Gift card law would keep money in Nevada

To the editor:

I would like to set the record straight on legislation I am sponsoring to designate unused gift cards as unclaimed property to be used to improve education in our state. Your Tuesday editorial on Assembly Bill 279 missed the point of what we are trying to accomplish with the legislation.

AB279 was passed 41-1 by the Assembly and has the support of the Retail Association of Nevada, the Nevada Restaurant Association and other business groups because it generates much-needed funds for our schools without raising taxes or fees, and it keeps revenue in Nevada that would otherwise go to other states.

Businesses are currently required to give unused portions of gift cards to the state where the business is incorporated — unless the state where the card was sold has a law such as the one we are trying to establish through AB279. Nevada has no such law, so those funds are going to other states to be used for their needs rather than benefiting the people of our state.

Rather than exporting these funds, estimated to be in the millions of dollars, we could fund new Millennium scholars, fund textbooks and computers for our classrooms, provide funding for innovative programs that help children who would otherwise fall through the cracks succeed in school, or meet other education needs.

This bill has been amended and reported out unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee and will soon be considered by the entire Senate. With the strong, bipartisan support for this bill, I am optimistic that it will become law.

Ruben Kihuen



Police presence

To the editor:

It is painfully evident from two recent letters to the editor regarding our local police department that Metro can’t win for losing.

In the past three months, Las Vegas police officers have broken up a stolen U-Haul ring, apprehended two women allegedly involved in a stolen car scheme and caught some of the suspects responsible for burglarizing homes before the owners moved in. Las Vegas police officers are making substantial headway in making our city safer and arresting offenders who victimize Las Vegas residents on a daily basis.

Yet it is not enough for letter writer Jay Petrick (Tuesday), who seems to think that Metro’s lack of traffic citations somehow caused a 19-year-old driver to cause an accident that killed five people.

Metro’s efforts are also not enough for letter writer Chris Rasmussen (Monday), who thinks that taking eight pimps and countless prostitutes off the street is somehow a bad thing for our neighborhoods.

News flash to these disgruntled and myopic residents: The criminal element in this town will always outnumber the men and women who protect and serve.

If you don’t like the way Las Vegas police officers handle traffic, don’t drive. And if you don’t think that putting pimps and prostitutes behind bars is good for our community, maybe it is you who needs to change your priorities.

Better yet, maybe both Mr. Petrick and Mr. Rasmussen could move somewhere where criminals don’t adversely affect the way we live on a day-to-day basis.

I hear Wonderland is very nice.



Kindergarten size

To the editor:

My sister is a retired kindergarten and elementary school teacher. She is a reading specialist who currently trains teachers. The kindergarten curriculum includes reading.

She told me that class-size reductions do not apply to kindergarten, and therefore most kindergarten classes have 30 to 35 children — many of them non-English speaking. Teaching 35 children to read is a challenge for the most experienced teacher.

Whether in a half-day program or a full-day program, reading teachers have to teach small groups of children and at the same time effectively manage the rest of the class by providing independent activities. Management often becomes more of a challenge than the actual teaching of reading.

It would make much more sense to consider class-size reduction for all kindergarten classes before moving to impose a full-day program at all schools. Teachers would be more able to meet the diverse needs of their students in smaller groups.

If Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, state Sen. Dina Titus and company really wanted to improve the quality of education in Nevada, they would be promoting class-size reduction instead of expanding the current broken system.

Bob Anderson


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