Time running out for Nevada lawmakers
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The Nevada legislature has until late Monday night to wrap up the 2013 regular session. With the deadline looming, there's still a lot that needs to be done.
Lawmakers from southern Nevada say they're working hard to get more for our area, which is the most-populated region of the state. But there's no doubt it's going to be a fight until the end at the state capitol.
Approving a state budget is at the top of the list. A $6.4 billion budget has been proposed by Governor Brian Sandoval. That would include a nearly $500 increase in education spending -- $50 million of that would go to English Language Learner Programs.
Many local parents wanted to see a boost to all-day kindergarten offerings, but that might not make the cut.
"I'm hoping they decide to broaden all-day kindergarten," says local mom Vanessa Holmes. "I believe it would help create a solid foundation for our kids."
A law granting illegal immigrants a driver's privilege card -- so they have access to auto insurance -- has already passed.
"It's official," Sandoval says. "This law has integrity and is an important safety measure. It gives all individuals an opportunity to be on the road and to be properly insured."
The clock is still ticking on some other controversial bills. One would require background checks for gun buyers. Mark Kelly, the husband of Rep. Gabby Giffords, spoke out in Carson City in support of the bill.
"It will make us safer by getting the severely mentally-ill into the background check system," he says. "It will make us safer by keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the deranged."
Also on the table is a bill to make medical marijuana dispensaries legal in Nevada. The state senate already voted in favor of that, now it's up to the assembly. A lot of people believe it could benefit our state by keeping money here.
"It would give people who need it, the opportunity to buy it legally here," says Las Vegas resident, Peter Cavacas. "They wouldn't need to go to California, or other states to buy it legally. It would also eliminate the need to get it illegally in some cases."
There are a variety of other bills still being discussed on topics ranging from higher education to sex trafficking.
There's also talk of taxes -- including a live entertainment tax, a possible sales tax increase to retain a few hundred police officers, and a proposed gasoline tax that could raise the price of gas by three cents per gallon.