Friday, November 9, 2012

Far from Dead

Yesterday, we discussed the continuing need for real, progressive tax reform. And thankfully, the teachers refuse to give up this fight.

[The Education Initiative] has more than 100,000 signatures of voters on its initiative petition and they will be presented Tuesday to the counties for verification of the names, says Nick Di Archangel, director of communications for the Nevada State Education Association.

Di Archangel says he thinks the petition has a good chance of gaining legislative approval.

The law requires 72,352 signatures on the initiative to be filed by the Tuesday deadline. And there must be 18,008 signatures in each of the four congressional districts.

So now, The Education Initiative has more than enough signatures to go to the Legislature next spring. And even if Nick Di Archangel is wrong and the Legislature does not want to approve it, that just means voters can approve it in 2014.

However, the path forward is not completely clear yet. The Education Initiative still has to overcome the legal challenge.

At the same time, the Nevada Supreme Court has decided to speed up an appeal by the union over a ruling by a lower court that the petition is invalid.

The Supreme Court Wednesday filed an order that it will hear oral arguments on the first available date and all seven justices will be sitting on the case. The court said it will not be necessary for the union and its opponent, Committee to Protect Nevada Jobs, to file briefs, a normal procedure.

The court, in expediting the process, will examine the record in the case before Carson City District Judge James Wilson, who ruled the petition was faulty, misleading and could not be presented to the Legislature.

The initiative would impose a 2 percent margins tax on businesses with more than an annual income of $1 million. It is expected to raise $800 million a year to go toward funding the public schools.

So "The Supremes" (of Nevada) must render their final verdict before we know for sure if The Education Initiative will go to Carson City next spring.

But at least for now, this initiative lives on. And at least for now, progressives can keep hope alive for meaningful tax reform. Already, the usual suspects in Carson City are working to silence all talk of tax reform. But as long as teachers and their fellow union activists keep turning up the heat with The Education Initiative, this issue will not go away.

And at this point, even a final ruling against the initiative may not be enough to silence activists demanding real solutions for better schools and a fairer tax code. Simply put, progressives are mad as hell and they won't take it any more. So expect more sound and fury from a typically unexpected source during next year's legislative session. And regardless of the final fate of this specific initiative, progressive tax reform is far from dead.

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