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This is the moment for real change

The outlook for the coming year — and years to come — depends greatly on the challenges tackled during the 2015 Legislature.

The Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce is committed to pressing for outcomes in the 2015 legislative session that will address the quality of K-12 education with policies that will lead to measurable and markedly improved classroom achievement. Like many other stakeholders, the chamber has been a strong and consistent advocate for positive change — including Common Core Standards, additional funding for English language learners, all-day kindergarten and adoption of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. Like never before, the time is now to reform education in a meaningful way, with improved and dependable funding as a necessary part of the conversation.

K-12 education is a priority but not the only one at stake. Higher education, health and human services and transportation infrastructure, to name a few, also must be addressed in this next legislative session. But we cannot adequately address these priorities without first reviewing and reforming our tax structure.

The time has come to have some serious tax reform discussions. Our community’s employers have long asked for a steady and predictable tax structure — one that can generate future revenue enhancements but also bring much needed stability and reduced volatility, improving the ability to plan for the future of your business and providing a foundation to support our economy.

Las Vegas Metro Chamber is not alone in its desire to find solutions and implement change. Many in our state are passionate about addressing these matters. The adoption of meaningful public policies starts from the perspective of uniting our state and not dividing it. As such, the chamber is committed to engaging its statewide partners to focus on reforming tax structure by gathering insights and ideas from others to develop a plan. As Nevada’s leading voice of business, the chamber will be reaching out to legislators, chambers and trade associations, organized labor, educators, community leaders and other stakeholders to help foster a cooperative, communicative and broad-based dialogue about tax reform in 2015 and to develop a plan.

Tax reform will require give and take; it will mean compromise. Las Vegas Metro Chamber is asking our members and our partners in the community and the state to join us in moving forward to get something done in the 2015 legislative session. Our children — Nevada’s future workforce — depend on action in this session to produce meaningful reforms.

Each new year brings the promise of a better future. This legislative session, we truly can work together to finally take on the big issues — not just nip around the edges — but truly make changes and enact needed reforms. Imagine what it would mean to our state if we stabilized our tax structure and not have to cobble together a tax package in the final hours of the legislative session. Imagine what it would be like if we forged ahead with education reforms that will better prepare our children for the workforce. Imagine if we built an allopathic medical school at UNLV and the opportunities it would bring to improving health care and expanding health care jobs.

We are a big state with huge potential. Let’s join together and push forward the changes we need to maximize it.

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