Nevada AFL-CIO Pushes Billion Tax Measure for Education

Wednesday, 11 Apr 2012 09:45 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The Nevada AFL-CIO plans to go it alone in pushing a ballot initiative aimed at raising $1 billion from business profit taxes to help fund the state’s education programs, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

The announcement this week from the state’s largest labor union that it would pay for a petition drive aimed at collecting the needed 73,000 signatures came as the state education association said it would not be able to back the effort with funding.

The Sun reported Tuesday that the teachers’ union also had concerns that the petition language would make it vulnerable to a court challenge.

The proposed initiative would specifically earmark money raised from the tax for universities, and colleges, as well as K-12 schools.

State AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Danny Thompson, acknowledged that the union had been counting on the state teachers’ organization for help and support. But even without it, Thompson said he believes the petition drive will be successful.

“I can go to the [AFL-CIO affiliated] unions,” he told the Sun. “I don’t even need to go out to the streets.”

Thompson wouldn’t say how many members are in unions affiliated with the state AFL-CIO, but noted the culinary workers’ local alone has 65,000 members.

Under the petition process, the Nevada legislature would be required to consider the initiative during its 2013 session. If it fails to pass within 40 days, the initiative would be placed on the ballot in 2014 for voters to decide.

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