Updates

June 2, 2020
02 Jun 2020

Political Update – June 2, 2020

EDITORIAL: A really stupid and futile gesture

Las Vegas Review-Journal
May 30, 2020

Las Vegas city officials have a message for the tens of thousands of jobless taxpayers struggling to keep food on the table and make rent during the region’s devastating economic freeze: Pound sand, suckers!

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 100,000 Americans, brought business owners to their knees and cratered government budgets. Gov. Steve Sisolak estimates a shortfall of up to $911 million for the current fiscal year, as a rushing stream of tax collections has evaporated to a trickle. Cuts and layoffs loom at state agencies.

Over at Las Vegas City Hall, however, the folks on Main Street prefer a different approach. Instead, they’re taking inspiration from the boys at the Delta House with a budget proposal that can generously be described as a really futile and stupid gesture and only reinforces the notion that too many of Nevada’s elected officials are more concerned with pandering to government unions than with serving the taxpayers they purport to represent.

Even after more than two months of minimal economic activity, the city remains so flush with cash that it can apparently move forward without eliminating jobs or asking employees for wage or benefit concessions. Instead, it sits poised to provide 1,300 of its workers with 3.23 percent hazard pay bonuses in July even if they were not on the job during the coronavirus shutdown.

“Everybody gets it,” said DeAndre Caruthers, president of the City Employees’ Association, “if you were at home or if you were working.”

The indefensible perk comes as part of a tentative deal the city reached May 14 with the largest of its four bargaining units. To make matters worse, the bonus money, Mr. Caruthers revealed, is supposed to come from the $119 million the city expects to receive through the CARES Act, one of the massive coronavirus relief packages passed by Congress.

Where to begin?

Unemployment claims have so smothered the state that thousands of furloughed private-sector workers still await their jobless benefits. Yet city employees who have been idling at home since mid-March while still cashing paychecks will pocket bonuses paid for by those very same luckless workers. In what alternative universe is this appropriate?

*IMPORTANT*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“If council members want to limit job losses, they’ll demand that the city’s municipal unions agree to temporary pay and benefit concessions that reflect short-term revenue realities instead of continuing to batter beleaguered taxpayers like cash-stuffed piñatas.”

Las Vegas Review-Journal 

Backroom Labor Deals are a Disservice to Taxpayers and Public Workers Alike

Michael Schaus
Nevada Business Magazine

June 1, 2020

In the months and years ahead, the economic reality of the coronavirus shutdown will collide in dramatic fashion with the priorities of public sector unions.

This month, many government agencies will be negotiating new labor contracts with union officials — contracts that will set pay schedules, determine salary increases and govern the personnel costs for each agency. What is decided in these negotiations will largely determine if a government agency can cope with the coming budget shortfall — or if they will instead be forced to hike taxes on Nevadans who are struggling with historic unemployment and tight budgets of their own.


Follow Keystone Online

     

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 26, 2020
26 May 2020

Political Update – May 26, 2020

Keystone Announced Primary Election Endorsements

With Primary Election ballots having been received throughout the State of Nevada, we wanted to let you know of our endorsements for the June 9th election.  Not all of our endorsed candidates listed below are facing a primary opponent.  Those listed below who don’t have a primary opponent have already earned our endorsement for the 2020 General Election.   

Hopefully by now, you have heard that Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske ordered that the 2020 Primary Election be conducted as a mail-in only election.  That means all registered voters – unfortunately, even inactive voters – have been mailed ballots with postage-paid return envelopes.  

Your ballot must be filled out, placed in those envelopes, and mailed back to the Registrar of Voters, postmarked by Tuesday, June 9th.  NOTE: You must also sign the return envelope for your vote to be counted.  

As is our custom, Keystone’s Board of Directors creates an interviewing committee to invite and interview candidates for state assembly and state senate in key legislative districts.  After those interviews are conducted, the committee makes recommendations to the Board of Directors, and the Board votes to make the ultimate decision on endorsements.  This list of primary endorsements is a product of that process.

Nevada State Senate:

  • Carrie Buck for Senate District 5 – which is an open seat due to Democrat Senator Joyce Woodhouse being termed out.
  • April Becker for Senate District 6 against first-term Democrat Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro.
  • Senator Heidi Gansert for Senate District 15 – where she seeks a 2nd term to the State Senate.
  • Senator Scott Hammond for Senate District 18 – where he seeks a 3rd and final term to the State Senate.
  • Senator Pete Goicoechea for Senate Distrcit 19 – where he seeks a 3rd and final term in the State Senate. 

