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KUNR Today: Nevada Colleges Getting Federal Funds, Nevada AG Calls For Expanded Voting Rights

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Alexa Ard
KUNR Public Radio

Here are your local news headlines for the morning of Thursday, May 13, 2021.

Nevada Attorney General Calls For Expansion Of Voting Rights
By Jayden Perez

Nevada’s Attorney General is among prominent Democrats urging Congress to pass a sweeping election reform bill, known as the For the People Act. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke in favor of the measure while on a press call Wednesday with other Democratic Attorneys General.

The measure would expand automatic voter registration and early voting, among a series of other changes. Ford said they’re all steps Nevada has already taken to protect access to the ballot.

“Some people are still out there trying to put up barriers to this right to vote. Fortunately, here in Nevada, we have some very progressive voting laws. We had a legislature that saw the importance of ensuring people could exercise their constitutional right to vote,” Ford said.

Ford did say voter fraud is an issue in limited circumstances. Although, as attorney general, he has only prosecuted one case of voter fraud. That case was related to the 2016 election.

Nevada Universities, Colleges Getting Federal Funds
By Jayden Perez

Nevada’s universities and colleges will get more than $200 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds. A bulk of the money will go to the University of Nevada, Reno and the College of Southern Nevada, as part of the American Rescue Plan. The rest will be split between the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the state’s remaining community colleges.

According to federal guidance, roughly half of the money is designed to help the institutions recover from the pandemic. The other half is earmarked for students who are facing hardships, such as homelessness and hunger.

Wyoming Joins Other Mountain West States In Ending Extra Unemployment Benefits
By Maggie Mullen, Mountain West News Bureau

Wyoming, Idaho and Utah just announced they’ll join Montana in opting out of the extra $300 a week for recipients of unemployment benefits. Republican governors in those states say the idea is to address workforce shortages.

In a statement, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon said, “Incentivizing people not to work is just plain un-American."

Jason Shogren is an economist at the University of Wyoming. He said ending the assistance will no doubt encourage some folks to return to jobs, but for some, it will make things a lot more difficult.

"I can imagine single parents who have not had to look for childcare this past year because they've been home and getting unemployment, it's going to be a double whammy on them," he said.

Shogren said raising wages would also encourage more hiring but would likely have other reverberations in the economy.

New Vacation House Rentals In El Dorado County May Have To Include 500-Foot Buffer
By KUNR Staff

El Dorado County officials are considering a measure that would require at least 500 feet between vacation home rentals. Accordingto the Tahoe Daily Tribune, El Dorado County Supervisors view the potential buffers as a way to spread the rentals across the Southern Tahoe Basin.

The county has cracked down on temporary rentals over the past several years, and last November the board instituted a cap on the number of rentals allowed in the basin. The board of supervisors is expected to get its first look at the language of the potential ordinance in mid-August.

Oakland Athletics May Move To Las Vegas
By KUNR Staff

The Oakland Athletics are eyeing Las Vegas as a potential new home. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reportsthe team is considering Vegas as one of six possible relocation sites.

They are considering the move due to issues related to the Oakland Coliseum. It’s the same reason the Raiders noted for moving to Nevada.

Maggie Mullen is a fifth generation Wyomingite, born and raised in Casper. She is currently a Masters candidate in American Studies and will defend her thesis on female body hair in contemporary American culture this May. Before graduate school, she earned her BA in English and French from the University of Wyoming. Maggie enjoys writing, cooking, her bicycle, swimming in rivers and lakes, and most any dog.
Jayden Perez is a former web producer and student reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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