LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada Democratic lawmakers are criticizing the governor’s efforts to fund opportunity scholarships.
The program started in 2015 and aims to help low-income students attend private schools. Last week, Republican Governor Joe Lombardo said he was using COVID relief money to prevent hundreds of kids from losing their scholarships.
Lombardo’s plan will be discussed next week before the Interim Finance Committee.
However, Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager, D-Clark County, said this should’ve been handled during the legislative session.
“There was never, ever, ever, ever a discussion that if we did not do something with the funding, rather than the $6.65 million that’s in law, that students would potentially lose the opportunity to stay at their schools,” Speaker Yeager said on Wednesday during a press conference Nevada Democrats held inside the Grant Sawyer Building.
Yeager said the governor is asking for $3 million more dollars in funding to be added to opportunity scholarships.
Gov. Lombard’s spokesman Elizabeth Ray sent 8 News Now a statement on the issue:
“Democrats have clearly decided to intentionally misremember the end of the legislative session, including a meeting with the Governor’s Chief of Staff in the final days in which he outlined a compromise that included funding Opportunity Scholarships at the 2022-2023 level, so that no current students would be impacted. It’s unfortunate that Democratic ‘leaders’ are running from their actions now that they see the actual consequences on children and families. The sad truth is not only did Democrats in the legislature reject Governor Lombardo’s plan to provide scholarships and choice to low-income families for years to come, they rejected a compromise to take care of the children currently in the program.”