Nevada State Assembly:

  • Dr. Steven DeLisle for Assembly District 29 against two-term Democrat Assemblywoman Lesley Cohen. 
  • Andy Matthews for Assembly District 37 against first-term Democrat Assemblywoman Shea Backus.

Keystone will be announcing further endorsements for the 2020 General Election after the Primary Election on June 9th.  We have also provided political contributions to some of the individual candidates listed above, and we plan on making additional contributions in the weeks and months ahead.  

We also encourage you, our members and other interested parties that support Keystone’s mission, to do your part and help support these endorsed candidates so we can provide some balance in Carson City. 

*IMPORTANT*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“The Reno City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to pass a “status quo” budget that includes no cuts in anticipation of a significant loss in revenue stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Anjeanette Damon
Reno Gazette Journal

Reno council passes ‘status quo’ budget without COVID-19 related cuts

Anjeanette Damon, Reno Gazette Journal
May 20, 2020

In 1994 and 1996, Nevada voters overwhelmingly passed the Gibbons Tax Restraint Initiative, which amended the state constitution to require a supermajority in both legislative houses to approve tax and fee increases. The language is unambiguous: A two-thirds mandate “is necessary to pass a bill or joint resolution which creates, generates or increases any public revenue in any form.”

Many lawmakers have chafed under the restriction and have at times tried to ignore it. Most famously, legislative Democrats in 2003 persuaded the Nevada Supreme Court to suspend the provision during a bitter budget dispute. Amid subsequent criticism, the court later repudiated its own ruling.

But the unfortunate tendency of the state’s judiciary to cover for lawmakers who seek to weaken the supermajority requirement remains alive. Consider a Tuesday ruling by District Court Judge Rob Bare involving scholarships for low-income Nevada students.


Follow Keystone Online

     

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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May 19, 2020
19 May 2020

Political Update – May 19, 2020

NEVADA VIEWS: PERS issues coming home to roost

Robert Fellner
Special to the Las Vegas Review-Journal

May 2, 2020

Nevada’s government unions have for years successfully thwarted all efforts to reform the state’s public pension system, despite warnings from experts that it would be their own members who would suffer the most in the event of an economic recession or stock market downturn.

Sadly, that time has now arrived. Plummeting tax revenues from the coronavirus fallout will leave many agencies unable to pay their ever-growing PERS bill, leaving them no choice but to cut salaries and lay off government workers.

Even in good times, the cost to keep the Nevada Public Employees Retirement System afloat imposed a tremendous burden on taxpayers and government workers, who were constantly being forced to pay more while getting nothing back in return.

Despite a record-long stock market bull run over the past decade, the cost to keep the system afloat continued to grow at a remarkable pace. Today, the PERS contribution rate for most public employees is at an all-time high of 29.25 percent — up 36 percent from 2009.

This means that every $100 in salary paid to a teacher or other public employee now requires an additional $29.25 contribution to PERS, with taxpayers and employees splitting this cost. Police and fire officers are the one exception, as their much richer benefits cost 42.5 percent of pay, with taxpayers seemingly bearing the entirety of that cost.

In total, taxpayers and public workers will send $2.2 billion to PERS this year — or more than triple the nearly $700 million in budget cuts that the state is preparing to implement as a result of the economic fallout from the coronavirus.

*IMPORTANT*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“It is a cruel irony that those who will now be most harmed by the PERS crisis are the very same workers those unions claim to represent.

Robert Fellner 

LETTER: Government unions and the coronavirus crisis

Annoula Wylderich
Las Vegas Review-Journal

May 1, 2020

Destroying the financial hopes and dreams of thousands of Nevadans should have never been seen as the only way to combat a pandemic. And given the depth of the financial harm this shutdown has caused, getting people back to earning a living should, at this point, be considered equally as important as containing the spread of the virus.


Follow Keystone Online

     

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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May 13, 2020
13 May 2020

Political Update – May 13, 2020

Keystone Announced Primary Election Endorsements

With Primary Election ballots having been received throughout the State of Nevada, we wanted to let you know of our endorsements for the June 9th election.  Not all of our endorsed candidates listed below are facing a primary opponent.  Those listed below who don’t have a primary opponent have already earned our endorsement for the 2020 General Election.   

