Carson City, Nevada - Governor Brian Sandoval today announced that he will call the Legislature into Special Session beginning Monday, October 10th at 8 a.m. The proclamation detailing the agenda will be released on Sunday, October 9th. The Governor issued the following statement:
“My staff and I have had extensive discussions with legislative leadership and it’s time for the full body to begin its deliberations on the recommendations of the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee. Now is the time to capitalize on the opportunity before us to invest in Nevada’s most foundational industry, tourism, by providing for the infrastructure and public safety needs of the 21st century. As I have said before, we can and must usher in a new era for tourism in the Las Vegas market, while keeping our citizens and visitors safe, and ensuring our position as the global leader in entertainment and hospitality.
“In addition, the occasion of a special session offers an opportunity to come together as leaders and ensure stable funding for public education in the next biennium. The State’s fiscal staff is reviewing the budget requests submitted by executive branch departments, agencies and higher education. When the first draft is released next week there will be a shortfall based on current projections. Nevada is once again one of the fastest growing states in the nation and the demands of growth include more children in our schools and additional pressure on state services. This is not a new reality and we’ve previously experienced this during the budget building process. I’ve begun discussing this with legislative leadership and I am confident that we will come together to find bipartisan solutions. Because I am calling the legislature into a Special Session, I also see an opportunity to get ahead of our budget challenges. I will add language to the call of the session to ensure education funding is stable for the upcoming biennium and will recommend a minor adjustment to the lodging tax for a temporary solution supporting education. Additional changes to the lodging tax is not a normal course of action, however the Special Session presents a unique opportunity to protect Nevada education while we invest in tourism infrastructure. I am also asking that the legislature make an allocation adjustment to the governmental services tax.
“Passage of Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) set a national precedent for school choice and symbolized a significant step toward education equality for every student. I recognize the magnitude of this sweeping policy measure and consider it a major component of the reform package ushered in during the last legislative session. Protecting this program is a top priority for me. There is simply not enough time to add it to next week’s Special Session with full confidence that a rushed outcome will pass constitutional muster. I am therefore launching a new working group, spearheaded by ESA author and champion Senator Scott Hammond, and asking this group to produce a solution that will fix the problem and allow the thousands of waiting Nevada families to take control of their child’s education as soon as possible. Further, I have made the commitment that funding for this project will be included in my final budget recommendations for the upcoming biennium.”