Nevada Legislature Latest: Tax extension passes without two-thirds majority
The Latest on the final day of the 2019 Nevada legislative session (all times local):
Senate Democrats have passed a bill extending a payroll tax by removing a requirement that mandates a two-thirds vote to pass.
The measure has shaped up to be one of the largest political fights in the last day of the 2019 legislative session. Republicans issued strong objections to extending the payroll tax, which Democrats say will put $72 million toward teacher pay raises and an extra $16.7 million to school safety efforts.
Republicans say they agree with supporting education, but argued the state has a surplus of money to fund the efforts.
The Senate Democrats passed the measure with a simple majority vote and did not sway any Republicans.
A measure that would have extended a payroll tax has failed to clear the state Senate after not receiving a two-thirds majority.
The Senate Democratic caucus argues the funds from the bill would go toward teacher pay raises and funds for school safety efforts. Democrats threw their support around the measure, but the legislation failed to pass with a two-thirds majority due to Republican opposition.
Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro argued lawmakers can choose between corporate tax breaks or funding education.
Republicans argue there is a surplus in the state budget to fund the efforts — an idea Cannizzaro pushed back on.
Nevada lawmakers entered their final day Monday of a legislative session in which Democrats enjoying expanded political power pushed through an array of liberal initiatives.
Before lawmakers adjourn at or before midnight, they must give final approval to a two-year state budget expected to total about $25.7 billion. They’re also expected to consider sprawling changes to the state’s criminal justice laws and a revamp of the way Nevada allocates education funding.
The tasks cap a session in which the Democrat-controlled Legislature, emboldened by an expanded majority and the state’s first Democratic governor in two decades, expanded voting rights, toughened gun laws and allowed state workers to collectively bargain.
The 2019 Legislature was also the nation’s first with an overall female majority who ushered in a bill to rewrite abortion rules.