainy day funds and ending balances in a state’s general fund at the end of each fiscal year. Expected reserve balances are based on budget projections, which can differ by the end of the fiscal year.

“Reserves in rainy day funds – also called budget stabilization funds – were the largest component of states’ financial cushions in fiscal 2017,” the Pew report states. They accounted for more than $2 of every $3 of total balances, more than what states held before the Great Recession.

 



READ MORE HERE

 

 

Quote of the week


 

Quote:
"Despite a $1.5 billion tax hike in 2015, the legalization – and taxation of – marijuana in 2017 and an overall increase in government revenues since the low-point of the recession, politicians are not interested in promising less government and more savings," Schaus told Watchdog.org

- Bethany Blankley ,
"Pew analysis: Nevada can operate for less than 4 days on its rainy day fund"
Nevada Watchdog,
May 17th, 2018

EDITORIAL: More problems with lavish public pension costs

Las Vegas Review-Journal,
April 30th, 2018

Even some progressives are finally beginning to grasp how lavish public pensions crowd out government spending for other liberal priorities.

Last month, The New York Times shined a light on Oregon’s government retirement system, which includes more than 2,000 former workers who rake in six-figure pensions each year for life. One ex-worker, an eye surgeon who retired recently as head of the Oregon Health &Science University, takes home $76,111 — a month.

READ MORE HERE

 


 
 
 

Keystone's Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.
 

Keystone's Mission:

To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor's office.
    • To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
    • Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth

 

 
 
May 15, 2018
15 May 2018

Political Update – May 15, 2018

   

  

Nearly 60% of Clark County teachers were "chronically absent" last year, new data show

 

Nevada Policy Research Institute
May 1st, 2018

 

A staggering 10,553 Clark County School District teachers were “chronically absent” during the 2015-2016 school year, according to just-released data from the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

Absent for at least 11 school days throughout the year, these 10,553 chronically absent teachers accounted for 59 percent of CCSD’s total full-time teaching staff in 2016 — a rate that was more than triple the 19 percent of chronically absent teachers found at the median school district nationwide.

Because academic research has found a significant reduction in student learning when teachers are absent for more than 10 days of the school year, there has been an increased focus among policymakers and academics to better understand, and hopefully fix, this problem.

In 2017, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute found that teachers in public schools were almost three times as likely to be chronically absent as teachers in charter schools nationwide.

That analysis found that things were even worse in Nevada, with public school teachers being more than seven times as likely to be chronically absent than teachers in charter schools — the highest disparity of any state in the nation.

That disparity demonstrates the important role school choice programs can play in addressing educational issues that Nevada’s public schools have been unable — or unwilling — to tackle in the past.

“Students deserve — and need — their teacher to be in the classroom. It is simply unacceptable that nearly 60 percent of CCSD teachers are absent for 11 or more days of regular, classroom instruction,” explained Nevada Policy Research Institute Communications Director Michael Schaus.

“The dramatic difference between the levels of chronic teacher absenteeism at Nevada’s charter schools and public schools reaffirms the importance of introducing choice and competition into the public school monopoly.

“Instead of waiting for CCSD to finally fix this problem — keeping thousands of children captive to a failed system in the meantime — the Legislature should embrace the proven solution of school choice, which already enjoys widespread, bipartisan support among Nevada voters.

 



READ MORE HERE

 

 

Quote of the week


 

Quote:
Over the past 30 years, the federal tax burden has become significantly more progressive, with the 70 percent of all federal taxes paid by the top 20 percent of earners in 2013 representing a substantial increase from the 55 percent they paid 30 years prior.

- Robert Fellner,
"Union boss relies on falsehoods to make case for collective bargaining."
Nevada Policy Research Institute,
May 8th, 2018

Union boss relies on falsehoods to make case for collective bargaining

By Robert Fellner,
Nevada Policy Research Institute,
May 8th, 2018

In an opinion column for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Nevada State Employees Union President Harry Schiffman argues that collective bargaining should be extended to state government workers.

Because he stands to profit both personally and professionally from his proposal, it is unsurprising that Schiffman would be willing to play a bit fast and loose with the facts in an effort to make the most compelling — albeit disingenuous — argument possible.

READ MORE HERE

 


 
 
 

Keystone's Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.
 

Keystone's Mission:

To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor's office.
    • To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
    • Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth

 

 
 
May 8, 2018
08 May 2018

Political Update – May 8, 2018

   

  

Nearly 60% of Clark County teachers were "chronically absent" last year, new data show

 

NPRI
May 1st, 2018

 

A staggering 10,553 Clark County School District teachers were “chronically absent” during the 2015-2016 school year, according to just-released data from the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

Absent for at least 11 school days throughout the year, these 10,553 chronically absent teachers accounted for 59 percent of CCSD’s total full-time teaching staff in 2016 — a rate that was more than triple the 19 percent of chronically absent teachers found at the median school district nationwide.

Because academic research has found a significant reduction in student learning when teachers are absent for more than 10 days of the school year, there has been an increased focus among policymakers and academics to better understand, and hopefully fix, this problem.

In 2017, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute found that teachers in public schools were almost three times as likely to be chronically absent as teachers in charter schools nationwide.

That analysis found that things were even worse in Nevada, with public school teachers being more than seven times as likely to be chronically absent than teachers in charter schools — the highest disparity of any state in the nation.

That disparity demonstrates the important role school choice programs can play in addressing educational issues that Nevada’s public schools have been unable — or unwilling — to tackle in the past.

