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  • Friday, October 11, 2019 1:00 AM
    The 2019 legislative session brought several significant changes to the way employers and employees do business, including the minimum wage rate, how much time off an employee receives per year and additional overtime pay requirements. 
    The minimum wage in Nevada is currently $8.25 per hour and $7.25, meaning employers pay $8.25 if qualified health insurance is not offered or made available and can pay a minimum of $7.25 per hour if qualified health insurance is offered. 
    Nevada SB192 revises provisions relating to health care and the qualified health benefits, effective Jan. 1, 2020, and establishes the minimum level of health benefits that an employer is required to make available to an employee and his or her dependents for the purpose of determining whether the employer is authorized to pay the lower minimum wage rate.  
  • Friday, October 11, 2019 1:00 AM
    The Humboldt County Commissioners unanimously passed a non-partisan resolution declaring the county to be a Second Amendment supporting county. The commissioners passed the resolution at the Oct. 7 meeting. 
    “We took the resolution that the folks offered us,” Commission Chairman Jim French said, “and we incorporated a good portion back into the county's version and kind of made it a hybrid resolution to try to demonstrate that … several of the bills that were passed in this last legislature are, in my view, crossing a line, from the  Second Amendment perspective.  This was our shot at informing the State as well as the legislature our position on that.”
    The push for a county-wide resolution began in July when Dawn Principe, representing Second Amendment supporters, confronted the commissioners about its position regarding recent firearm legislation. The gun rights advocates were concerned that laws such as AB291 are unconstitutional. Under AB291 (dubbed the “red flag law”), firearms would be temporarily seized from a person who was thought to be a threat by family or law enforcement. 
  • Friday, October 11, 2019 1:00 AM
    Every minute I spend in schools, I learn something new – sometimes the situation is devastating, but regardless it is educational. Although this first incident occurred several years ago, it is still fresh today. We teachers had a student who struggled in class as well as during hallway passing and at lunch. Concerned, the counselor called a meeting with the single mom to determine how we could rally to assist this student. In a quiet meeting room, mom entered and began to relate her son’s story. Mom definitely cared and wanted her son to succeed, but the details she revealed were horrific.
    First, she mentioned that her son’s dad was in prison for murder. Oh, my. Then she added that he had murdered her boyfriend with her son as a witness. Oh, double my! Sister was a high school drop-out, finding school just too difficult to navigate as she wound herself through drug court and rehabilitation measures. Grandma, our student’s mother, cared for her three small children, two of whom had serious medical issues. The entire family had recently been evicted from their home because of non-payment of utilities and rent, but, she smiled and continued, “We have found a fairly cheap motel room.” I wondered how she could be positive under such a grim description but then she went on with other life aspects including drugs, prison, poverty, and crippling living conditions. 
  • Friday, October 11, 2019 1:00 AM
    The technical committee charged with guiding the implementation of the state’s new school funding formula already met some resistance during its inaugural meeting Friday.
    The newly formed Commission on School Funding met Friday and assessed the Herculean task that lies ahead. But before members even dug into their work, political divisions appeared during public comment when the Nevada State Education Association criticized the new formula and the commission makeup. The Clark County Education Association then offered its support to the commission.
    In the waning hours of the Legislature, state lawmakers approved Senate Bill 543, which overhauls the state’s 52-year-old education funding formula by placing revenue streams in a single funding pot and moving toward a weighted funding model in which student groups with more needs receive extra money.
  • Thursday, October 10, 2019 1:00 AM
    Lander County Economic Development Authority Coordinator Kyla Bright recently met with the Nevada Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology and stated they are requesting residents and business owners to complete an important survey regarding broadband services to be brought into the Battle Mountain area.
    Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Congressman Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.-20) introduced the ACCESS BROADBAND Act in April of this year, which is legislation that fosters the development and growth of broadband resources for businesses as well as underserved communities, such as rural communities in Lander County.
  • Thursday, October 10, 2019 1:00 AM
    Lander County School District has applied for and been awarded two large grants, one for $80,000 and the other for over $450,000. 
    Superintendent Russell Klein said the $80,000 grant from POOL/PACT will be spent on three items he applied for totaling $110,000 that will result in a reduction of liability. 
    The Nevada Public Agency Insurance Pool (POOL) was formed in 1987. By pooling resources, Nevada public entities discovered they could obtain property casualty coverage at a reasonable cost and access risk management resources superior to those previously offered to rural municipalities. The Public Agency Compensation Trust was formed in 1996 to provide workers compensation coverage. POOL/PACT is a consortium of many different government entities whose members include counties, cities, school districts, special districts and towns. Every member actively manages the risk encountered as a public agency.
  • Thursday, October 10, 2019 1:00 AM
    County leaders postponed a decision on a commercial fire inspection program until they have more information on the number of businesses in Pershing County that could be impacted by the program. A list of county-licensed businesses was requested from the Sheriff’s Department.
    Lovelock Volunteer Fire Department member Mike Heidemann, a certified fire inspector, has advised county leaders that a fire inspection program could be educational for the public, increase public safety and reduce fire insurance rates for homeowners and business owners.
    Regular fire inspections are a factor in a community’s ISO rating, Heidemann said. The ISO rating is one of the many factors considered as insurance companies set fire insurance rates.
  • Thursday, October 10, 2019 1:00 AM
    July 2019 consolidated tax (CTX) numbers were down compared to those from 2018. Statewide, taxable sales were up 3.7% year-over-year, at $5,232,884,218.
  • Thursday, October 10, 2019 1:00 AM
    The Division of Insurance (‘Division”) has posted the approved 2020 health insurance rates for all plans in the Individual Health Insurance Market at healthrates.doi.nv.gov and encourages consumers to review this information before the Open Enrollment Period begins.
    For 2020, consumers have the option of buying health insurance from a total of seven insurance companies offering as many as 60 plans on and off the Exchange in the individual health insurance market in Nevada. The approved average rate increase in the individual market, both on and off the Exchange is 1.7%
    There are three insurance companies offering plans on the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange (“Exchange”): Health Plan of Nevada, SilverSummit Health Plan Inc., HMO Colorado Inc. dba HMO Nevada, offering up to 27 plans. The average approved rate increase on the Exchange is 1.6%
  • Thursday, October 10, 2019 1:00 AM
    Nevada’s Employment Security Council voted Thursday to recommend giving businesses a break on their unemployment insurance rates next year.
    Employment Security Administrator Kimberly Gaa will hold a hearing to adopt the recommendation Oct. 23 and is expected to agree to lower the rate by two-tenths of a percent to 1.65 percent of taxable wages.
    While that doesn’t sound like much, the total tax paid by more than 79,000 Nevada businesses next year would be $600 million. That is more than $73 million less than if the tax remained at its current 1.85 percent rate.
    The council headed by Fred Suwe made the decision after it was told the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund is now over $1.8 billion. Economists for the division say that’s enough to pay unemployment checks in a recession for 18 months.
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