Archive for category: Political Update

June 25, 2019
25 Jun 2019

Political Update – June 25, 2019

Nevada Embraces Public Unions

Democrats let state employees collectively bargain. Watch out for a state income tax.

The Editorial Board
The Wall Street Journal

June 20, 2019

Nevada taxpayers had a good 54-year run, but this month their luck ran out. The state Legislature recently overrode a 1965 ban on collectively bargaining for state employees. Gov. Steve Sisolak has signed the bill, and watch now for a tax-and-spend ratchet to accelerate in one of the nine states without a tax on wage and salary income.

The legislation means the state’s 20,000 or so public employees can be represented by a union to negotiate wages, pensions and work rules. The law is a huge payoff for the unions that supported Mr. Sisolak and the Democratic legislative majorities that swept to power in November.

In effect the unions will now be on both sides of the negotiating table as they demand more money from the Governor they helped elect. Taxpayers won’t be represented because Mr. Sisolak will want to reward his union benefactors. This is why public unions differ from industrial unions that negotiate with a single private employer, and why Franklin Roosevelt opposed unions for public workers.

Nevada Democrats claim the law includes checks on wage and benefit increases. If Mr. Sisolak doesn’t like the result of negotiations, he can include “any amount of money that the Governor deems appropriate” in his proposed budget. A collective-bargaining agreement must also include a clause stipulating that “any provision” that “requires the Legislature to appropriate money is effective only to the extent of the legislative appropriation.”

But in practice this merely means that Democrats in the Legislature will have to be involved in the bargaining. And their incentive is to reward the unions too. Labor negotiations are exempt from the state’s open-meeting requirements, so the deal will emerge from the backrooms as a fait accompli.

This is the way it always works. Illinois and Connecticut are classic examples as public unions effectively run the state governments. In both states unfunded pension liabilities are more than 45% of the gross state product, according to the American Legislative Exchange Council. Illinois Democrats are now trying to kill the state’s constitutional flat income-tax rate, and Connecticut is raising taxes again, as taxpayers flee to lower-tax climes.

The Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce estimates that Nevada can expect to spend an additional $1.7 billion to $1.75 billion annually by 2036. That comes to $579 to $596 per resident a year. Mr. Sisolak won’t admit it, but in signing this bill he has started the clock ticking on the date that unions and Democrats lobby to impose a state income tax.

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“In effect the unions will now be on both sides of the negotiating table as they demand more money from the Governor they helped elect. Taxpayers won’t be represented because Mr. Sisolak will want to reward his union benefactors.”

The Wall Street Journal

EDITORIAL:
Let Nevada taxpayers in
on collective bargaining talks

Las Vegas Review-Journal 

June 23, 2019

The legacy legislation that emerged from the 2019 session will be the bill allowing state workers to collectively bargain.

Long sought by Nevada’s public employee unions, the concept nevertheless languished for decades — even under previous Democratic governors, who feared the inevitable budget ramifications. But government lobbyists had their way in Carson City this year after labor helped Democrats gain large majorities in both legislative houses last November. On June 12, Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak signed Senate Bill 135, giving state workers the right to bargain for wages and benefits.

The bill includes a provision allowing the governor to ignore any deal for financial reasons. That’s a tacit admission that allowing collective bargaining for government workers is a recipe for fiscal disaster, laying the groundwork for ever-escalating compensation costs and spiraling budgets, crowding other spending. Just ask Illinois … or Connecticut … or New York … or any progressive jurisdiction. But even that limiting codicil will have minimal effect. Abiding by the results of any negotiation will become a litmus test that will determine the political fate of legislative Democrats and gubernatorial candidates. 

Keystone’s Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.

Keystone’s Mission:

• To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor’s office.
• To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
• Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth.