Hopefully by now, you have heard that Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske ordered that the 2020 Primary Election be conducted as a mail-in only election.  That means all registered voters – unfortunately, even inactive voters – have been mailed ballots with postage-paid return envelopes.  

Your ballot must be filled out, placed in those envelopes, and mailed back to the Registrar of Voters, postmarked by Tuesday, June 9th.  NOTE: You must also sign the return envelope for your vote to be counted.  

As is our custom, Keystone’s Board of Directors creates an interviewing committee to invite and interview candidates for state assembly and state senate in key legislative districts.  After those interviews are conducted, the committee makes recommendations to the Board of Directors, and the Board votes to make the ultimate decision on endorsements.  This list of primary endorsements is a product of that process.

Nevada State Senate:

  • Carrie Buck for Senate District 5 – which is an open seat due to Democrat Senator Joyce Woodhouse being termed out.
  • April Becker for Senate District 6 against first-term Democrat Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro.
  • Senator Heidi Gansert for Senate District 15 – where she seeks a 2nd term to the State Senate.
  • Senator Scott Hammond for Senate District 18 – where he seeks a 3rd and final term to the State Senate.
  • Senator Pete Goicoechea for Senate Distrcit 19 – where he seeks a 3rd and final term in the State Senate. 

Nevada State Assembly:

  • Dr. Steven DeLisle for Assembly District 29 against two-term Democrat Assemblywoman Lesley Cohen. 
  • Andy Matthews for Assembly District 37 against first-term Democrat Assemblywoman Shea Backus.

Keystone will be announcing further endorsements for the 2020 General Election after the Primary Election on June 9th.  We have also provided political contributions to some of the individual candidates listed above, and we plan on making additional contributions in the weeks and months ahead.  

We also encourage you, our members and other interested parties that support Keystone’s mission, to do your part and help support these endorsed candidates so we can provide some balance in Carson City. 

*IMPORTANT*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“So even though the state constitution says that any bill increasing state revenue in “any form” must be enacted by a two-thirds majority, Judge Bare has unilaterally rewritten that mandate to his liking.

Las Vegas Review-Journal

EDITORIAL: District Judge Rob Bare ignores clear language of the state constitution

Las Vegas Review-Journal
May 6, 2020

In 1994 and 1996, Nevada voters overwhelmingly passed the Gibbons Tax Restraint Initiative, which amended the state constitution to require a supermajority in both legislative houses to approve tax and fee increases. The language is unambiguous: A two-thirds mandate “is necessary to pass a bill or joint resolution which creates, generates or increases any public revenue in any form.”

Many lawmakers have chafed under the restriction and have at times tried to ignore it. Most famously, legislative Democrats in 2003 persuaded the Nevada Supreme Court to suspend the provision during a bitter budget dispute. Amid subsequent criticism, the court later repudiated its own ruling.

But the unfortunate tendency of the state’s judiciary to cover for lawmakers who seek to weaken the supermajority requirement remains alive. Consider a Tuesday ruling by District Court Judge Rob Bare involving scholarships for low-income Nevada students.


Follow Keystone Online

     

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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May 5, 2020
05 May 2020

Political Update – May 5, 2020

 

Bob Ansara, owner of Ricardo’s Mexican Restaurant in Las Vegas, is a Keystone Board Member.


Landmark eatery will not reopen, Ricardo’s owner cites valley’s long path to economic recovery

Heidi Knapp Rinella
Las Vegas Review-Journal

May 1, 2020

After more than 40 years in Las Vegas, Ricardo’s Mexican Restaurant has reached the end of the road.

Like a number of other dining establishments in Southern Nevada, it has been holding on by doing takeout, from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily.

“But that’s really a Band-Aid,” said owner Bob Ansara, who added that his crew of 67 workers has been reduced to four, as the restaurant does about 20 percent of its regular sales volume. He plans to continue the service until the Nevada restaurant industry gets the OK to re-open its dining rooms.

“We’ll be here, ironically, until the governor opens us up,” Ansara said. “We’re going to close the day he opens the city. I don’t see re-opening (the restaurant) making any sense.”

Ansara said he decided to close because of a number of factors.

“I’ve been doing it for 40 years and eight months. Not that I don’t have another 10 in me,” said Ansara, 67, “because I do.” In making his decision, he considered his location at Flamingo Road and Decatur Boulevard, the changing demographics of the area and how much money he would need to invest in the business.

