and state, a continuing debate. An 8-foot high cross that was
erected beside U.S. Highway 50 in memory of murder victim Krystal Steadman,
was recently removed by the State. The State of Nevada is planning hearings
in 2004 to establish a policy on roadside memorials, meanwhile the Nevada
Dept. of Transportation had the cross removed because they were informed
by a Reno attorney that they might face legal action regarding whether
the cross violated the separation between church and state.
Bonds to finance new local schools. The Washoe County
school board unanimously voted in favor of issuing $55 million bonds
to fund construction and improvement costs of educational buildings.
Precisely how the money is to be spent has not been decided, but Trustees
have some tough decisions to make before their January meeting, when
the allocation of these funds is likely to be agreed.
Votes to Reform Medical Liability. Both houses of the Nevada
State Legislature approved two measures designed to lower malpractice
insurance premiums for Nevada doctors. The Senate voted 13-8 for a doctors-backed
bill limiting lawyer fees and removing two exceptions from Nevada's
cap on pain-and-suffering jury awards. The Democrat-controlled Assembly
unanimously passed an insurance reform measure that would prevent insurers
from raising their premiums in certain circumstances. Both bills are
likely to need significant amendments in order to stand a chance of
cleared to purchase BLM land. Carson City's protest over the
proposed sale of BLM land to Douglas County for commercial development
has been rejected by Assistant Interior Secretary, Rebecca Watson. Carson
City officials had argued that the Douglas County proposal was flawed
since it did not address economic and environmental impacts on the capital,
in particular, loss of sales tax revenue. They are also concerned that
the plan does not adequately address the impact of increased traffic
and housing needs. Douglas County has been working with the U.S. Bureau
of Land Management for more than four years to acquire the 146-acre
site on the county line for commercial development.