Tag Archives: reform

Stars impacted by violence join students' ' gun-reform rallies


Alex Brandon/ AP Ariana Grande performs “Be Alright” during the “March for Our Lives” rally in support of weapon control, Saturday, March 24, 2018, in Washington.

Sunday, March 25, 2018|9 a.m.

LOS ANGELES– Paul McCartney, Common, Miley Cyrus, Amy Schumer and other stars played supporting functions at across the country gun-reform rallies dominated by teenage survivors’ emotional speeches.

Still, the demonstrations were deeply personal for some of the celebs included.

Jennifer Hudson, who performed “The Times They Are A Changin'” to cap Saturday’s March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C., mentioned the shooting deaths of her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew in 2008.

” We have actually all lost somebody. … We’ve all got a purpose. And we desire what? We want modification,” she stated, motivating the large crowd to join her in song.

McCartney said his choice to participate in the New York City rally was triggered by the 1980 Manhattan shooting death of John Lennon, his previous Beatles bandmate.

” Among my best friends was eliminated in weapon violence, right ’round here, so it’s important to me,” he informed CNN.

Asked exactly what he hoped could be achieved by the occasion, McCartney opened his jacket to reveal the slogan emblazoned on his black Tee shirts: “We can end weapon violence.”

Hudson, appearing tearful as she concluded her appearance, was backed by members of a Washington choir and survivors of the Feb. 14 Parkland, Florida, high school shooting. Trainees from the school led rallies gone to by numerous thousands of people in the nation’s capital and other U.S. cities.

Celebs attending the Washington event consisted of power couples George and Amal Clooney and Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg, who assisted fund the protests with a combined $1 million contribution. Also going to were Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, Glenn Close, Cher, Jimmy Fallon and Dennis Rodman.

Common, Cyrus, Andra Day, Vic Mensa, Demi Lovato, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Platt and Ariana Grande carried out in Washington, and Rita Ora took the phase in Los Angeles.

” This tune is dedicated to Stephon Clark, Decynthia Clements and all the unarmed black men and women eliminated by cops weapons,” Mensa stated before carrying out “Now We Could Be Free.”

Grande experienced another model of violence when her 2017 Manchester, England, show was bombed, eliminating 22 people and injuring scores of others.

Schumer, the actress-comedian and cousin of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, talked to Parkland survivors attending the Los Angeles rally, telling them the violence they sustained needs to stop.

Is education reform formally dead in the United States?

Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018|2 a.m.

View more of the Sun’s opinion section

One year into the Trump presidency, it’s hard to find severe conversation in Washington about education reform. In a Jan. 16 speech at the American Enterprise Institute, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos stated: “Federal education reforms have not worked as hoped,” in spite of costs billions of dollars.

Under President George W. Bush, the Department of Education stressed standards and testing for all students as cornerstones for enhancing schools. The Obama administration used federal financing to stimulate education reform; at one point offering more than $7 billion to states.

Congress changed the federal role in December 2015 by passing the Every Trainee Succeeds Act. State and local teachers invited the remedy for federal regulations, mandates and test-based responsibility. While getting higher versatility to develop innovative methods to enhance schools, states lost federal funding and political cover for education reform policies.

The funding loss is significant. In the first Trump administration budget plan, education funding for disadvantaged children was cut 12 percent. The 2018-19 spending plan will likely make much deeper cuts.

According to a November 2017 report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, public funding for K-12 education “has decreased drastically in a variety of states over the past decade.” The report mentions 29 states that spent less in 2015 per trainee than prior to the economic downturn in 2008. There is little enhancement the past few years in spite of a robust economy. A lot of states are unable to replace lost federal funding.

State education firm capacity also has suffered. At a February 2017 hearing, New york city State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia called the state education department “the most staff-deprived education firm in the nation.” Lots of other state leaders would echo that evaluation.

Nonetheless, states have proposed enthusiastic objectives in strategies sent to the Education Department. For example, states have devoted to increase the four-year graduation rates (90 percent four-year graduation rate in Minnesota by 2020); considerably increase the portion of trainees who excel in English Language Arts and mathematics (75 percent efficiency in Rhode Island by 2025 and Kentucky by 2030); and close the achievement gap by reducing the variety of nonproficient trainees by HALF (Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, Ohio).

Nevertheless, a December 2017 review of 35 state strategies by Bellwether Education Partners concluded that a major weakness is “objectives that are largely untethered to the state’s long-term vision, historical performance or other unbiased standard.” In other words, states are proposing enhancements in trainee efficiency that far exceed any levels they have been able to achieve in the past.