“I just don’t see a clear path forward,” he said. “When you take into consideration the hurt of the last two months and what it’s going to take to regenerate the business, and when I look ahead to the next 18 months and see what those months will be like … .”

Ansara trailed off, but he’s clearly thought long and hard about those months.

“I don’t think our recovery’s going to come all at once,” he said. “I think it’s going to be in dribs and drabs and starts and fits. If 300,000 people are out of work today, they’re not going to get rehired at the end of May.”

*IMPORTANT*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“In many cases, those restrictions will be worse than being closed,” [Bob Ansara] said, in terms of limiting capacity, limiting party size and having a full-time person in charge of the restaurant’s sanitary requirements.

“While I think they’re all well-intentioned,” Ansara said, “I think they pretty much spell disaster for small businesses.”

Bob Ansara

The decision to ‘re-open’ the economy shouldn’t be government’s to make

Michael Schaus
Nevada Policy Research Institute

May 5, 2020

Destroying the financial hopes and dreams of thousands of Nevadans should have never been seen as the only way to combat a pandemic. And given the depth of the financial harm this shutdown has caused, getting people back to earning a living should, at this point, be considered equally as important as containing the spread of the virus.


Follow Keystone Online

     

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 28, 2020
28 Apr 2020

Political Update – April 28, 2020

Nevadans could see $6 billion increase in pension debt, as economy falters

Robert Fellner
Nevada Policy Research Institute

April 23, 2020

Nevada Policy has written extensively on the hidden risk associated with Nevada’s public pension system (PERS).

A new tool from the Reason Foundation allows users to get a sense of the magnitude of the risks associated with current funding practices. According to their projections, if Nevada PERS records a 5 percent investment loss this year — a distinct possibility given their current status — the system’s debt will explode from $14 billion to nearly $20 billion.

This would require a significant increase in the costs imposed on taxpayers and public workers, continuing the decade-long trend of requiring both groups to pay more, while getting less in return.

This outcome reflects a system which intentionally pushes costs onto future generations. The most prominent example of this approach, and most dangerous, is the treatment of assumed future investment returns as certain. Consequently, when investments do underperform, like in the current economic recession, the resulting cost increase only appears after the fact — precisely when taxpayers and government employers can least afford it.

A proper funding approach would recognize the impact of investment returns after they had been realized, rather than before. Such an approach is mandated for private U.S. pension plans as well as public and private pension plans in most of Canada and Europe.

To get a sense of the full range of possibilities, and thus the range of risk being imposed on public workers and taxpayers, whether they like it or not, be sure to explore the new interactive tool from the Reason Foundation: Previewing the COVID-19 Impact on State Pension Plans.

*IMPORTANT*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“…if Nevada PERS records a 5 percent investment loss this year — a distinct possibility given their current status — the system’s debt will explode from $14 billion to nearly $20 billion.”

Robert Fellner

Settelmeyer calls on Sisolak to talk about re-opening Nevada

Geoff Dornan
Nevada Appeal

April 16, 2020

Senate Minority Leader James Settelmeyer, R-Gardnerville, this week sent a letter to Gov. Steve Sisolak asking him to begin explaining to the public and Legislature his plan to re-open Nevada’s businesses and the economy.

In Elko, impatience is a virtue

Reece Keener
Elko Mayor

April 16, 2020

Dear Neighbors, Just as we crossed the first finish line established by the “Stay Home for Nevada” initiative, we entered the second phase that was set to expire on April 30th. Stunningly, the goal posts were moved for a third time, to a vague and nebulous point somewhere on the distant horizon: “14 consecutive days of declining infection rates.”

 


Follow Keystone Online

     

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 21, 2020
21 Apr 2020

Political Update – April 21, 2020

The Time is Now to Start the Process of Reopening Nevada

Assembly Republican Caucus
April 20, 2020

Last week, President Trump laid down guidelines for safely Opening Up America Again using an evidence based phased in approach. Similarly, throughout the country, several states have begun to talk about ways to reopen their economies so that people can get back to work and feed their families. Hard hit states like New York and New Jersey, states with higher confirmed cases like Texas, and states with similar confirmed cases like Utah are having conversations about how to reopen their economy in consultation with health officials and public and private partnerships. So why not Nevada?

