Now that the 73rd Session of the Nevada Legislature has concluded its business, I want to share some thoughts and information about the session. The session was largely characterized by a bipartisan willingness to conduct and complete the state's business. I am very proud to have played a part in this bipartisanship effort.
It was in this spirit that we passed property tax relief legislation which ensures that owners and occupants of single-family homes will see no greater than a 3 percent increase in this year's property tax bill. This is especially important to protect our seniors from losing their homes due to the previously expected increases. All other property in Carson City will be capped at 5.4 percent.
As chairman of the Assembly Committee on Education, I was proud to help guide important pieces of legislation through the process. With nearly unanimous bipartisan support in both houses, we passed legislation to phase in full-day kindergarten in at-risk schools. Funding for innovation such as career technical education, gifted and talented programs, and alternative placement for disruptive students will be available. We put safeguards in this legislation that require oversight to ensure our tax dollars are being spent on programs that work.
Other key education legislation that passed includes a pay-for-performance option for teachers, school district audits, and charter school legislation.
I voted for a one-time reduction of gross payroll taxes by .02 percent for non-financial businesses and exempting one branch per bank per county from the $7,000 annual fee. Legislation also passed to use untapped federal funds to help small businesses provide health insurance to their employees. I was proud to support funding for a 2 percent salary increase for the first year of the biennium and a 4 percent for the second year for our public employees.
Tourism and our local economy will benefit from legislation I supported to fund the V&T Railroad, the Nevada Railroad Museum, and the Nevada State Museum. Bills passed that update infrastructure for the water supply from Marlette Lake and fund Fire Safe Councils, which many residents affected by the Waterfall Fire have joined.
I was pleased to sponsor legislation on behalf of Carson City resident DeeDee Petrilena to strengthen boat safety and for the Carson City Sheriff's Department in adding vulnerable persons to the existing elderly abuse statutes. I also worked with Chuck Saulisberry in his successful quest to simplify tax requirements for small plane operators.
Even though the legislative session is over, my commitment and responsibilities to you continue. If I haven't touched on an issue important to you, please feel free to call. As always, I am available to answer questions and help out in any way I can. You can reach me at home at 883-4234 or by e-mail at email@example.com. It was an honor to serve you this past session and I look forward to working with you in the interim.
Bonnie Parnell, a Democrat, represents Carson City in the Nevada Assembly.