Many of us 20-somethings prefer to turn a blind eye when it comes to local government.
“Nothing gets done in these sessions.”
“It doesn’t matter.”
Well let me tell you right now, it does and with the 78th session of the Nevada Legislature underway, there could be some huge changes involving the rights of all Nevadans.
I’m not here to tell you need to tune in to the legislative livestream for the next 120 days. What I am saying is a lot of potential changes to YOUR rights are being contested and you have a right to know what impact it will have on your life.
Here are the issues being debated this session, and here’s why you should care:
Campus Carry – Guns on Campus
The session has started off with a bang with the debate on gun rights. There are 10 bills regarding gun laws but one of the biggest questions is: Should concealed weapons be allowed on school property?
Just to clarify, concealed weapons holders would still need a permit and weapons would only be allowed to be kept inside locked vehicles, however, this campus carry bill doesn’t just apply for college campus.
This bill pertains to universities, public and private schools, and even day care facilities.
Education Reform Taxes
Of course, this isn’t the only issue surrounding schools this session. Governor Sandoval has proposed a very controversial method of funding education. Watch his State of the State to learn more details.
Although he is Republican, Sandoval proposed a tax increase in order to help our struggling education system.
On a lighter note, for those of you who have to make that grueling drive through the desolate areas of Nevada, you may be able to get to your destination sooner than before.
Senator Don Gustavson is moving to change the maximum state limit.
The current speed limit is 75 mph, but you could go up to 85 mph with this proposed bill.
Now that medical marijuana is legal, lawmakers are looking into regulations regarding marijuana and operating vehicles.
Speaking of weed, it could be a great time for all of you who smoke pot in Nevada. An initiative petition has brought the debate of recreational use of marijuana to lawmakers’ attention.
This presents a large opportunity for the state to tax and make money off of the recreational use of marijuana.
It is unsure at this time how the decision will go on recreational marijuana use, but even if it is shot down in the Legislature, the initiative will go to the people (that’s you) on the 2016 ballot.
If wine is your vice, it could be a happy time for you too. Assemblyman Pat Hickey is moving to remove the population restriction for wineries.
Reno and Las Vegas are not in the wine-making business because the current restrictions do not allow for wineries to be set up in counties with more than 100,000 people.
This bill would amend the languague, allowing larger counties to set up wineries and tasting rooms. This could significantly impact our local economy as it has in other states like Washington.
According to The Washington State Wine Commission, the wine business has brought in an estimated 8.6 billion dollar economic impact to the state in the last 40 years.
More to Come
It is too soon to tell exactly how these bills and others will play out, but no matter what the decision, these will have a large impact on Nevada.
Of course I haven’t covered every topic but I will be sure to keep you updated on the issues that affect your rights.