Episode 68: What Policy Solutions Should We be Focused On in the Year Ahead?
Free to Offend Episode 68 | Guest: Geoff Lawrence, Director of Research, Nevada Policy At first glance, it seems like divided government should make it harder to get meaningful reforms passed into law … but the truth is, there are still plenty of opportunities. Geoffrey Lawrence, director of research for… Read More
Too Cool for School
As Nevada children return to school over the next few weeks, over 3,000 of their fellow students will not be joining them. Nevada’s home-school movement has grown considerably in recent years, from 365 students in 1987 to over 3,000 in 1996. As the public education system continues to perform poorly, many parents are taking it upon themselves to educate their children at home. Nationally, there are now an estimated 1.23 million home-school children. That figure is greater than the combined enrollments of public schools in Alaska, Delaware, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming.
The Future is Now for High-Level Nuclear Waste
Nevadans did not plan to deal with high-level nuclear waste shipments until (or if) Yucca Mountain gets approved. But high-level waste is entering the state earlier than expected. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will ship spent nuclear fuel rods from foreign research reactors from Concord through northern Nevada to Idaho Falls starting in 1998. This is not the first time high-level nuclear waste will come through the state, but it is the first time for northern Nevada. All Nevada congressional representatives, along with Governor Miller, have voiced concerns the DOE has yet to tackle. Californians are taking a more active approach—environmentalists and conservative politicians—have joined together to protest the shipments. Nothing can be done to stop the shipments, but politicians are attempting to influence the route the DOE chooses.
Everyone is Still Asking: Why All the Hoopla?
It’s not every day the President, Vice President, three Cabinet secretaries, their deputies, an agency head, two governors, nine members of Congress and numerous other elected state officials all gather under one roof. The declining health of the Lake Tahoe Basin was the proclaimed reason for the gathering of these powers—dubbed the Lake Tahoe Presidential Forum. Last weekend’s Forum has put Lake Tahoe in the media spotlight since late May. Three workshops on water quality, forest health and transportation supposedly helped the Administration gather local opinion to be relayed to the President at the Forum. Along with providing a venue to tell Clinton about all of the Basin’s problems, organizers anticipated a pledge of $300 million from the federal government. With months of hype and regional media coverage, the President’s announcement on Saturday was anticlimactic. He encouraged continued cooperation between various groups via a meaningless executive order and promised only $50 million—an increase of $26 million over current funding. Now residents of Nevada and California are left asking, why all the hoopla? Following is a look at what was promised and possible other motives behind this event.