P.O. Box 93596 | Las Vegas, NV 89193-3596

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June 18, 2019
18 Jun 2019

Political Update – June 18, 2019

FILE SUIT TO UPHOLD TWO-THIRDS VOTE REQUIREMENT FOR TAXES

Thomas Mitchell
Mesquite Local News

June 13, 2019

So, the governor is confident that the extension of the modified business tax rate will withstand a legal challenge, according to both the Las Vegas newspaper and the online Nevada Independent.

“We’ve got legal opinion from LCB (Legislative Counsel Bureau) that, you know, a simple majority is what’s needed,” Gov. Steve Sisolak was quoted as saying this past week. “I’ve been in government for 20 some-odd years, and if you don’t trust your attorneys, you’ve got a problem. So I’m confident that the attorneys gave us a good opinion. We’ll move forward from there.”

Be prepared to move back, governor, by nearly $100 million in your budget for the next two years — the budget that promises 5 percent raises for teachers.

Republicans have promised a legal challenge if the business tax were extended without a two-thirds majority of both houses as prescribed by the Constitution. The tax extension passed the Senate on a party line vote of 13-8, one vote shy of two-thirds.

Voters in 1994 and 1996 amended the Nevada Constitution to state “an affirmative vote of not fewer than two-thirds of the members elected to each House is necessary to pass a bill or joint resolution which creates, generates, or increases any public revenue in any form, including but not limited to taxes, fees, assessments and rates, or changes in the computation bases for taxes, fees, assessments and rates.”

The modified business tax passed in 2015 by a two-thirds vote of lawmakers contained specific language saying the rates would be reduced in 2019 if tax revenues exceeded a certain level, which they have.

But the compliant LCB told the majority Democratic lawmakers and the Democratic governor, “It is the opinion of this office that Nevada’s two-thirds majority requirement does not apply to a bill which extends until a later date or revises or eliminates a future decrease in or future expiration of existing state taxes when that future decrease or expiration is not legally operative and binding yet, because such a bill does not change but maintains the existing computation bases currently in effect for the existing state taxes.”

The bill clearly “generates” revenue that two-thirds of the lawmakers in 2015 said would decrease as of July 1, 2019.

The state Constitution is not something to tamper with. Republicans should take it to court and make the Democrats abide by the rules, even if it means a special session would have to called. In fact, the GOP lawmakers should go directly to the state Supreme Court for an opinion that would be binding, unlike the LCB opinion “that future decrease or expiration is not legally operative and binding yet …”

Asked nearly the same question in 2011, 2013 and 2015, the LCB said a two-thirds vote was necessary. So, governor, when do you trust your attorneys? Now or then?

Republican lawmakers should join forces with those who will be paying the tax — Nevada businesses — and sue at the earliest possible convenience to defend the state Constitution. Randi Thompson, a lobbyist for the National Federation of Independent Business, has told the Las Vegas newspaper the organization is looking at the option of filing suit. Perhaps, the conservative Nevada Policy Research Institute can join the fray. The more the merrier. —TM

*NEW*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“Republican lawmakers should join forces with those who will be paying the tax — Nevada businesses — and sue at the earliest possible convenience to defend the state Constitution.”

Thomas Mitchell
Mesquite Local News

EDITORIAL: Raising the sales tax for schools or the Culinary union?

Las Vegas Review-Journal 

June 10, 2019

Confusion, maneuvering and chicanery traditionally mark the conclusion of each biennial legislative session in Carson City. This year was no exception as lawmakers adjourned last week. Consider the hijacking of Assembly Bill 309.

Self-described public education and social justice advocates lauded the passage of AB309 because it authorizes the Clark County Commission to increase the sales tax by 0.25 of a percentage point to raise more money for schools and homelessness. The law allows the tax hike — which could generate $108 million a year — to be imposed through either a two-thirds vote of the commission itself or via a ballot measure put to Southern Nevada voters.

Keystone’s Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.

Keystone’s Mission:

• To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor’s office.
• To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
• Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth.

