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Gibbons’ proposal to merge commissions draws fire

CARSON CITY — A proposal by Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons to merge commissions on economic development and on tourism in this tourist-dependent state bogged down Thursday in a Senate-Assembly budget panel whose members agreed it’s a bad idea.

Legislators skeptical of toll road bill

CARSON CITY — Legislators were critical Thursday of a bill that would allow private companies to construct and maintain toll roads in Nevada, including a $1 billion toll road alongside existing Las Vegas freeway lanes.

Bill aims to overhaul education

A sweeping education reform bill heard by the Legislature Wednesday would reward teachers for better performance, improve their starting salaries and make the state Board of Education a largely appointive rather than elective body.

Damselfly gets nod as the state’s insect

CARSON CITY — After scant deliberation Wednesday, the Senate Government Affairs Committee accepted the recommendation of three Clark County fourth-graders and voted for a bill to make the vivid dancer damselfly the official state insect. “I feel very excited we are halfway there,” said Meagan Anders, a fourth-grader at Beatty Elementary School in Las Vegas, following the 7-0 vote. She and Beatty fourth-graders Lexie Arancibia and Ryan Underwood asked the committee to support Senate Bill 166 that names the damselfly as Nevada’s insect.

Worker compensation system ‘broken’

CARSON CITY — Lawmakers were told Wednesday that the state’s worker compensation system makes it tough on injured Nevadans to get the medical care and follow-up rehabilitation and training they need to return to their jobs.

Training to spot elder abuse proposed

CARSON CITY — Lawmakers were told Wednesday that many doctors, counselors and other professionals who deal with seniors don’t always recognize signs of abuse and need to get online training that would help them spot such mistreatment.

Taxes on cigarettes, liquor could double

CARSON CITY — Sin City sinners face an escalation in the cost of their indulgences as state lawmakers consider more than doubling the taxes on liquor and smokes.

Buckley measure presses Gibbons

CARSON CITY — Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley on Monday rebuked Gov. Jim Gibbons by introducing legislation that would require Nevada to accept federal stimulus funds for the unemployed.

Lobbyists pan Real ID regulations

CARSON CITY — State Senate Finance Committee members expressed concern Monday about a bill that would require the state Department of Motor Vehicles starting in 2010 to issue driver’s licenses that comply with the federal Real ID Act.

Budget gives raises to governor’s staff

CARSON CITY — State lawmakers and Gov. Jim Gibbons’ top aide differed Monday over what some legislators consider badly timed pay raises for many of the governor’s staff members compared with the 6 percent pay cuts he has proposed for other state employees.

Budget cuts would cause pain, panel told

Lawmakers asked for it, and they got an earful Saturday of testimony from members of the public who begged them not to cut education and health care as they struggle to balance the budget.

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