KUNR Today: Supreme Court says ranked-choice voting can go to ballot, not tax petitions or vouchers
Read or listen to news headlines for Friday, July 1, 2022.
The Nevada Supreme Court ruled on three major election cases Tuesday that reshape the November ballot. The ruling allows an initiative proposing open primaries and ranked-choice voting to proceed.
If voters approve in 2022 and again in 2024, primaries would be opened to all voters regardless of party registration. Voters would also have an opportunity to rank multiple candidates by preference during general elections. The initiative still faces staunch opposition from prominent Nevada Democrats, including Gov. Steve Sisolak.
Additionally, the rulings will void a measure proposing a voucher-style education program that would allow parents to use public funds to afford private schools. The court also ruled that a pair of ballot initiatives seeking to raise taxes, which were backed by the Clark County teachers union, can be withdrawn from this year’s ballot.
The rulings arrived just before a statutory deadline for groups to submit the necessary signatures to qualify an initiative for the November general election ballot.
Read more from this story at The Nevada Independent.
Nevada GOP governor candidate to pay for statewide recount
By The Associated Press, Report for America
A candidate for Nevada governor who lost this month's Republican primary election by just over 11 percentage points, or nearly 26,000 votes, will pay for a statewide recount after he objected to the outcome with numerous unproven claims about the election process. Reno attorney Joey Gilbert lost the GOP primary to Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo on June 14 amid a crowded field. He has since claimed that workers did not properly verify signatures or monitor ballots. County clerks and officials across the state have said that the election was conducted fairly. Gilbert will pay more than $190,000 for the process.
Sisolak’s executive order to help protect abortion seekers from out of state, along with in-state providers
By Michelle Billman
Gov. Steve Sisolak issued an executive order Tuesday to help protect people from out of state who are seeking abortions in Nevada, where the right to an abortion is codified in state law.
Under the order, state agencies cannot give information to other states identifying people getting or providing reproductive healthcare. At the same time, state commissions and boards are required to protect professionals in the health care field from being disciplined.
Additionally, Nevada will decline requests from other states to issue arrest warrants for people charged with violating the reproductive laws of those other states.
On Twitter, Sisolak said that reproductive health care is a basic human right and that his administration is committed to helping women in more restrictive areas safely access abortions and other services.
State to ensure universal free meals in public schools next school year
By Jose Davila
The State of Nevada is allocating $75 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to provide free school meals for all K-12 public school students for the next school year. According to the Nevada Department of Agriculture, the program will ensure students receive breakfast and lunch.
The state’s bicameral Interim Finance Committee recently approved the spending. State agriculture and education officials encourage parents to fill out a free and reduced lunch eligibility form when registering their children for school this summer so the state can receive future funding in line with need.
New bill to restrict housing income discrimination
Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto has joined her Democratic colleagues in introducing the Fair Housing Improvement Act of 2022. The bill expands on the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and prevents landlords from denying tenants housing based on sources of income.
That includes protecting residents who use Section 8, Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers, or benefits received through Social Security. More than 55,000 residents use federal rental assistance in Nevada. In states without protections, landlords can reject tenants who use federal assistance to pay their rent.
WCSD and WEA announce agreement providing stipends to educators
By Jose Davila
The Washoe County School District and the Washoe Education Association announced an agreement to provide stipends to district educators in recognition of their work since the pandemic started. Next school year, returning educators will receive $2,500, and educators hired for the upcoming school year will receive $1,500. The district is estimating it will use more than $6 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds and more than $4 million from its own general fund to complete the payments.