A PAC created by a statewide teachers union, the Nevada State Education Association (NSEA) has filed a petition to repeal the A’s stadium funding bill, SB1, which was signed into law during this year’s legislative session. The bill passed during a special session wrought with negotiations over the $380 million in public funding for the new $1.5 billion stadium located on the Strip at the Tropicana resort.
With the bill’s passage, the State will provide $180 million in transferable tax credits and Clark County will issue $120 million in bonds. A newly created entertainment district would collect tax revenue from the surrounding businesses to pay down the bonds and interest.
During the negotiations, a bipartisan group of lawmakers, progressive activists and the NSEA pushed back against the proposal, stressing that the monies used for a baseball stadium should be used for education, infrastructure and government services. They also highlighted the A’s abysmal stats and poor attendance as reasons to avoid public financing and related risk.
Schools Over Stadiums Files Referendum Petition To Force Statewide Vote on Stadium Financing
— Schools Over Stadiums (@EduOverStadiums) September 6, 2023
Democratic Assemblywoman and Washoe County history teacher Selena La Rue Hatch (AD-25) voted “no” on the bill and has been a vocal opponent of the stadium on her social media using a video of her opposition on the floor of the assembly to fundraise for her upcoming re-election campaign.
In an interview (see below), La Rue Hatch talks about the “purposefully” rushed process and her concerns over the use of public money on the new stadium, noting that perviously vetoed bills were added to the legislation and legislators felt “a whole lotta pressure” to pass the bill.
We must demand accountability in how taxpayer money is spent. Until our schools are fully funded and our community needs are addressed, we cannot afford to spend a penny on a new stadium. https://t.co/FwTlBz5BvI
— Selena La Rue Hatch (@La_Rue_Hatch) August 22, 2023
Alexander Marks, spokesperson for Schools Over Stadiums, notes in the above statement, “We’re confident that a majority of Nevadans will join us in taking action to put Nevada’s priorities back in line so we can address an education system that ranks 48th in funding with the largest class sizes and highest vacancies in the country.”
During this legislative session, Republican Governor Joe Lombardo signed a historic, public education budget that allocates over $12 billion in funding for K-12 education over the next biennium and a ~25 percent increase in per pupil funding. The budget allocates an additional $23M in special education funding and fully funds the weights of the Pupil-Centered Funding Plan.
The union’s organizers will now have to gather approximately 100,000 signatures from registered Nevada voters for the initiative to appear as a question on next year’s general election ballot.
Editors note: The original article stated the union would need 140,000 signatures which were based on 2020 election numbers. The 2022 election had a lower voter turn out so the numbers have been changed to reflect the decrease in voters.
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