“Students deserve — and need — their teacher to be in the classroom. It is simply unacceptable that nearly 60 percent of CCSD teachers are absent for 11 or more days of regular, classroom instruction,” explained Nevada Policy Research Institute Communications Director Michael Schaus.

“The dramatic difference between the levels of chronic teacher absenteeism at Nevada’s charter schools and public schools reaffirms the importance of introducing choice and competition into the public school monopoly.

“Instead of waiting for CCSD to finally fix this problem — keeping thousands of children captive to a failed system in the meantime — the Legislature should embrace the proven solution of school choice, which already enjoys widespread, bipartisan support among Nevada voters.

 



READ MORE HERE

 

 

Quote of the week


 

Quote:
These 10,553 chronically absent teachers accounted for 59 percent of CCSD’s total full-time teaching staff in 2016 — a rate that was more than triple the 19 percent of chronically absent teachers found at the median school district nationwide.

- NPRI,
"Nearly 60% of Clark County teachers were "chronically absent" last year, new data show."
May 1st, 2018

Gilman touts Trump's new 'Opportunity Zones' as critical for investment & development in Nevada

By Ray Hagar
Nevada Newsmakers
April 25th, 2018

A new federal program that came from President Trump's tax cuts could help spur investment in development in Northern and Southern Nevada, Lance Gilman, the broker/partner of the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Complex said Tuesday on Nevada Newsmakers.

"You are going to see a tremendous change with capital flowing into our (Nevada) markets," Gilman said.

The program, created under the recently passed federal legislation known as The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, allows tax breaks for qualified investors who wish to re-invest unrealized capital gains in low-income areas, called "Opportunity Zones."

READ MORE HERE

 


 
 
 

Keystone's Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.
 

Keystone's Mission:

To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor's office.
    • To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
    • Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth

 

 
 
May 1, 2018
01 May 2018

Political Update – May 1, 2018

   

  

COMMENTARY: Second round of tax cuts would be good for Nevada

 

By Peter Guzman
Las Vegas Review-Journal
April 21st, 2018

 

President Donald Trump and Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, the House’s top tax writer, recently announced that Republicans are working on a second round of tax cuts. In the president’s words: “It’s going to be something very special. Kevin Brady’s working on it with me.”

If that’s the case, Nevadans should rejoice.

A key part of the plan is to extend the individual tax cuts that are set to expire in 2025, giving millions of Americans tax relief for the next decade and beyond. Nine in 10 middle-class taxpayers are on track to receive relief this year, with an average savings of roughly $2,000. Let’s let the gift keep on giving.

If designed to help job creators, a second round of tax cuts would continue to help small businesses invest in growth opportunities and reward their hardworking employees. To date, more than 500 U.S. employers have announced pay raises, bonuses and other employee benefits since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed, benefiting more than 4 million working Americans. Not only are workers seeing greater take-home pay from lower rates, but job creators are taking advantage of their lower rates to provide additional relief — from higher salaries to 401(k) hikes. This compound effect has rejuvenated our economy.

Nevada is no exception. Ely’s Prospector Hotel & Gambling Hall recently gave its employees a $500 bonus and raised starting wages to $12 per hour. Construction ramped back up on the Fontainebleau resort (now The Drew Las Vegas), which could result in 10,000 new jobs. HBM Technology Partners, Junk King Reno, Kalb Industries and countless other employers have announced renewed investment in their businesses and the people working for them. Even Apple broke ground on a new facility in Reno, exposing our state to more high-tech career opportunities.

Another round of tax cuts is sure to boost consumer spending. Last month, U.S. consumer confidence hit a 14-year high, in large part because lower taxes have yielded larger budgets. Even lower-income Americans have become more optimistic under President Trump, who has strived to give them more purchasing power. According to The Wall Street Journal, “optimism improved markedly for households in the bottom third of income distribution.”

Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com, claims the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will increase consumer spending over the long haul and bolster Americans’ savings accounts. With an increase in spending and saving, what’s not to love?

Our consumer economy is driven by customers’ purchasing power. When they can spend more on goods and services, our economy grows. And when they can save more of their earnings, our nation’s financial health improves.

A lower tax burden only accelerates the process. Instead of funneling more money to Washington, D.C., and unelected bureaucrats, tax cuts put money into the hands of those who actually drive our economy. They also incentive employees to work even harder. If you know the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act makes your paycheck larger, you’ll work longer hours and go the extra mile to secure raises and promotions. When your money ends up in the Washington swamp, what’s motivating you to earn more of it?

 



READ MORE HERE

 

 

Quote of the week


 

Quote:
Whether you are in a city such as Las Vegas or in rural Nevada, tax cuts do not discriminate. Whether you’re a small-business owner or an employee, chances are the Republican tax law will help you — if it hasn’t already.

- Peter Guzman,
"COMMENTARY: Second round of tax cuts would be good for Nevada."
Las Vegas Review-Journal
April 21st, 2018

Nevada transparency site graded B for accessibility

By Ramona Giwargis
Las Vegas Review-Journal
April 30th, 2018

When it comes to shedding light on state spending and making those details accessible to taxpayers, Nevada ranks near the top of the class.

A new study by the United States Public Interest Research Group Education Fund ranked transparency websites for all 50 states based on content and user-friendliness. Nevada was tied for 10th nationally and scored a B for making its open government site informative and easy to navigate.

READ MORE HERE

See full size invitation here

 


 
 
 

Keystone's Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.
 

Keystone's Mission:

To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor's office.
    • To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
    • Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth