Author: Adam Laxalt

Nevada’s Next Chapter in Education

Education is the civil rights issue of our time. There are many important challenges I’ll address if I have the honor of serving as Nevada’s next Governor, but my top priority will be ensuring all of Nevada’s children have access to the quality education they deserve. I’ve worked with some of Nevada’s best teachers, administrators and policymakers — from the public and private education realms — over the last few months to develop an education plan that will help us deliver on the promise of a great education for every Nevada student, and help ensure our local schools are as effective as possible in accomplishing that goal. One of the most important things we can do is bring greater transparency and accountability to our education system. We must fund education properly — and I’ve pledged to do so as Governor — but we must also make sure those resources are used as effectively as possible. Today, our education system suffers from an unacceptable lack of transparency. It’s almost impossible for citizens — and many policymakers — to get reliable information on education spending in our local school districts. That’s why I’ll create a first-of-its-kind, online “Education Checkbook,” which will increase accountability and provide Nevadans with complete and accurate information on how and where every education dollar is spent. Of course, improving education also requires excellent teachers. They’re on the...

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Immigration Suit Not About Politics

Last week, a few dozen shouting protesters stormed into the Attorney General’s Offices in Carson City and Las Vegas to protest my decision, a year ago, to join a lawsuit challenging President Obama’s bid to rewrite federal law without Congressional approval. These activists demanded my “deportation” and called a female member of my staff unmentionable names, prompting the need for security to ensure her safety. Yet the decision that really angered them was not mine, but the U.S. Supreme Court’s, which last week refused to lift the stay on the president’s illegal actions. In doing so, the Court left in place the decision of every lower court that has reviewed the matter, as well as the considered judgment of a majority of the States. From its onset, the suit was never about politics – it was about defending the separation of powers and the rule of law. As Nevada’s chief law enforcement officer and as an Iraq veteran, my argument all along has been that, as complex and painful as this issue is for so many, there is an issue more solemn and transcending: the observance of the rule of law by everyone, including even the president. In 2010, President Obama said: “I am president, I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself.” In 2011 he said: “[T]he fact of the matter is there are...

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Federal agency’s unconstitutional power grab

  Few states feel the importance of water more keenly than Nevada, where cities and towns are surrounded by high sierra and desert landscapes. But agriculture, industry, and nature can all thrive here, even in the midst of a severe drought, largely because our delicate ecosystem is regulated and maintained at the local and state levels, where citizens consult their elected representatives and express their needs to listening ears. Federal regulatory agencies think they can do better. Unfortunately, that’s not surprising. What is surprising is the astonishing scope of a new federal “waters of the United States” rule recently published by the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers. Left unchecked, the new rule extends federal regulatory power over vast portions of Nevada, displacing state and local governments as the primary regulator of intrastate waters. That is why I, on behalf of Nevada, joined a dozen other states in a bipartisan legal challenge to this federal executive power grab. Reading the rule, it is hard to tell what would not qualify as a federally regulated “water of the United States.” Rain-filled ditches and some irrigation channels may now be covered, as well as seasonal streams connected to navigable waters only once a century. If that wasn’t enough, the agencies created a new category for “other waters,” allowing them to exert jurisdiction on a case-by-case basis. The only waters that will...

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