P.O. Box 93596 | Las Vegas, NV 89193-3596

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June 11, 2019
11 Jun 2019

Political Update – June 11, 2019

EDITORIAL: Nevada Republicans should sue over illegal tax increase

Las Vegas Review-Journal

June 6, 2019

The state constitution won’t defend itself. That’s why Senate Republicans must go to court to challenge efforts by legislative Democrats to brazenly ignore the voter-imposed supermajority requirement for tax hikes.

On Monday, Democrats approved Senate Bill 551, an extension of the current Modified Business Tax rate. It was scheduled to decrease as a result of higher-than-anticipated revenues from the Commerce Tax. But despite a record tax take, Gov. Steve Sisolak’s budget proposal sought to kill the sunset.

The Nevada Constitution requires that any bill which “creates, generates or increases any public revenue in any form,” receive a two-thirds vote in both legislative houses. A bill that nixes the proposed tax reduction clearly “generates” revenue. That’s the whole point, after all.

Democrats have a supermajority in the Assembly, but are one vote shy in the Senate. So the majority leadership sought cover from the pliable attorneys at the Legislative Counsel Bureau, which provides legal advice to lawmakers. The LCB obliged with a nonbinding opinion declaring that extending a levy’s existing rate doesn’t trigger the two-thirds requirement. Democrats took that as a green light to approve the tax increase in the Senate by a simple majority.

It’s worth noting that the LCB reached the opposite conclusion in 2011, 2013 and 2015 regarding similar bills.

The LCB’s flip-flop was the result of political pressure rather than lucid legal reasoning. Democrats have long chafed at the two-thirds restraint, which Nevada voters twice approved overwhelmingly during the 1990s. The state’s political elite has sought to avoid or erode the mandate for decades.

*NEW*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“The alternative is to allow the LCB and legislative Democrats to flout the constitution and the will of voters by declaring for sheer political convenience that the plain English of the two-thirds requirement doesn’t mean what it says.”

Las Vegas Review-Journal

EDITORIAL: Nevada Democrats show themselves to be the party of the public sector

Las Vegas Review-Journal 

June 8, 2019

Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger has spent years chronicling how the Democrats have devolved into the “party of the state and the public sector” through the ascension of powerful government unions, “whose lifeblood is tax revenue.”

His observations might neatly describe the recently concluded 2019 session of the Nevada Legislature.

Keystone’s Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.

Keystone’s Mission:

• To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor’s office.
• To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
• Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth.

P.O. Box 93596 | Las Vegas, NV 89193-3596

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June 4, 2019
04 Jun 2019

Political Update – June 4, 2019

 

Payroll tax extension tied to teacher raises passes Senate, but lack of Republican support could trigger lawsuit 

Megan Messerly, Riley Snyder, Michelle Rindels
The Nevada Independent

June 3, 2019

Democratic lawmakers passed a bill Monday afternoon to remove a scheduled decrease in the state’s payroll tax rate, allocate the additional money it will generate toward education and formally kill a controversial quasi-voucher program in a final stab to Republican lawmakers who refused to get on board with extending the tax rate.

The dramatic defeat and resurrection of SB551 in different forms came after an hour and a half of floor debate on the last day of the legislative session and amid failed efforts by Democratic lawmakers to attract at least one Republican to support an extension in the state’s Modified Business Tax rate. The extension would raise roughly $98 million over the biennium and be directed toward school safety initiatives, teacher raises and the Opportunity Scholarship program.

After an initial vote failed with all eight Republican senators opposed, Democratic lawmakers adopted another amendment removing a requirement that it pass with support from two-thirds of lawmakers in support and adding language that would take the Education Savings Accounts program off the book. ESAs were created in 2015 but have been unfunded since a 2017 state Supreme Court decision found the funding mechanism unconstitutional.

The last-minute legislative maneuverings means lawmakers are likely to remove a scheduled decrease in the Modified Business Tax, which is assessed on payroll, and allocate $16.7 million in revenue to school safety initiatives, $72 million to teacher pay raises and $9.5 million to Opportunity Scholarships — a private school scholarship for low-income families funded through tax credits given in return for donations to scholarship organizations.

*NEW*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“Governor signs it, we’ll be in court.”

Senate Minority Leader James Settelmeyer said regarding passage of Senate Bill 551 without 2/3 majority

The Latest: Lawmakers Extend Tax for Schools, Teacher Pay

Associated Press
U.S. News & World Report 

June 4, 2019

Senate Democrats have passed a bill extending a payroll tax by removing a requirement that mandates a two-thirds vote to pass.

The measure has shaped up to be one of the largest political fights in the last day of the 2019 legislative session. Republicans issued strong objections to extending the payroll tax, which Democrats say will put $72 million toward teacher pay raises and an extra $16.7 million to school safety efforts.

Keystone’s Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.

Keystone’s Mission:

• To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor’s office.
• To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
• Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth.

P.O. Box 93596 | Las Vegas, NV 89193-3596

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May 28, 2019
28 May 2019

Political Update – May 28, 2019

 

EDITORIAL: Will legislative taxes and the governor ignore the will of the people on taxes? 

Las Vegas Review-Journal

May 25, 2019

Legislative Democrats moved closer last week to a budget debacle involving the state constitution and tax increases.

On Thursday, the Assembly Taxation Committee, on a party line vote with all Republicans opposed, forwarded Assembly Bill 538 to the full chamber. The proposal scuttles a scheduled reduction in the payroll tax paid by Nevada businesses. That would raise about $100 million over the next two years, money integral to funding Gov. Steve Sisolak’s budget.

Under Nevada law — imposed in 1996 by state voters through the Gibbons Tax Restraint Initiative — any bill in Carson City that “creates, generates or increases any public revenue in any form” must pass with a two-thirds majority in both houses of the Legislature. Democrats enjoy such dominance in the Assembly, but they are one vote shy of a supermajority in the state Senate, and legislative Republicans are in no hurry to sanction a tax hike.

Recognizing the conundrum, the governor and his Democratic allies in the Legislature argue disingenuously that AB538 does not raise taxes, it simply extends current rates. This is a position of pure political convenience. In previous sessions, Democrats have recognized that bills abolishing tax sunsets do indeed require two-thirds support if they are to pass constitutional muster. It’s basic logic that even most attorneys can grasp. If AB538 fails, the state will have $100 million less to spend over the next biennium. Ergo, AB538 “generates or increases … public revenue” and is subject to the two-thirds requirement.

Nevertheless, majority leaders sought a nonbinding opinion from the Legislative Counsel Bureau — which provides legal advice to lawmakers — on the matter. To nobody’s surprise, the LCB this month provided Democrats the cover they craved, a long-winded and tortured 24-page exercise in evasion that would have made Humpty Dumpty proud, purporting to show the plain language of the Nevada Constitution on tax hikes doesn’t mean what it clearly says.
Democrats are now threatening to push the tax hike through the Senate even if they’re unsuccessful at ipping a Republican or two to meet the constitutional mandate. That approach will prompt a court challenge and is not without risk, potentially leaving the budget with a gaping hole.

*NEW*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“If the two-thirds requirement doesn’t apply to sunsets, then it’s not a stretch before it gets weakened (in) other areas.”

Michael Pelham of the Nevada Taxpayers Association to lawmakers

Group’s analysis critical of Nevada education funding bill

John Sadler
Las Vegas Sun 

May 26, 2019

A proposal to let Nevada counties raise sales tax to pay for certain K-12 education issues is drawing concern from state’s only public policy think tank.

The Kenny Guinn Center for Policy Priorities released a report on Friday finding that a proposed amendment to Assembly Bill 309 allowing counties to implement a 0.25% sales tax would make Nevada more reliant on an “unstable and regressive” tax and create funding streams that could be unreliable. The tax would need to be approved by either a two-thirds majority of a county commission or by a majority vote in an election.

Keystone’s Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.

Keystone’s Mission:

• To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor’s office.
• To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
• Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth.

