Right now, the Joint Senate Finance/Assembly Ways & Means Committee is discussing the budget. Various items are being discussed, such as a proposed update to state agencies' telecommunication infrastructure. (And that isn't looking pretty right now.) We're waiting for discussion of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, which is part of the state's plan to implement the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) here.
Stay tuned as we await discussion on health care reform.
9:25 AM: Still waiting...
The committee is now dealing with the request from the Department of Taxation. Surprise, surprise, the Department of Taxation has a hard time implementing the state's tax laws! With a Legislature that presently only meets for 120 days every 2 years, no present Deputy Chief in Southern Nevada (where over 80% of the state's tax revenue is collected), and a tax system chock full of loopholes and other oddities, I guess this was bound to happen.
9:45 AM: Ah, now it's getting interesting. The Department of Taxation just concluded with interesting talk on the Marketplace Fairness Act, which will allow for nationwide collection of online sales tax if passed by Congress, and The Education Initiative. We'll have more on that later.
Now, Jon Hager, the director of the Exchange, is explaining the challenges of implementing a program that's still in flux in Washington. Hager is asking for additional staff, ability to charge fees for supplementary vision & dental care, and enough flexibility to keep adapting to whatever new guidelines come from the Obama Administration and/or Congress.