KUNR Today: Anti-abortion group endorses Adam Laxalt, Western Democrats aim to update old mining law
Read or listen to the news headlines for Friday, May 13, 2022.
Senate race updates: Behind an anti-abortion group’s endorsement of Laxalt
By Jacob Solis
Senators and congressional representatives could be taking a more prominent role on the abortion issue as the Supreme Court is expected to overturn the protections of Roe v. Wade. Recently, U.S. Senate GOP candidate Adam Laxalt was endorsed by the anti-abortion group National Right to Life.
The Nevada Independent obtained a copy of the candidate questionnaire the group used to grade possible candidate endorsements. Though Laxalt’s responses remain unknown, the questionnaire included prompts such as this one, which has been abridged for clarity: “Do you advocate reversing and/or changing Roe v. Wade … so that elected legislative bodies … may once again protect unborn children by limiting and/or prohibiting abortion?” It also asked if they would support “repeal and replacement” of the Affordable Care Act.
Additionally, the questionnaire asked if candidates for Senate would vote to support only anti-abortion Supreme Court nominees.
During his time as attorney general, Laxalt joined multiple amicus briefs supporting attempts by conservative lawmakers in other states to severely limit abortion access. Later, while running for governor in 2018, Laxalt told KOLO-TV he would “look into” a possible referendum to undo Nevada’s constitutional abortion protections.
California governor backs plan to pay for some abortions
By The Associated Press
California Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing to use taxpayer money to help pay for abortions for those who can’t afford them. California already pays for some abortions through the state’s Medicaid program. But some women don’t qualify for Medicaid and don’t have private health insurance. Clinics will sometimes perform abortions for free when that happens.
Newsom on Wednesday proposed giving clinics $40 million in grants to help offset those costs. The money could potentially pay for abortions for women from other states who come to California for care. The U.S. Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade this summer.
Western Democrats aim to update old mining law
By Robyn Vincent, Mountain West News Bureau
Western congressional Democrats want to update the nation’s mining law, but it’s unclear if the 150-year-old measure will see an overhaul.
“Anachronistic” was the word several people used during testimony at a hearing this week. They were describing the mining law signed by President Ulysses S. Grant back in 1872. It hasn’t evolved since then and House Natural Resources Chair Raúl Grijalva wants to change that. He said the law was an instrument of dispossession for Native Americans.
“We can’t rewrite that history,” Grijalva said. “You can’t erase that history. But you can correct anything going forward.”
The Arizona Democrat introduced a bill that would mandate consultation with Native American tribes before allowing mining near tribal communities. Conservative lawmakers oppose the potential changes, which would also require mining companies to pay royalties for mines on federal lands. Meanwhile, a White House group is working on a plan to update the old mining law.
NYC mayor calls on ATF to yank ghost gun kit maker's license
By The Associated Press
New York City's mayor is calling on the Biden administration to yank the federal firearms license of a Nevada company that sells parts and kits for ghost guns, firearms without serial numbers that have been increasingly turning up at crime scenes around the U.S.
Mayor Eric Adams joined with gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety on Wednesday to publicly call for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to immediately revoke the license of a Polymer80, Inc., alleging the company has violated federal gun laws requiring background checks of purchasers and serial numbers, among other measures.
Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park reopens following roadway project
By Nick Stewart
This week, the Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park in Nye County has reopened after a roadway improvement project caused an extended closure. The goal of the project was to provide safer travel to visitors while also preventing resource damage during storm events.
Roadways throughout the park were improved through reconstruction and other tasks such as resurfacing. Additional features include a wider roadway, erosion control and low-water crossings.
State Parks Administrator Bob Mergell said the project was crucial to protect natural resources while also ensuring the safety of visitors to “one of Nevada’s most treasured state parks.”