Since Governor Sisolak’s mandatory shut down of non-essential businesses, Nevadans have been looking for the faintest sign of a plan or hope to get them back to work. As days turn into weeks, Nevadans are still left without answers or hope as they wait for Governor Sisolak to present a plan. This past weekend, in an attempt to have their voices heard, hundreds of Nevadans took to the streets demanding answers from Governor Sisolak. People should not have to resort to ignoring health guidelines to get the attention of their elected officials.

Assembly Republicans are ready to have the conversation about reopening Nevada. Based on data from medical health experts, we are near our peak in terms of COVID-19 cases. Nevada should begin having conversations on how to reopen our economy, using best practices and guidance from health officials.

Based on best practices from around the country and proper safeguards, we have identified four recommendations Governor Sisolak can begin to implement immediately to reopen our economy. 

Framework to Reopen Nevada

Join the California, Oregon and Washington Western States Pact

  • Governor Sisolak should join the Western States Pact and work with our regional partners on best practices to mitigate the spread and economic impact of the coronavirus.

Establish a regional plan to modify and/or ease Nevada’s stay at home orders

  • Follow guidelines from the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.
  • Plan should be based on increased testing capabilities and assurances of hospital readiness.
  • Continue to adhere to public health guidelines that include practicing good hygiene, environmental cleanliness and sanitation, implementing social distancing, and working from home if possible.

Immediately establish a bi-partisan taskforce to advise on a strategy to re-open Nevada

  • Include healthcare officials, business stakeholders, and a bi-partisan group of lawmakers.
  • Set a safe, gradual and phased opening plan based on the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations
  • Establish strict business and employee guidelines for re-opening businesses.

Immediately establishing a curbside pickup model that will allow non-essential retail businesses to open

  • Examples include pickup, delivery by mail, or delivery to the customer’s doorstep in strict compliance with the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.
  • Continue to adhere to public health guidelines that include practicing good hygiene, environmental cleanliness and sanitation, implementing social distancing, and working from home if possible.

As unemployment continues to sore and businesses struggle to keep employees on payroll, Nevadans are looking at their leaders for hope and guidance. The health and safety of Nevada families is paramount, but so is their livelihood and ability to provide for their families.

The time to have a serious conversation about Nevada’s economy is now. Nevada cannot continue to be kept in the dark by their leaders. Assembly Republicans will continue to work in a bi-partisan manner to develop and implement commonsense solutions for Nevadans. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and we will get there together.

*IMPORTANT*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“The time to have a serious conversation about Nevada’s economy is now. Nevada cannot continue to be kept in the dark by their leaders.”

Assembly Republican Caucus

VICTOR JOECKS: Sisolak to blame for reduced Unemployment Insurance staffing

Victor Joecks
Las Vegas Review-Journal

April 18, 2020

Gov. Steve Sisolak is being disingenuous in his attempt to hide that he successfully recommended cutting staff in Nevada’s unemployment insurance office.

On Tuesday, Sisolak held a press conference addressing the struggles people are having filing for unemployment. There haven’t been enough staff to handle the level of calls coming in. That’s led to a legion of complaints about people not being able to get through or even leave a message. Sisolak assured Nevadans that those problems aren’t his fault.


Follow Keystone Online

     

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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April 14, 2020
14 Apr 2020

Political Update – April 14, 2020

LETTER: Nevada’s public employees should share the economic pain

Timothy Underwood
Letter to the Editor
Las Vegas Review-Journal

April 5, 2020

The peril Nevadans face because of the Chinese coronavirus and Gov. Steve Sisolak’s ban on businesses is serious. The economic consequences could lead Nevadans to their grave, just as this disease can. About 93,000 of us filed for unemployment recently — an 182 percent increase. Every week, Nevadans lose millions in income.

Desperate circumstances require desperate measures, as our governor has taught us. Therefore, we the people of Nevada demand equality under the law. The governor must shut down all nonessential state departments and stop their payrolls. The savings of taxpayer dollars should then be redistributed to the residents of Nevada.

Why should the political class benefit as we flounder?

*IMPORTANT*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“Gov. Steve Sisolak this month told state agencies to plan to cut their fiscal year 2021 budgets between 6 and 14 percent. Clark County Manager Yolanda King has forecast $1.1 billion in lost revenue over the next 12 to 18 months.”

Michael Scott Davidson

At least 18,000 public union workers see contracts suspended due to virus

Michael Scott Davidson
Las Vegas Review-Journal

April 10, 2020

Public union contracts covering more than 18,000 hospital workers, police officers and other government employees have fallen victim to Nevada’s coronavirus outbreak.


