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2023 Legislative Summary

Executive Summary

The Nevada System of Higher Education 2023 Legislative Report is a summary of legislative activity from the 82nd Session of the Nevada State Legislature. This report is intended to provide an overview of legislative and budgetary impacts to NSHE and its eight institutions. Below you will find information on legislation that was successfully approved by the Assembly and Senate and signed into law by the Governor.

This report provides summaries and links to legislation that was successfully approved and signed into law by the Governor (at the time of its release). You will find information within the following categories:

Letter from the Chancellor

Greetings!

The 82nd Session of the Nevada State Legislature marked the start of the term for a new governor and many new legislators. The NSHE 黑料网, working with our institutional Presidents, developed a biennial budget that would restore funding levels to pre-pandemic levels and invest in many new initiatives. Thankfully, Governor Lombardo and Legislative Leadership embraced this vision 鈥 restoring much of the funding lost in recent years and making major investments in our students and employees.

Restoration and recovery dollars may not seem all that visionary, but as NSHE continues to find its ways back from the pandemic era and begins to cope with changing enrollment patterns and new fiscal pressure, having the State invest in core programs is critical. We saw significant gains for graduate students, health care and teach preparation, and access to higher education through fee waivers for Native Americans and the children of Purple Heart recipients.

We also built a new alliance with the Governor鈥檚 Office of Economic Development that will support institutional workforce training efforts. This will pay dividends long into the future for the economic mobility of our fellow Nevadans. All our student scholarship programs (Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship, Silver State Opportunity Grant Program and Nevada Promise) were funded as well 鈥 another example of investing in the future of our students and our state.

Perhaps the most important piece of legislation was the approval of Governor Lombardo鈥檚 request for an interim study of the NSHE funding formula with particular attention on accountability and transparency. During the coming year, this process will dominate the debate about how we best serve ALL students and ALL institutions.

While there is a good deal to celebrate about the 2023 Legislative session, the session also presented some significant challenges. The manner in which the Legislature again closed NSHE cost-of-living adjustments left the Board and Presidents scrambling to do the right thing by employees this year while keeping an eye on long-term sustainability. We are pleased the 黑料网 approved a 12 percent increase for 2024, while we look forward to working with all stakeholders on the long-term fiscal impact of the shortfall in State appropriated funds.

I鈥檓 personally grateful to Andrew Clinger and Alejandro Rodriguez for the role they played in spearheading the higher education presence in the halls of the Legislature. Working with government relations staff and lobbyists from across the NSHE institutions, this team kept our constituencies informed and garnered the trust of legislators and the Governor鈥檚 staff. We sincerely appreciate the support of our elected officials and look forward to our work in the upcoming biennium to support education, research, and workforce development in the State of Nevada.

Respectfully,
Dale A.R. Erquiaga
Acting Chancellor
Nevada System of Higher Education

Snapshot of the 82nd Session

82nd Regular Session days

120

Number of Legislators

63

2023 Bill Draft Requests

1,234

Total legislative bills

1,096

Bills Signed into law by the Governor

536

Bills vetoed by Governor

75

Number of bills tracked by NSHE

155

Number of bills supported by NSHE

56

Number of bills supported by NSHE that became law

39

NSHE Appropriations and Capital Improvement Projects

General appropriation bill. This authorizes funding to NSHE and its institutions for the 2023-2025 biennium. This includes $74 million in budget restorations, DRI funding formula revisions, and an almost $20 million to increase the number and stipends for graduate teaching assistants.

Authorizes certain expenditures by the State Public Works Division of the Department of Administration. This bill funds our Governor-recommended projects including the Higher Education Capital Construction / Special Higher Education Capital Construction Deferred Maintenance Funding ($15 million), Chilled Water Central Plant at DRI, and an additional $50 million Deferred Maintenance Funding.

Makes appropriations to NSHE for enrollment recovery at and to support certain expenditures for certain institutions within the System.Makes appropriations to NSHE for enrollment recovery at and to support certain expenditures for certain institutions within the System.

Makes appropriations to NSHE for the renewal of certain technology leases and the replacement of certain technological equipment.

Makes an appropriation to NSHE for an interim study of the funding formula for the System.

Makes an appropriation to the University of Nevada, Reno, for the addition of weighted student credit hours resulting from the acquisition of Sierra Nevada College.

Makes an appropriation to the Office of Finance in the Office of the Governor for certain costs related to the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and costs for interdisciplinary opportunities for health students at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Workforce and Economic Development

Creates a statewide Behavioral Health Workforce Development Center of Nevada within NSHE that would help recruit and train mental and behavioral health providers, starting at the high school level and continuing through licensure.

Makes an appropriation of $10 million for startup and support costs for expanding programs for workforce and economic development including Workforce Incentive Grants.

Revises provisions governing the NV Grow Program and appropriates $950,000 for each fiscal year to the College of Southern Nevada for certain allocations and to assist and carry out the Program.

Requires the Office of Science, Innovation and Technology to establish the Graduate Medical Education Grant Program for the purpose of awarding grants to institutions seeking to create, expand or retain accredited programs for residency training and postdoctoral fellowships for physicians.

