Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak. Image: Ty O’Neil.
By Don Dike Anukam and Bob Conrad
Audio file of the entire press conference today.
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson, and Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro today announced two new bills that will divert cannabis money to pay for education.
Senate Bill 545 revises the distribution of the excise tax on marijuana from the rainy day fund to the state’s Distributive School Account, a part of the general fund that funds school districts.
“Last session, marijuana retail excise tax money did not go where it should have due to political gamesmanship,” Sisolak said. “We are here today to say that’s going to be fixed this session.”
The amount: $120 million for the biennium.
Former Governor Brian Sandoval earmarked that money for school safety improvements and the Millennium Scholarship fund. Sisolak said that he hoped those items would continued to be funded from other sources but did not say where.
Just to be clear about where they plan to divert money from … this is on page 9 of the Governor’s budget overview. pic.twitter.com/VZUINEd7Z1
— Ben Kieckhefer (@Ben_Kieckhefer) May 14, 2019 Nevada State Senator Ben Kieckhefer noted on Twitter that the excise tax shift was coming from school safety initiatives and the Millenium Scholarship fund. Washoe County School Board Trustees, 2019. Left to right, standing: Dr. Angie Taylor, Andrew Caudill, Jacqueline Calvert, Scott Kelley and Ellen Minetto. Seated: Katy Simon Holland and Malena Raymond. Image: Ty O’Neil.
The announcement comes in the wake of the state’s largest school districts — Washoe and Clark — bemoaning the cost of living adjustments (COLA) for their employees. Washoe County School District last month revised its budget cut projections to include the COLAs, a calculation that more than doubled the district’s deficit,