50°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Muth: Gov. Sandoval to ESA parents and children: Pound sand!

Investor’s Business Daily dubbed Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval as “America’s Worst Governor” for his $1.4 billion tax hike last year – the largest in state history – which included a new business income tax that 80 percent of Nevada voters had rejected at the polls just six short months earlier.

This week the highly-respected Cato Institute gave Sandoval an “F” on its report card for his fiscal irresponsibility – the same grade that California uber-liberal Gov. Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown received.

With that in mind, Sandoval has now called for a special session of the Legislature to approve a funding program for the construction of a much-needed new multi-purpose domed stadium in Las Vegas.

Funding for the stadium could come from the EXISTING revenue generated by the tourist room tax on Las Vegas hotels and resorts – which is exactly the kind of project that tax was created for in the first place.

Unfortunately, Sandoval’s plan is to RAISE the room tax in order to also fund an expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center – which competes with private Las Vegas convention facilities at subsidized, below-market rates. And if that’s not bad enough, get this…

The only really good thing the Republican-majority Legislature did last year was approve the creation of a new voucher-like school choice program called Education Savings Accounts (ESA). Liberals and the teachers union then sued to block the program, arguing the ESAs violated the separation of church and state doctrine.

The Nevada Supreme Court recently rejected that argument. But in an absurd ruling that could only come from government, the Court declared that the EDUCATION Savings Accounts couldn’t be funded from – are you ready for this? – the EDUCATION budget!

Ridiculous. Asinine.

Nevertheless, Sen. Scott Hammond, author of the program, said that technicality could easily be fixed. After all, we’re only talking about finding roughly $17 million to fund the program for the remainder of this budget cycle from a total budget of around $10 BILLION dollars.

That’s like winning $10,000 on a slot machine and needing to find $17 to buy a “Make America Great Again” baseball cap.

State Treasurer Dan Schwartz could find that $17 million in the government’s sofa cushions. State Controller Ron Knecht could find it in his sleep. Conservatives in the Legislature could find it in a New York minute.

So all Sandoval needed to do was add this item to the special session agenda and some 8,000 Nevada families who have already signed up for the ESA program could immediately get the school choice assistance they’ve been promised and the Court has found constitutional.

But Sandoval has shamefully decided NOT to include fixing the ESA funding problem during the special session. Which means the program could be killed completely next session if Democrats regain majority control of the Legislature in November.

America’s Worst Governor, indeed.

Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach and publisher of NevadaNewsandViews.com

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
COVID-19 and how residents are ignoring the self-quarantine

Some residents of Nevada ignore the call for voluntarily self-quarantining and social distancing. There are still a lot of people out in the community, and traffic on the roads is still substantial. If you make a quick trip to pick up essentials at the grocery store, you will see that stores are still being overrun by shoppers madly searching for the ever-elusive rolls of toilet paper and paper towels. Head into a big box hardware store to pick up repair parts, and shoppers fill the aisles who have no idea what social distancing means. Bored at home and seeking something productive to do, homeowners have decided to occupy their free time by tackling projects around the yard and house. Signs around the stores asking shoppers to maintain social distancing are largely ignored by many as they go about their business. Yes, you will see some residents wearing surgical face masks. You will also see some wearing homemade masks of cloth or windsocks pulled up and cover their face and nose. Some shoppers, as they navigate down crowded aisles, will move to keep at least six feet between them and other shoppers. Then there are those shoppers who crowd in on top of you as stand waiting to check out without any regard to the prominently places signs asking them to stay back at least six feet. For them and for others who are not heeding the request to stay at home and for social distancing, the COVID-19 virus is not a real threat.

By the time we notice we’re hungry, it may be too late

“As the top U.S. watermelon-producing state prepares for harvest, Reuters reports, “many of the workers needed to collect the crop are stuck in Mexico …. Without the workers, crops could rot in fields throughout the country,” starting in Florida and California where major harvests begin in April and May.

It’s not the zombie apocalypse we were promised

For years we have all watched the movies and read the books about a global pandemic that would herald the end of mankind as we know it. When the virus was first reported, I was alarmed and was very glad that the president at least stopped flights from China. What happened next still puzzles me.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Wednesday, March 11 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $10 million.