Carson City- Today, during Senate Floor Session, the Democratic Caucus will introduce a bill that would immediately fund reduced class sizes, ELL, read by 3, full day kindergarten and pre-k programs. The proposal calls for an increase in the state Modified Business Tax (MBT) for larger companies, with mining corporations specifically paying the most of those whose MBT is increasing. They noted that given the results of the Economic Forum, that it is crucial that smallest of businesses not be affected by the MBT increase, and so their plan will not tax small businesses in any way.
“Throughout the session, there has been bi-partisan agreement that we need to do more for education, and this is the only proposal that immediately solves our funding shortfall”, stated Senate Majority Leader Mo Denis. He went on to state, “If we want to truly address our education crisis, there is no justification in not supporting our proposal.”
Democrats began the session introducing the only legislation aimed at solving Nevada’s education crisis. Their proposals included: reduced class sizes, appropriate ELL funding, read by three, pre-k programs and full day kindergarten. Nevada is repeatedly ranked at the bottom of national rankings for class sizes, ELL funding and math and science scores.
“Our education crisis is directly tied to our slow job growth. Nevada is a great state to do business, but unfortunately, companies fear they won’t have a qualified workforce if they relocate here or expand their existing businesses in Nevada. In order to be an economic leader we need to properly fund education,” added Senator Debbie Smith, Chairwoman of the Finance Committee.
In addition to their funding proposal, the Senate Democrats will work to allocate money that has become available during the session to fund the Democratic education legislation introduced earlier this year. The Senate Democrats’ education funding proposal will generate an estimated $255 million over the coming biennium.
In the coming days, Senate Democrats will also be announcing legislation that addresses a long-term solution to our state’s budget shortfall. The MBT increase proposal would be phased out in 2015, when a long term, broad based revenue structure is implemented by the 2013 legislature.