Makes an appropriation of $20 million for a grant program at NSHE to expand undergraduate and graduate nursing programs.

Education and Scholarships

Creates the Student Loan Repayment for Providers of Health Care in Underserved Communities Program

Creates the Nevada Grown Educator Account to be administered by the State Treasurer. This account will provide reimbursement for tuition and fees for students completing certain requirements, including completing a Teacher Academy College Pathway Program.

Creates within the Department of Education the Incentivizing Pathways to Teaching Grant Program. The Program authorizes the State Board of Education to award grants to public or private universities and colleges in Nevada that offer certain programs that: (1) qualify a student to obtain a license as a teacher; or (2) allow a student to specialize in the subject area of early childhood education. Universities and colleges which receive grants under the Program will award tuition assistance and stipends to students who satisfy certain requirements.

Removes the requirement that, to qualify for employment as a substitute teacher, a student teacher must have completed at least four weeks of student teaching in a school district. Additionally, the bill appropriates $1,575,000 to Nevada鈥檚 Department of Education for the Nevada Institute on Teaching and Educator Preparation.

Appropriates funds to the Nevada Promise Scholarship Account and the Millennium Scholarship Trust Fund to support their respective scholarship programs.

Tuition and Fee Waiver Legislation

Revises provisions requiring the 黑料网 to grant waivers of registration and other mandatory fees for certain students who are Native American and makes an appropriation to the Nevada System of Higher Education to help defray the cost of granting the waivers.

Requires the 黑料网 to waive the payment of registration fees, laboratory fees and other mandatory fees for a student who is the child of a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States awarded a Purple Heart, provided the student graduated from a Nevada high school and that the veteran is a bona fide resident of Nevada or was at the time of their death. The waiver may be used by the student for ten years after the student turns 18 or, if the student enrolls prior to turning 18, ten years from that enrollment date.

Directs the Joint Interim Standing Committee on Education to study waivers of registration fees, laboratory fees and other fees at institutions within the Nevada System of Higher Education.

Prohibits the 黑料网 from charging nonresident tuition to a student who successfully completes a high school equivalency assessment selected by the State Board of Education, provided the assessment is administered in Nevada, or solely on the basis that the student is not lawfully present in the United States if the student has been granted temporary protected status by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services of the United States Department of Homeland Security. Also prohibits, under specific circumstances, against the 黑料网 from denying an exemption of tuition charges against a student on the basis that the student is not lawfully present in the United States if the student has been granted deferred action from the United States Department of Homeland Security.

NSHE Governance

Amends the Nevada Constitution to remove the constitutional provisions governing the election and duties of the 黑料网 and to authorize the Legislature to provide by statute for the governance of NSHE. To become effective, this amendment will be on the 2024 ballot for approval and ratification by the voters.

Reduces the number of members of the 黑料网 from 13 to 9. Additionally, this bill reduces the length of terms of members from 6 years to 4 years, beginning with the 2028 election cycle. This bill staggers the initial terms of members of the 黑料网 following the reduction in membership and revises the length of terms of members elected at the general elections held in 2024 and 2026.

Authorizes the 黑料网 to enter into an agreement with a nonprofit organization, community entity or governmental agency to provide certain tools for the purpose of facilitating family involvement in early childhood education.

Requires the 黑料网 to establish policies and procedures which: (1) enable current and former students, including students who owe a debt to the system or an institution within the system, to access unofficial transcripts at any time; (2) enable current and former students, including students who owe a debt to the system or an institution within the system, to obtain an official transcript or have an official transcript transmitted to a third party; and (3) prohibit an institution within the System from charging a current or former student a higher fee to obtain a transcript or have a transcript transmitted to a third party because the student owes a debt.

Renames the Task Force on Sexual Misconduct at Institutions of Higher Education to the Task Force on Power-based Violence at Institutions of Higher Education. This bill also revises the duties of the Task Force and authorizes the 黑料网 to require an institution to provide programming on awareness and prevention of power-based violence.

NSHE Employees

Provides two retention incentive payments of $500 each, less standard deductions to permanent employees who were employed in a classified or professional position that is no less than half-time on March 31 and June 16, 2023.

Makes Juneteenth Day a legal holiday in this State to be observed on June 19

Provides that the salaries of NSHE classified employees receive a 12% cost of living adjustment, and professional employees be increased by an amount not to exceed 12 percent in FY2024, commencing on July 1.

Institution Specific Legislation

Makes an appropriation of $1.2 million for the biennium to the Desert Research Institute to support the Nevada State Cloud Seeding Program.

Changes the name of the Nevada State College to the Nevada State University and directs the 黑料网 of the University of Nevada to take all necessary steps to implement the name change.

providing for the limited issuance of special license plates commemorating the 150th anniversary of the founding of the University of Nevada, Reno

Makes an appropriation of $1 million over two years to the Thomas & Mack Legal Clinic at the William S. Boyd School of Law of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for the purpose of providing pro bono legal services.

Legislative Resource Information