In the face of serious financing obstacles, why would mention leaders devote to education reforms that require unprecedented enhancements in student efficiency levels? Are state education leaders setting themselves up for failure and blame by politicians and the public? Why not develop more practical, attainable goals?

Initially, political pressure for school enhancement is growing at the state level. Governors wish to contend for business that will bring high-wage tasks and enhance the economy. A poor carrying out K-12 system is a liability. An outstanding prepare for enhancing schools can assist states make the case to future companies.

Second, a 2013 National Center for Education Data study discovered that a lot of states define efficiency levels at exactly what National Evaluation of Education Progress calls fundamental. Since that time, some states are making state proficiency standards higher. However efficiency levels differ from one state to another, potentially making attaining considerable trainee gains possible if levels are at first set low.

Finally, 80 percent of the state education commissioners have actually been on the task for 3 years or less. Assuming the turnover rate continues, practically none of these leaders will be on the job when the state is held liable for achieving its goals. It’s easy to set enthusiastic goals for your successors.

Where does that leave the concern: Is education reform dead?

The federal government has actually punted education reform to the states. Faced with lessened resources and leadership turnover, states will have to figure out the best ways to sustain implementation of curriculum and guideline changes had to meet the original ambitious ESSA efficiency objectives. If they fail, specify education leaders will as soon as again redefine the goals and timelines. Then the term “education reform” may simply vanish in the education policy conversation.

James A. Kadamus was New york city sate deputy commissioner of education for 11 years and now is an education expert and writer in Rhode Island. He composed this for InsideSources.com.

Tax Reform Costs Draws Mindful Assistance from CRE Industry Leaders

Proposal Maintains 1031 Exchanges, Interest Reduction, However Housing Groups Worred About Influence On Residential Markets

From right, House Ways and Ways Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), Tax Policy Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer conference during The Roundtable’s fall meeting in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 3.

Credit: Realty Roundtable

CRE industry leaders who fretted that the biggest reword of the United States tax code in more than three years would eliminate like-kind 1031 exchange deals or reduce the capability of services to cross out interest and financial obligation expenses breathed a collective sigh of relief last week after House Republican politician leaders detailed the significant elements of their long-awaited bill.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1), released last week by the U.S. Legislature Ways and Method Committee, also maintains existing rules for crossing out depreciation of business residential or commercial property, while minimizing the tax problem on all services.

Realty Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer, who led efforts to keep those arrangements, said the proposed costs, by lowering barriers to private-sector capital development and service financial investment, “will boost financial demand and job development.”

“If the last bill resembles the one introduced today, our market will put more people to work improving and enhancing existing properties – office complex, shopping mall, homes, commercial residential or commercial properties – to meet the altering and growing needs of American organisations and consumers,” DeBoer said in a statement.

The proposition lowers the business tax rate from 35% to 20% for tax years starting after 2017 and reverses the corporate alternative minimum tax.

The legislation offers an unique optimum 25% tax rate on ordinary income that would use to the “certified service earnings” of individuals engaged in business activities through sole proprietorships, tax partnerships and S corporations. Organisation earnings not qualifying as such would stay based on the normal ordinary earnings tax rate.

Current law typically deals with those entities as “pass-through” entities subject to tax at the owner or shareholder level. Earnings earned by a specific owner or shareholder of one of these entities is reported on the individual’s income tax return and undergoes regular earnings tax rates approximately the top individual marginal rate of 39.6%.

In a bulletin, the CRE Finance Council (CREFC) described the retention of interest reduction, 1031 exchanges and existing cost recovery and devaluation rules as “significant actions in the advocacy effort to allow for ongoing CRE market liquidity and supply/demand balance.”

While CREFC stays hesitant that House management can fulfill its aggressive goal of getting the bill to the Senate prior to the Thanksgiving vacation due to its size and complexity, the group anticipates a flurry of Congressional activity up till the holiday.

“We caution that unpredictability will be the order of the day up until the costs either advances to the Senate (which is working on its own legislation) or gets stymied by member opposition,” the group stated.

The U.S. apartment or condo market’s primary lobbying groups, the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and National Apartment Association (NAA), stated that while they are still examining the legislation, the proposal as composed “seeks to motivate economic development and task creation.”

“Critically, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would maintain interest deductibility, like-kind exchanges and other arrangements important to the house market,” the groups stated in a joint declaration.

