In case you missed it…

John Tsarpalas


This week in the Nevada legislature

The bill to save the funding for Nevada’s Opportunity Scholarships still has not been scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Education Committee — which means up to a thousand low-income students might see their life-changing scholarships ripped away if the bill’s not voted on by next Friday! That’s why it is more important than ever before that voters, taxpayers and parents call the leadership of the education committee, and demand that SB351 be brought up for a vote.

Here’s the contact information for the committee’s leadership:
3204 Osage Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89101-1838
246 Garfield Drive
Henderson, NV 89074-1027
(702) 896-1453

Beyond the issue of Opportunity Scholarships, Nevada Policy has been extremely busy testifying before lawmakers and carefully tracking the bills moving through committees this week. We’ve testified against Prevailing wage (watch the testimony here), testified against new union hand-outs (watch  the testimony here) and testified in support of civil asset forfeiture. In fact, in regard to civil asset forfeiture, the chair of that committee even thanked Nevada Policy for all our past research on the issue. (Watch that testimony here.)

However, that was just the beginning. There will be plenty more happening each week, as the final half of the legislative session continues. Keep on top of all of it by visiting Nevada Policy’s online Legislative Bill Tracker!

Educational choice

Michael and Cristin Balsamo understand, first hand, how impactful educational choice can be for children who struggle in traditional public school. “For years, we struggled to find the right school for our oldest son, who has autism. He was high-functioning and academically very bright but was socially and emotionally behind,” they wrote in a recent op-ed. Michael and Cristin exhausted the limited options they had for their son through the Clark County School District, but nothing was working. The expansion of Opportunity Scholarships in 2017, however, made a life-changing difference for the entire family. Thanks to this scholarship program their son is now thriving, both academically and socially, in a private school that caters to his unique needs. It’s now up to lawmakers to decide if the funding that makes success stories like this possible will remain in place. (Read more)

Political cronyism

As the Review Journal points out, enrollment in Nevada charter schools is clearly a popular option with parents. In 2005-06, roughly 500 kids were enrolled in charters. By 2019, 48,000 were enrolled. And yet, despite the growing popularity of charters, Assembly Bill 462 would outlaw all new charter schools until 2021. It might seem perplexing that lawmakers would be considering outlawing a public-school option that has generated so much interest among parents, but the reason why is actually quite simple: Teacher unions. Unions have long sought to limit any and all alternatives to traditional public schools, where the unions reap significant revenue. AB462 is a prime example of lawmakers prioritizing their political cronies’ interests over those of their constituents, voters and Nevada families. (Read more)

Tax and spend

One thing we should all understand by now is that government — at all levels — is really quite good at inventing new ways to tax people. Take, for example, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), the Democrat’s top-ranking member of the U.S. Senate’s tax committee. Wyden has proposed that the government should not only collect capital gains taxes from individuals who sell or liquidate a stock or an asset, but also from “unrealized capital gains.” In other words, when someone buys a stock, Wyden wants them to pay a tax on how much the value of the stock increases every single year before they ever even sell the stock or realize a profit! A tax on unrealized capital gains: Just one more example of how hard politicians work at inventing new ways to tax and spend. (Read more)

John Tsarpalas

John Tsarpalas


John Tsarpalas is the President of the Nevada Policy, and is deeply committed to spreading limited government ideas and policy to create a better, more prosperous Nevada for all.

For over three decades, John has educated others in the ideals and benefits of limited government. In the 1980s, John joined the Illinois Libertarian Party and served on its State Central Committee. Later in the 90s, he transitioned to the Republican Party, and became active in the Steve Forbes for President Campaign and flat taxes.

In 2005, he was recruited to become the Executive Director of the Illinois Republican Party where he graduated from the Republican National Committee’s Campaign College, the RNC’s Field Management School, and the Leadership Institute’s activist training.

Additionally, John has served as President of the Sam Adams Alliance and Team Sam where he did issue education and advocacy work in over 10 states, with a focus on the web.

John also founded or helped start the following educational not-for-profits: Think Freely Media, the Haym Salomon Center – where he served as Chairman, the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity and Midwest Speaking Professionals.

A native of Chicago, John now lives in Las Vegas with his wife of more than 40 years.