LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- There are only 22 days left in the 80th session of the Nevada Legislature, and with a potential teacher's strike looming, legislators will have a limited time to draft legislation that includes teacher raises in the upcoming budget.
Francis Carleton, a political science teacher at College of Southern Nevada for the past four years, said things would've been a lot easier on legislators if funding proposals hit desks much earlier in the session.
"It's part of the struggle of a part-time legislature," Carleton said.
Carleton noted that threats of strikes have worked in getting teachers additional funding "even in states where it's been illegal," like Nevada. Clark County School District could seek legal action if educators go through with a strike in the 2019-2020 school year.
However, Carleton said it is unlikely that the legislature will pass meaningful legislation on teacher raises before the end of the session on June 3. The Nevada Senate is one vote short of a Democratic super-majority. Carleton noted that both chambers need a two-thirds vote to approve a tax increase.
Carleton said Governor Steve Sisolak could call a special session over the summer in order to get legislation for teacher raises. Sisolak promised a three percent raise for teachers in his State-of-the-State address in January.
The last special session called in the Nevada Legislature was in Oct. 2016, when Gov. Brian Sandoval wanted a tax approved to help fund the Las Vegas Stadium project.
Carleton pointed to the 2015 legislative session as an example of when a last-minute education funding bill was signed before the end of the session. Senate Bill 515, which provided public education funding for the 2015-2017 biennium, was first read in the legislature May 31, 2015 and was declared an emergency measure. It was passed by the legislature by June 1, 2015 and Sandoval signed the bill into law by June 8, 2015.
Carleton could not make any predictions on what will transpire between Nevada politicians drafting bills, CCSD officials threatening legal action and educators threatening strike.
"We all wish we knew the answer," Carleton said.