NMHC/NAA stated it would deal with legislators to safeguard those arrangements and others, including the capital gains treatment of carried interest and the Low-Income Real Estate Tax Credit (LIHTC), throughout the “long procedure ahead prior to tax reform ends up being law.”

While capital markets, CRE and small-business interests usually lauded the proposition, the property real estate and mortgage market pointed out serious issues about how the arrangements will impact U.S. real estate markets, consisting of the production of economical real estate.

“We believe that the proposed changes to the home loan interest reduction, deductibility of state and regional real estate taxes and the exemption for capital gains treatment when families offer their principal residence would have a negative impact on the real estate market and potentially the nationwide economy as a whole,” said David H. Stevens, president and CEO of the Home Loan Bankers Association (MBA). “We are also worried about the prospective effect of certain provisions on the production of economical housing, which is essential.”

Heck: Immigration reform talks ought to consist of birthright citizenship

U.S. Rep. Joe Heck said Thursday that bequest citizenship must be on the table in the wider discussion about migration reform.

The 3rd Congressional District Republican made the remark to press reporters after speaking at a breakfast sponsored by the Las Vegas City Chamber of Commerce. The event drew about 200 individuals to the Vdara.

Heck is seeking his party’s election for the Senate seat of Harry Reid, D-Nev., who is not seeking re-election in 2016. Former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto is looking for the Democratic nomination and has Reid’s support.

The race is shaping up under a broader national background, the conversation of migration reform that has dominated the presidential race. Republican front-runner Donald Trump, for example, has gotten prevalent interest by requiring completion of the due citizenship arrangement in the 14th Modification of the united state Constitution. That provision offers citizenship to babies born in the united state even if their moms and dads are in the nation unlawfully.

Heck was noncommittal about whether birthright citizenship should change.

“I think it needs to be part of the conversation,” Heck said. “People want to discuss immigration reform so if we’re going to discuss immigration reform, then let’s talk about all aspects of migration reform. Let’s come up with a system of immigration that works for Americans. So I believe it should be part of the conversation.”

Heck stated the migration discussion ought to consist of other elements such as border security, e-verify and a path to legalization for citizenship.

“Everything that everyone wants to talk about relating to migration must be on the table so that we can come up with a response that ideally will put the question to rest … about a migration system that works for everybody,” Heck stated.

Asked about Trump, Heck said “I do not discuss Donald,” adding that he’s focused on his district.

Heck said he has a good relationship with Latinos and those relationships “will endure no matter exactly what other individuals outside of Nevada state.”

Heck took concerns from the reader.

Inquired about Yucca Mountain and its function as a repository for high-level nuclear waste, Heck said the Nuclear Regulatory Commission hasn’t yet made a decision on whether it’s safe or not safe.

“The objective for me is to make sure that the security and security of Nevadans is secured despite what the decision is,” Heck said.

Inquired about the Interstate 11 job, Heck said the huge concern is funding. The task would provide a freeway between Las Vegas and Phoenix, and eventually extend between Mexico and Canada. He said he wants to see a modification that would permit large business that buy infrastructure bonds an added reward of being able to repatriate their money tax-free. That would allow them to transfer funds back into the united state from other nations.

Contact Ben Botkin at [email protected]!.?.! or 702-387-2904. Find him on Twitter: @BenBotkin1

Entertainment tax reform benefits gambling establishments, bad for Electric Sissy Carnival


Steve Marcus

Fans pack the Circuit Premises phase as Calvin Harris performs throughout the final night of the 2014 Electric Daisy Carnival on Sunday, June 22, 2014, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Friday, June 12, 2015|2 a.m.

Upcoming modifications to a Nevada tax on entertainment have casino representatives breathing a sigh of relief, however the organizers of two annual celebrations that contribute countless dollars to the state economy aren’t happy.

Gov. Brian Sandoval signed a bill on Thursday that aims to simplify the state’s live home entertainment tax, which numerous big casinos and resorts have to pay. The expense replaces the current tiered system with a consistent levy on tickets and clarifies a complex set of certifications and exemptions.

Organizers of Burning Man and the Electric Daisy Carnival don’t such as the bill due to the fact that it suggests the tax will be troubled them for the first time. Yet fans say it will certainly eliminate a lot of confusion for the casino market about when the tax is used.