P.O. Box 93596 | Las Vegas, NV 89193-3596

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May 21, 2019
21 May 2019

Political Update – May 21, 2019

 

When bureaucrats decide a tax increase isn’t actually an increase… 

Nevada Policy Research Institute

May 10, 2019

In order to fund Governor Sisolak’s proposed budget, Democrats want to change current law, and keep in place a temporary tax increase from 2015. That increase to the Modified Business Tax was originally set to expire this year.

Most people had assumed that such a move would require at least two-thirds support from the legislature — meaning at least one Republican in the Senate would need to join Democrats in voting to extend the tax.

However, the Legislative Council Bureau apparently had a different opinion, telling Democrats this week that no such “supermajority” is needed.

Apparently, the LCB has a different definition of the word “increase” than the rest of us.

*NEW*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“I’m grateful to the Legislative Counsel Bureau for their work to issue this opinion and am pleased that they’ve concluded that a two-thirds vote is not required to pass my recommended budget.”

Governor Steve Sisolak

Details missing from new education funding bill

Victor Joecks
Las Vegas Review-Journal 

May 16, 2019

The long-awaited bill creating a new education funding formula is here. Many key details, however, are yet to be determined.

On Monday, Senate Education Committee chair Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, released the blueprint for a new school funding plan, Senate Bill 543. For years, many Democratic politicians have criticized the current formula, called the Nevada Plan. They claim it’s old and outdated. Their biggest beef is that it doesn’t allocate more money for students who lack English prociency or live in poverty. The theory is that it’s harder to educate those students, so they need additional services, which costs additional money.

Keystone’s Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.

Keystone’s Mission:

• To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor’s office.
• To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
• Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth.

P.O. Box 93596 | Las Vegas, NV 89193-3596

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May 14, 2019
14 May 2019

Political Update – May 14, 2019

 

EDITORIAL: Sisolak, Democrats wrong to seek shortcut to tax hikes 

Las Vegas Review-Journal

May 11, 2019

Forget Washington. If you’re looking for an impending constitutional crisis, head to Carson City.

Nevada’s constitution requires that tax increases pass the Legislature with a two-thirds majority in both houses. That provision — approved by voters in 1994 and 1996 — has frequently frustrated big-government politicians. They’ve either had to do the hard work of securing broad support for new taxes or abandon their plans.

Gov. Steve Sisolak wants a third option — ignoring the constitution. On Thursday, the Review-Journal obtained copy of a nonbinding legal opinion from the Legislative Counsel Bureau saying he could do just that.

Sisolak’s budget relies on receiving around $100 million by extending the current rate of the Modified Business Tax, which is scheduled to decline slightly. Democrats have a two-thirds majority in the Assembly, but are one vote short of two-thirds in the Senate. Sisolak and legislative Democrats sought the LCB’s opinion, because they didn’t want to have to negotiate with Republicans.

While LCB claims to be nonpartisan, it serves as the majority party’s lawyers. If Democratic leaders insist on reaching a certain conclusion, LCB’s lawyers will come up with whatever twisted argument they can to justify it.

Which is exactly what LCB did in this opinion. Nevada’s constitution requires a two-thirds vote “to pass a bill or joint resolution which creates, generates, or increases any public revenue in any form.” Legislators can a pass a tax increase with a simple majority only by sending it out for a vote of the people.

To determine whether a bill “increases any public revenue in any form,” you don’t need a legal opinion, just a calculator. Without the proposed bill, look at what public revenues will be. If the proposed bill passes, see if public revenue will be higher than before. If yes, that’s an increase of public revenue.

Raising revenue is the entire reason Sisolak wants this bill to start with. He needs the nearly $100 million to balance his budget.

*NEW*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“With 11% revenue growth Democrat leaders have many options to fund NV and get us out of the legislative session without triggering a constitutional crisis.”

