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Nevada Lawmakers Decline To Vote on Corporate-Tax Proposal

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The Nevada Senate has refused to consider an intitiative calling for a state tax on corporate profits to support education, thus placing the matter in the hands of voters in next year's general election.

The state constitution requires that both houses act on citizens' initiatives within the first 40 days of the legislative session. If they fail to do so, the measure is automatically placed on the ballot for the next general election.

More than 43,000 Nevada residents signed petitions last year to put the measure before the legislature.

The Assembly taxation committee held a hearing on the bill last month, but the Senate refused ei4ther to adopt the initiative or to hold hearings on it.

Chris Guinchigliani, president of the Nevada State Teachers Association, said the Senate had "chosen to ignore the will of the people" by refusing even to consider the measure.

Judge Declines To Act

The teachers' union also tried to convince a state district judge to issue a writ ordering the Senate to act on the bill.

But District Judge Mike Griffin, who said he had signed the group's petition, denied the union's request. Ordering lawmakers to consider a measure they already knew about would be a "vain and trifling act," he said.

Ms. Guinchigliani said the n.s.t.a. would consider supporting alternative legislation to raise $100 million in new funding for education, the amount the union estimates the corporate tax would generate. But no such bills have been introduced, she said.

Gov. Bob Miller is championing a controversial proposal to levy higher taxes on the state's mining industry. But an n.s.t.a. spokesman called that measure "inadequate" without the addition of the corporate-tax revenues.

Ms. Guinchigliani said the union would be developing a strategy to win over the state's voters when the measure appears on the ballot.

--pw

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