Politics and Policy | KUNR

Politics and Policy

Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson and Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro at the Legislature on the twelfth day of the 31st Special Session in Carson City on Sunday, July 19, 2020.
David Calvert/Nevada Independent

Lawmakers in Nevada have officially slashed hundreds of millions of dollars from the state budget, closing a massive budget shortfall. KUNR’s Paul Boger has been reporting from the legislature and has this story.

An image of a boat in the middle of a beautiful, blue alpine lake in Glacier National Park.
National Park Service

The Department of Interior is proposing a rule change that could open the door for more private companies to operate within national parks.

Two hikers at the top of a peak in Yellowstone National Park.
National Park Service

As the pandemic wears on, leaders across the country are looking at how to economically recover after the COVID-19 pandemic. Some in the Mountain West are calling for more outdoor recreation spending.

KUNR

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak issued the formal proclamation to call the Nevada Legislature into a special session beginning on Wednesday, July 8 at 9 a.m. to address the historic budget shortfall. This is the 31st Special Session in Nevada’s history.

State representatives sitting in the Assembly Chambers.
David Calvert / The Nevada Independent

Lee en español.

Laws implementing a wide range of criminal justice reforms, establishing a state board responsible for regulating marijuana and creating a payday loan database took effect July 1, more than a year after the 2019 legislative session ended.

Video Stream: Nevada 31st Special Session

Jul 8, 2020
Alexa Ard / KUNR Public Radio

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak issued the formal proclamation to call the Nevada Legislature into a special session beginning on Wednesday, July 8 at 9 a.m. to address the historic budget shortfall. This is the 31st Special Session in Nevada’s history.

Governor Steve Sisolak sits at a podium at the state legislature.
Lucia Starbuck / This Is Reno

Lawmakers in Nevada are slated to gavel into a special session Wednesday morning to address a looming budget crisis. According to a report released by the Governor’s Office, Nevada is looking at a $1.2 billion deficit in the state’s general fund. 

A desert landscape in the foreground and mountains in the background.
Noah Glick

The U.S. Military could gain control over more than 1,300 square miles of public land in Nevada currently managed as a wildlife refuge under a bill passed by a congressional committee last week.

A worker trimming a cannabis plant at a cultivation facility.
Paul Boger / KUNR Public Radio

Starting this month, Nevada’s new Cannabis Compliance Board will take over regulatory authority of the state’s growing marijuana industry from the Department of Taxation. Originally proposed by Gov. Steve Sisolak last year, the new agency is now tasked, in part, with inspecting cultivation facilities, testing cannabis products and determining who can grow and sell cannabis in the state. KUNR’s Paul Boger spoke with Tyler Klimas, executive director of the board, to better understand what that transition means for Nevada.

A Washoe County Registrar of Voters employee holding a stack of submitted mail-in primary ballots.
David Calvert / The Nevada Independent

Lee en español.

Of the more than 490,000 ballots cast in Nevada’s primary election, 10,799 were unable to be counted statewide — most because of invalid signatures that voters failed to “cure.”

Element5 Digital / Unsplash

The voting process has long disenfranchised Native American communities. With the COVID-19 pandemic and mail-in voting exacerbating the problem, U.S. senators in the Mountain West and across the country are asking the federal government to make sure voters in Indian Country can cast ballots come November.

A person is grabbing a marijuana product from a display.
Jeff Scheid / The Nevada Independent

Lee en español.

State officials on Wednesday, June 17, formally forgave more than 15,000 misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions notched during the three decades before recreational cannabis was legalized in Nevada, although there’s still much for people to do to fully clear their slates.

A graphic pull quote from Holly Welborn, the policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, explaining that DACA recipients have lived in fear of being deported. They are relieved now, but there is work to be done.
Natalie Van Hoozer / KUNR

Lee en español. 

Last week the Supreme Court voted to uphold the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy,  which grants a two-year work permit and protection from deportation to nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. 

KUNR’s Natalie Van Hoozer spoke with Holly Welborn, the policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, to further understand the Supreme Court's decision.

A demonstrator is holding a handwritten sign and while looking away. The sign says We Are All Dreamers with an American flag taped to it.
Narumi Kobayashi

Lee en español.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court rejected the Trump administration’s attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. The decision impacts roughly 700,000 DACA recipients who were anxiously awaiting the news. 

Sirens atop law enforcement vehicle
Aaron Anderer / Flickr Creative Commons

As thousands are demonstrating against a pattern of police brutality toward Black people in the U.S., Congress is working to find legislative solutions to reform law enforcement.

Catherine Cortez Masto is one of the Democratic senators from Nevada and the former state attorney general. She spoke with KUNR’s Bree Zender on Wednesday about what can be done on the federal level.

A blank DACA immigration form.
Natalie Van Hoozer / KUNR Public Radio

The Supreme Court will decide whether or not to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA, as early as Thursday. DACA is a United States immigration policy that grants undocumented children brought to the U.S. at a young age a renewable two-year permit that protects them from deportation and grants them the opportunity to work legally. KUNR’s Stephanie Serrano spoke with Michael Shamoon, an attorney with UNLV’s immigration clinic, about the future of this program.

Various signs and artwork with positive affirmations. One sign in the foreground is legible and says you can change the world, girl.
Natalie Van Hoozer

As early as Thursday, the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. Also known as DACA, the immigration policy grants undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children an opportunity to obtain a renewable two-year work permit and protection from deportation.

Police Chief speaking at Town Hall
Screenshot / Town of Truckee Council TV via YouTube

The Truckee Police Department announced Thursday that its chief, Rob Leftwich, will retire.

This comes after Leftwich faced public criticism after sending a controversial email to other Town of Truckee employees, in which shared his perspective on the Black Lives Matter movement. In it, he claimed George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man killed by police in Minneapolis, was "not innocent."

A crew of firefighters walking through a forest.
USFS Gila National Forest

Wildfire season is upon us. As fire crews start heading out, politicians and the Trump administration are at odds over the measures needed to keep firefighters safe and on the job.

People waiting in a line next to orange cones to vote.
Paul Boger

6:16 p.m. | June 19, 2020
By Bree Zender

The mail-in ballots for Nevada's primary election have all been counted as of Friday. Northern Nevada filtered out many state assembly candidates in the process, as well as those running for a couple of seats in the U.S. Congress. 

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