Las Vegas, Nev.—Today, the Institute for Justice (IJ) announced that it will appeal a judge’s decision upholding the Legislature’s reduction of education tax credits without the super majority required by the state’s constitution. IJ represents three low-income mothers who depend on scholarships to keep their children in their chosen schools. The ruling can be directly appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court.
“The families are deeply disappointed by today’s decision but always expected that the Nevada Supreme Court would eventually hear their case,” said IJ Attorney Joshua House. “Parents all over Nevada are struggling to keep their children in the schools they have chosen for them. We are going to continue fighting on their behalf and hopefully the Nevada Supreme Court will be more skeptical of the Legislature’s self-serving interpretation of the state constitution.”
To accommodate the state’s growing population and increasing education costs, the 2015 law that established the Nevada Educational Choice Scholarship Program increased the number of tax credits available by 10% annually. In 2019, the Legislature passed AB 458, repealing the annual 10% increase for that year and every year after. However, the legislation only passed with 13 of 21 votes in the Senate, one short of the two-thirds requirement for revenue raising measures. By removing this provision, the Legislature both increased revenue to the state and limited the growth of the scholarships, leading at least one scholarship organization to reject qualified applicants out of concern that funds will dry up.