Senate Minority Leader James Settelmeyer
on Twitter

EDITORIAL: CCSD needs to prepare to prevent teachers from striking

Victor Joecks
Las Vegas Review-Journal 

May 12, 2019

A dispute between adults shouldn’t hinder the amount of time students spend in the classroom. Yet that could be the ramification for the Clark County Education Association’s irresponsible strike threats.

On Sunday, the union announced that 78 percent of the more than 5,000 members voting authorized a strike at the start of next school year if it doesn’t get its way at the Legislature. It’s all about “the children,” right? Sure.

Keystone’s Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.

Keystone’s Mission:

• To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor’s office.
• To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
• Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth.

P.O. Box 93596 | Las Vegas, NV 89193-3596

To ensure that you continue receiving email updates,

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May 7, 2019
07 May 2019

Political Update – May 7, 2019

 

Senate Republicans Introduce Emergency Legislation to Protect Rainy Day Fund 

Nevada Senate Republicans

May 1, 2019

Today the Senate Republican Caucus introduced emergency legislation to protect The State of Nevada’s “Rainy Day Fund” formally known as the Account to Stabilize the Operation of State Government.

Current law allows for the legislature to spend money from the “Rainy Day Fund” for any purpose without limitations during the 120-day legislative session.  Our emergency legislation will require a 45 day (6.25%) operating balance in the fund before the legislature can access the excess of that amount, unless triggers occur.

The true purpose of the “Rainy Day Fund” is to protect Nevada’s government services when regular revenue is decreased. Nevada used this account during the last recession and still made cuts in government services, including lay-offs and furloughs of state employees. 

“The “Rainy Day Fund” was bankrupt when Governor Sandoval took office, today the fund is at an all-time high, yet still would not cover operating expenses for 30-45 days,” said Senator James Settelmeyer.  “Today’s Economic Forum report makes it clear that we need to protect and grow the fund and not use it for pet projects during the session.”

“A healthy rainy-day fund will allow the legislature to protect our most essential services if the economy continues to slow,” said Senator Ben Kieckhefer.  “Lawmakers must show restraint and enact limitations on when they can and cannot access this important economic safeguard.”

*NEW*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“In its simplest terms, the governor and the Democrats are trying to spend more money than is available. How will Democrats keep their promise to teachers and unions while still balancing the state budget?”

Assembly Minority Leader Jim Wheeler
Las Vegas Review-Journal

New state revenue projections offer little good news for Nevada lawmakers, teachers

James DeHaven
Reno Gazette Journal

May 1, 2019

Nevada lawmakers’ lives just got a lot harder.

That was the takeaway from the Legislature on Wednesday, where a five-member panel of financial experts OK’d an underwhelming batch of revenue projections that will be used to finalize the state’s two-year budget.

Keystone’s Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.

Keystone’s Mission:

• To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor’s office.
• To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
• Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth.

P.O. Box 93596 | Las Vegas, NV 89193-3596

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May 1, 2019
01 May 2019

Political Update – May 1, 2019

 

NV Assembly rolls back prevailing wage changes approved by 2015 legislature 

Geoff Dornan
Nevada Appeal

April 30, 2019

On a party line vote, the Nevada Assembly on Monday, April 29, adopting a bill rolling the changes to state;s prevailing wage statutes made by the Republican-dominated legislature four years ago.

The Republican bill OK’d in 2015 raised the amount of a construction project needed to trigger prevailing wage requirements from $100,000 to $250,000, while cutting the prevailing wage by 10 percent for public school and university projects.

The new legislation, Assembly Bill 136, changed both those standards back to what they were four years ago.

Assemblyman Skip Daly, D-Sparks, said the prevailing wage is designed to protect wages and work conditions and protect against unfair competition.

But Assemblyman Greg Hafen, R-Pahrump, argued AB136 will add millions to the cost of building public and charter schools. He said the fiscal notes put on the bill by school districts total some $35 million.

He was joined by Alexis Hansen, R-Sparks, who said it would add 25 percent to the cost of new schools.

