KUNR Today: Nevada Lawmakers Pass New Tax On Mining, Bill Would Make Nevada First Primary State | KUNR

KUNR Today: Nevada Lawmakers Pass New Tax On Mining, Bill Would Make Nevada First Primary State

Jun 1, 2021

Here are your local morning news headlines for Tuesday, June 1, 2021.

Mining Tax Bill Passes On Last Day Of Nevada Session
By Paul Boger

Nevada lawmakers have approved a last-minute effort to increase taxes on Nevada’s gold and silver mines. AB495 creates a new excise tax on gold and silver producers with at least $20 million in gross profits annually.

The money collected through the tax is earmarked exclusively for education, with the money going straight to the new State Education Fund.

Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson, a Las Vegas-based Democrat, says this represents a compromise among lawmakers, teachers’ groups, and both the mining and gaming industries.

"We have been talking with the industry for a long time about what is the best way to have them contribute more," Frierson said. "I think the economic downturn and the revenue that mining was able to receive when the rest of the state was shut down, I think really, really heightened the need to have that conversation. And, I think they saw that as well."

Lawmakers and mining industry officials say the tax increase could generate as much as $85 million a year in state education funding. Of course, that amount is subject to market forces, meaning it could change based on the state of the economy.

Nevada Oks Bill In Try For 1st Presidential Nominating State
By The Associated Press

Nevada lawmakers have passed a bill aiming to make the state the first to weigh in on the 2024 presidential primary contests. The move on Monday upends decades of political tradition and is likely to prompt pushback from other early states that want to retain their places in the calendar. Nevada's bill still needs to be approved by Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak to become law. It also needs backing of the national parties.
 

The push for Nevada to jump past Iowa's caucuses and New Hampshire's longstanding first presidential primary follows a behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign led by former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Us Court Revives Lawsuit Against Private Prison In Nevada
By The Associated Press

A federal appeals court says the nation's largest private prison corporation can be held liable for negligence by a man who spent almost a year in solitary confinement at a Nevada facility without ever seeing a judge on marijuana-related charges. The 9th U.S. Court of Appeals on Friday resurrected Rudy Rivera's lawsuit claiming that CoreCivic failed to tell U.S. Marshals while Rivera languished in custody for 355 days at the prison outside Las Vegas.
 

The ruling reverses a federal judge's decision in 2017 that because Rivera was in federal custody, the company couldn't be held liable for what he went through in 2016.

Fire Insurance Could Make The Difference In Severe Wildfire Seasons
By Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

This year’s wildfire season is expected to be severe, and experts warn insurance could be the difference between replacing a lost home and not.

Just having insurance doesn’t guarantee you could afford to rebuild a lost house or replace lost items in a rental. Maybe zoning laws have changed since it was built, and you’d need to spend a lot more to rebuild it now, or perhaps you’ve bought new, expensive items or added an extra room.

Janet Ruiz is with the nonprofit Insurance Information Institute. She said if you live in a wildfire-prone area, you should talk with your insurance provider to make sure everything is covered.

“From what we’ve seen over those last five years, with more wildfires and more severe wildfires, that under-insurance has been one of the biggest mistakes people made,” Ruiz said.

Beyond that, insurers recommend taking videos and pictures of all the belongings in your home, and saving receipts. That’ll make it much easier to replace items with insurance if disaster strikes.

Fire Risk Soars Along With California Temperatures
By The Associated Press

Officials are urging residents to stay hydrated and find shade as temperatures soar across much of central and northern California. San Francisco could see temperatures in the 80s, while inland areas could top 100 as a high pressure system builds Sunday to Wednesday. Over 9 million people are under a heat advisory or excessive heat warning.
 

With the soaring temperatures comes an increased risk of wildfires in the state where vegetation is extremely dry after a winter and spring with relatively little rain and snow. California's power grid operator says it's not anticipating outages during the heat wave.

Nevada Governor Lifts Ban On Uber, Lyft Surge Pricing
By The Associated Press

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak is allowing Uber and Lyft to resume surge pricing, which was banned during the pandemic. The Democratic governor signed an emergency order late Friday restoring surge pricing immediately. App-based ride-hailing companies generally raise their prices during periods of high demand. But that's been banned during the public health emergency due to protections against price gouging during times of crisis.
 

Uber has said the loss of surge pricing led to a shortage of drivers because it depressed their earnings. The company last month urged users to pressure Sisolak to ease the restriction.