Politics and Policy

State of Nevada website

In his State of the State address, Republican Governor Brian Sandoval promised bold action for Nevada’s struggling education system and outdated tax structure:

We live in a state that is transforming before our eyes – with 21st Century companies, jobs and technologies that place us at the forefront of innovation and the new economy. Yet we still operate with decades-old funding systems and an education structure that will eventually grind us to an inevitable halt.”

Governor Brian Sandoval

Governor Brian Sandoval is calling for more than a billion dollars in revenue to fund Nevada's education system. That was among the many ambitious proposals the governor laid out in his State of the State address last night. Reno Public Radio's Will Stone has more.

From the very first minutes, Governor  Brian Sandoval wasn't just speaking to today's Nevada, but to a future one, where education and the economy no longer hold the state back.

gov.nv.gov

On the state capitol steps in Carson City Monday, Governor Brian Sandoval was sworn in for his second term after a landslide victory in November. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that several other Republican leaders joined him to take their oaths as constitutional officers for Nevada.

The ceremony was actually the only inaugural program in the country presented entirely by children. Kids emceed the event and performed poetry, music, and prayer, including a violin duo who played the state song "Home Means Nevada."

The head of a northern Nevada civil rights group says the incoming state Legislature should legalize marijuana for recreational use instead of leaving the question up to voters in November 2016.

In September, Jeffrey Blanck, president of the Reno/Sparks chapter of the NAACP, sent a letter to legislators that highlighted an ACLU study finding blacks are more likely than whites to face arrest and prosecution for marijuana possession.

Airman 1st Class Jamie Nicley / U.S. Air Force

After six years as Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid is leaving that post, now that Republicans control that chamber. Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell will soon step into that role while Reid transitions to leading the minority. Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss caught up with Reid just after the Senate wrapped up its session this week to look back on his tenure, including the recent passage of several Nevada lands bills.

City of Reno

From a pool of 74 applicants, the Reno City Council chose David Bobzien as its newest member. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss caught up with the former state assemblyman to learn about his immediate priorities for the post, which include bolstering the city's role in improving public education.

Members of the Reno City Council have unanimously selected Democratic Assemblyman David Bobzien as their newest member, filling the at-large seat left vacant when Hillary Schieve was elected mayor last month.

They made the decision Wednesday night after spending several hours interviewing their top six candidates. The original pool of applicants topped seventy people.

Bobzien has represented Assembly District 24 since 2006. That district covers downtown Reno, along with several other sections of the city.

The Reno City Council could decide Wednesday on its newest member. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that the group is interviewing candidates for the at-large council seat recently vacated by Hillary Schieve, who was elected mayor last month.

The council will interview 13 candidates who were selected as finalists from an original pool of more than seventy applicants.

Learn more here about the open council seat.

Recount confirms Kirner's victory over Krasner

Nov 20, 2014

A recount has upheld Assemblyman Randy Kirner's 11-vote victory over fellow Republican Lisa Krasner.

County Registrar Luanne Cutler says the recount ended Friday when the Reno lawmaker's margin of victory held up after votes in seven precincts of Assembly District 26 were recounted.

A recount of all votes would have followed had officials found a discrepancy of 1 percent or five votes in any of the sample precincts.

The recount was requested by Krasner. Officials had estimated it would cost her campaign $2,000.

Original Story:

The White House

The number of unauthorized immigrants in Nevada has dropped by roughly 20,000 people between 2009 and 2012. That's according to a new study just released from the Pew Research Center. Despite that decline, Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that Nevada still has the highest percentage of this population nationwide.

More than 7 percent of Nevada residents, or about 210,000 people, are in the country illegally. Other states with a large share of  unauthorized immigrants include California, Arizona, and Texas. 

A candidate for a Northern Nevada assembly seat is asking for a recount. Republican Lisa Krasner lost to Randy Kirner in this election by only 11 votes.

Lisa Krasner continues to shake up the political landscape in Northern Nevada. First, she ran against fellow Republican and incumbent Randy Kirner in the general election to the dismay of some in her party. Now, she’s not stepping aside until she’s sure she lost.

Nevada could be next in line to legalize pot

Nov 13, 2014

An initiative to allow recreational marijuana in Nevada has gained enough signatures to go on the ballot next election. 

 

It was a good election year for supporters of legalizing pot. Voters in two states and Washington D.C. passed laws allowing recreational use of the drug. While it wasn't on the ballot in Nevada, plenty of people plan to vote for it here come 2016.  

"We turned in just over 200,000 signatures."  

As GOP looks ahead to 2015, Dems get nervous

Nov 7, 2014

 

Republicans pulled off an unprecedented win this election, seizing control of both the state senate and assembly. Now, they’re starting to put together their wish list for the upcoming legislative session.

You know that feeling when you finally get to sit in the driver's seat after years of waiting?

That seems to be the mood of most Republicans these days, Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey (R-Reno) included.

“Sometimes I’m wondering if this is all a dream and I’m going to wake up back in a far distant reality where we were not in the majority.”

As Republicans were celebrating last night, more than a hundred Washoe democrats gathered at a pizza joint in Reno. Despite the number of concession speeches their candidates ended up making throughout the evening, crowd members managed to keep up their energy and optimism.

"We really don't get down in the dumps. We just pull up our boots and start working on the next election."

Hillary Schieve is Reno's new mayor

Nov 5, 2014

Despite having the backing of outgoing Reno Mayor Bob Cashell, Ray Pezonella was defeated last night by Hillary Schieve. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that Pezonella had been cast as the "status quo" candidate and voters decided that staying the course was not the right path.

You can find all Nevada election results here or Washoe County results here.

GOP sweeps Midterm Election in Nevada

Nov 5, 2014

Like much of the country, Republicans swept races in Nevada last night. Reno Public Radio's Will Stone reports.

You can check out all Nevada election results here or Washoe County results here. Also, Will Stone's in-depth interview with Political Scientist Fred Lokken offers analysis on what the GOP's many victories mean for Nevada. 

Now that the polls have closed, Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss talks to fellow reporter Will Stone about voter turnout and the GOP's edge statewide.

Republicans across the state continue to outpace Democrats in voter turnout. Overall, statewide turnout is about 36% so far. Given those numbers, Reno Public Radio’s Will Stone reports Democrats here are in danger of losing most of the statewide races and the state senate. 

And Michelle Bliss reports, at polling spots in Reno, most voters have been focused on local races and ballot questions.

Hear Lauren Scott campaign and she sounds like most Republicans—keep taxes low, promote economic development, support the governor. But, unlike the typical GOP candidate, she spent years fighting for LGBT rights in Nevada.

“In the North, it’s a little bit of an oxymoron—a gay Republican—but, down South, it does seem to be a growing group. Nationally, they are very well-known. I do have their endorsement.”

It may seem odd that the most expensive and watched race of this election is for attorney general, but a quick look at the last names of the two candidates clears up why that is.

On the Democratic ticket is second-term Secretary of State Ross Miller—the son of former Nevada Governor Bob Miller. He’s facing off against Republican Adam Laxalt, the grandson of former Senator and Governor Paul Laxalt.

University of Nevada, Reno

Funding for Nevada's Millennium Scholarships is slated to run out in the next several years. The program is overseen by the state treasurer, a post that's up for grabs this election, and both major party candidates agree these scholarships are critical to maintain for Nevada families. But Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports they offer different ideas for keeping the program alive.

Pages