The bill passed 28-12, with two members absent, and ordered to the Senate.

*NEW*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“Needless to say, legislators should not be passing any law — let alone one that makes government less transparent — based on deception and misinformation.” Michael Schaus & ​​​​Robert Fellner,
Nevada Policy Research Institute

Lobbyist’s false testimony crucial in moving anti-transparency bill forward

Michael Schaus &
Robert Fellner
Nevada Policy Research Institute

April 22, 2019

To justify the “PERS secrecy” bill, lobbyist Marlene Lockard relied almost entirely on known falsehoods in her official testimony to lawmakers.

Because state law makes it a crime to knowingly misrepresent any fact when testifying before a legislative committee, Nevada Policy recently filed a legal complaint with Legislative Counsel Bureau Director Rick Combs and the attorney general’s office.

Keystone’s Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.

Keystone’s Mission:

• To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor’s office.
• To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
• Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth.

P.O. Box 93596 | Las Vegas, NV 89193-3596

To ensure that you continue receiving email updates,

please add Info@KeystoneNevada.com to your address book or safe list.
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April 23, 2019
23 Apr 2019

Political Update – April 23, 2019

 

Jamie Dimon’s Timely Warning 

A CEO finally speaks up to tell the truth about the shared misery of socialism.

Andy Kessler
The Wall Street Journal

April 21, 2019

Socialism is now woker than a two-for-one Che Guevara T-shirt sale, with Bernie Sanders leading the Democrats’ presidential primary polls and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dominating the party’s imagination. 

In a rare calling-out of this bogosity, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon warned shareholders this month that “socialism inevitably produces stagnation, corruption and often worse.” He was echoing Winston Churchill’s observation that socialism allows for “the equal sharing of misery.” Why is it only capable of generating misery?

Because under socialism, politics rather than productivity drives employment. Technological innovation is suppressed. Long ago, an Israeli explained to me that under socialism—Israel’s economic system until 1985—you would always hire two workers to do the job of one.

Of course, there is a spectrum of socialism. The textbook definition is government ownership of the means of production, as in the communist-run Soviet Union or Cuba, or the state-owned factories of China today. But socialism can also mean “owning” an industry by burying it in regulation (see education, Medicare, the overregulated auto industries and so on).

Socialists are modern-day Luddites, destroyers of technology to preserve jobs. Article 4 of the current postal-workers’ union (sweetheart) contract states that “any new job or jobs created by technological or mechanization changes shall be offered to present employees capable of being trained to perform the new or changed job.” It’s one reason, even with automation, we still have 500,000 postal workers when the right number is zero. Similarly, Detroit was slow to use robots. It’s only recently that United Auto Workers union contracts did away with job guarantees.

Workers at the Port of Oakland went on strike to protest the use of RFID tags on shipping containers because it would kill lucrative clipboard-toting jobs. Productivity be damned.

And that phantasmagoria, the Green New Deal? It’s a productivity pallbearer, with its federal job guarantees and a new mechanism to support those “unwilling to work.” Where do I sign up for that?

*NEW*

Quote of
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“Socialism is about maximizing power, not maximizing profits. Government doesn’t make profits, has no incentive to show profits, wouldn’t know a profit if it hit it in the head. Inside government there are no markets or price mechanisms to act as a divining rod finding hidden productivity. Socialism handcuffs Adam Smith’s invisible hand.” Andy Kessler,
The Wall Street Journal 

EDITORIAL: Bad ideas abound in Carson City

Las Vegas Review-Journal

April 20, 2019

There are oodles of bad proposals still floating around Carson City, as lawmakers advance legislation through various deadlines. Some of the more destructive bills — allowing collective bargaining for state employees, gutting Read by 3 or throwing a shroud of secrecy over government pension payouts, for example — will continue to garner attention. But dozens of lower-profile measures would also be detrimental to the state and deserve to be euthanized.

Keystone’s Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.

Keystone’s Mission:

• To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor’s office.
• To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
• Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth.

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