Friday, April 10, 2009

Very quick legislative update

Its spring break but the NFA legislative advocacy efforts continue, and had some success this week.

  • SB 283, the Nevada Domestic Partnership Act, supported by NFA as well as many other advocates of a fair chance for all Nevadans, passed successfully out of committee and will be voted on by the full Senate.It was, however, modified to have no fiscal impact, meaning the requirement of health benefits for domestic partners was, sadly, removed.
  • SB 279, which would have created a conflict between state law and Board of Regents policy concerning public access to disclosure forms filed by faculty concerning outside income, failed to pass out of its committee. While this is a victory because it keeps our personnel records confidential, it is also a reminder that the Board of Regents policy is one that all faculty must continue to abide be and fully disclose all outside income to insure no conflicts of interest arise between our teaching responsibilities and outside consulting work.
  • SB 387, the Governor's bill to cap faculty salaries, appears to be too late for the relevant Senate committee to act on. In a 120-day session, some bills submitted late never get to the top of the list for a hearing.

Still to come are major decisions concerning the Higher Ed budget and the PEBP budget. On the Higher Ed budget, there was some encouraging news yesterday from US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who commented that the state should not seek a waiver of federal requirements to fund education at 2006 or better levels and to maintain that effort of funding in subsequent years, which are mandated by the Recover and Reinvestment (Stimulus) Act.

More next week when we return to regulary duty; in the meantime, please plan to attend the UNLV NFA general membership meeting on Wed April 29 at 1pm and please invite colleagues to attend with you. The meeting is open to all faculty members (though only those who are members in good standing before April 29 can vote in NFA UNLV elections).

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