“The taxing authorities have had a difficult time attempting to draw clear lines of what is live home entertainment and what isn’t,” said state Sen. Mark Lipparelli, R-Las Vegas, one of the expense’s sponsors. “That was partly just as a result of the method home entertainment has evolved in Nevada. It probably, at the time (the tax) was developed, appeared more clear. But as entertainment choices evolved in Nevada, it ended up being a lot more hard.”

Presently, whether the tax is applied and how high the rate is depends on the size of a location and a series of other factors to consider. Under the changes in the expense, the tax rate for everybody will certainly be 9 percent of the admission charge.

Nevada Resort Association President Virginia Valentine said her group, which lobbies on behalf of the gambling establishment market, has been promoting reform of the tax for the previous 2 legislative sessions. Like Lipparelli, she stated the present law created far too much ambiguity for taxpayers.

“It had not been clear when something was entertainment and when it was taking place in the background or incidental to something else,” Valentine stated. “We very much supported the costs. We think it’s going to make it simpler for both the regulatory authorities and the market to analyze.”

For example, the old law excused entertainment in a dining establishment, as long as there was no charge and it was incidental to other activities or part of the atmosphere. That left a great deal of room for interpretation– and dispute– about exactly what, exactly, qualifies as incidental or ambient. The new costs removes that exemption and renders it unimportant with the clearer requirement that the tax begins when facilities charge for admission.

Questions about when to use the tax developed routinely, inning accordance with Gaming Control panel Member Terry Johnson, who approximated that the bill could deal with around 80 percent of such disagreements. The control panel is liable for collecting the tax from all gaming facilities– feel that big resorts on the Strip– while the state Department of Taxation collects it from everybody else.

Inning accordance with Johnson, the control board gathered nearly $140 million in live entertainment taxes in fiscal year 2014, while the taxation department gathered almost $15 million.

The expense gets rid of exemptions for outdoor occasions and nonprofits, so Burning Guy and EDC will be consisted of in the second group of taxpayers. The only way for a nonprofit such as Burning Guy to avoid tax under the expense would be if offered fewer than 7,500 tickets; Burning Man draws more than 60,000 people.

Click to enlarge photo

In this Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, photo, a band plays on top of a bus at Burning Guy in Gerlach, Nev. As soon as a year, 10s of thousands of individuals gather for Burning Man in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to develop Black Rock City, dedicated to community, art, self-expression and self-reliance.

Naturally, the groups behind those desert celebrations are not passionate about what is for them a brand-new cost, though neither will need to pay it until next year. Burning Man released a statement calling the tax reform “misguided” and emphasizing that its participants contribute upward of $40 million to the Nevada economy.

Burning Guy likewise doesn’t concur that it constitutes entertainment. Its statement stated Black Rock City, the short-lived desert gathering developed by Burning Guy patrons, is “a neighborhood of individuals who create their own experience.”

“There is no entertainment offered,” Burning Guy’s statement stated.

EDC organizer Insomniac, at the same time, issued a thinly veiled danger to take its company somewhere else because of the tax, asserting the modifications could cause the electronic dance music occasion to operate at a loss.

“That’s merely not a viable long-lasting strategy for any successful company,” the Insomniac statement said. “Something is specific, we never avoid a challenge, and we hope that we can find a method to produce Electric Sissy Carnival moving on, while still keeping the quality experience that our fans expect from us.”

EDC has generated more than $1 billion in financial output for Clark County over the past 5 years, according to Insomniac.

Lipparelli is sensitive to the issues of the festivals however stated he thinks they’re both socially conscious companies that understand Nevada is a perfect location to host their events.

Repairing the tax was likewise about fairness for Lipparelli, a former chairman of the Video gaming Control panel.

“There’s an actual imbalance to charging someone an admission tax when they’re inside a building and not charging somebody a tax when they’re outside a structure for the specific very same activity,” he said.

The major celebrations aren’t the only new taxpayers under the expense. Disc jockey performances, which could be easily omitted previously, will certainly likewise go through the tax, as will companions.

However exemptions persist. NASCAR, for instance, can avoid the tax if it holds two or more races at a Nevada racetrack in the exact same calendar year. The bill also does not consider go-go dancing to be live home entertainment.

Carole Vilardo, president of the Nevada Taxpayers Association, supported the modifications to the tax, but she believes legislators need to go additionally.

“I would love to see the rate lower than 9 percent, and to do that, you have to have the tax apply as broadly as possible,” Vilardo said. “While we have actually expanded the tax, we haven’t expanded it to the point that we could drop the rate much more.”

The expense’s provisions will use starting Oct. 1.