Follow Keystone Online

     

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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March 31, 2020
31 Mar 2020

Political Update – March 31, 2020

 

EDITORIAL: Labor transparency needed as local governments deal with financial pain

Las Vegas Review-Journal
March 29, 2020

The coronavirus economic shutdown is devastating local government budgets. That’s why transparency in collective bargaining negotiations is more important than ever.

It’s too early to know how much tax revenues will drop because of the forced closure of many businesses. Much will depend on how soon Gov. Steve Sisolak and health experts deem it’s safe for Nevadans to go back to work. In a best-case scenario, that recovery will happen quickly enough that the downturn doesn’t sink property values, which would decrease property tax revenues. Regardless, local governments will see a big hit from a decline in sales, gaming and room taxes.

That’s going to cause numerous problems throughout Southern Nevada. Just a few years ago, the Clark County School District’s reserve fund represented only a few hours of spending. Until the virus hit, the district had been slowly building up its reserve, but it’s still not large. Clark County’s fiscal position is stronger. Its budget this year included an ending fund balance of 9 percent, although that doesn’t account for the current drop in revenue.

Local governments spend the vast majority of their general funds on personnel costs. In the school district, it’s more than 80 percent. For the Metropolitan Police Department, it’s more than 85 percent. This means that when elected officials go looking for budget reductions, employee compensation must inevitably be considered. This is especially true if a falling stock market forces Nevada’s Public Employees’ Retirement System to hike contribution rates — again.

Absent a special session — which is almost a certainty — the school district will likely have difficulty fulfilling the contract it agreed to last year. Meanwhile, Clark County has several bargaining groups whose contracts end in June.

*IMPORTANT*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“Government alone can’t solve the coronavirus crisis. And it needs to get out of the way of the private companies that are rushing to become part of the solution.”

Victor Joecks
Las Vegas Review-Journal

VICTOR JOECKS: How private-sector companies are saving America from coronavirus

Victor Joecks
Las Vegas Review-Journal

March 28, 2020

Anyone who thinks the coronavirus outbreak shows the need for larger government hasn’t been paying attention.

Over the past few months, government agencies made mistake after mistake, which allowed the coronavirus to proliferate in the United States. Private companies — once unshackled from government regulations — are the ones swinging into action to produce desperately needed medical products.


Follow Keystone Online

     

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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March 24, 2020
24 Mar 2020

Political Update – March 24, 2020

 

Poll: Nevadans, by a 4-1 margin, want transparency in collective bargaining

Michael Schaus
Nevada Policy Research Institute

March 17, 2020

Nearly three out of four likely Nevada voters want more transparency from public employee unions and government agencies, according to a new statewide public opinion poll conducted by OH Predictive Insights on behalf of the Nevada Policy Research Institute.

When asked if labor negotiations between public unions and government employers should be made transparent and open to the public, Nevadans overwhelmingly agreed, with 73 percent of total respondents supporting such a measure.

Support was strong across all demographics, including two-thirds of current union members responding in favor of greater transparency.

“Unfortunately, Nevadans simply aren’t receiving the kind of openness they expect, and are entitled to, when it comes to union negotiations with government agencies,” said Nevada Policy Communications Director Michael Schaus.

While the state’s Open Meetings Law requires that government business be conducted in public view, contract negotiations with government unions are exempt from this requirement — shutting government workers and taxpayers out of the process that determines how their tax dollars will be spent.

“I think most people are probably pretty shocked when they learn that these negotiations over how to spend public dollars happen behind closed doors,” Schaus said. “Such secrecy is directly at odds with what Nevadans expect from their government.

“As this poll demonstrates, making the process more transparent is something Nevadans, including union members themselves, overwhelmingly support.”

The bipartisan support for greater transparency in government also extends to Nevada lawmakers.

*IMPORTANT*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“As this poll demonstrates, making the process more transparent is something Nevadans, including union members themselves, overwhelmingly support.”

Michael Schaus
Nevada Policy Research Institute

Policy group: More options needed to improve Nevada education, not increased taxes

Kimberly James
The Center Square

March 19, 2020

A Carson City judge blocked a petition from a teacher’s union that would have increased the state sales tax.

The Clark County Education Association’s proposal would raise the Local Scool Support Tax, a component of the state tax, by 1.5 percentage points. This would make the state sales tax to nearly 10 percent, the highest in the nation.


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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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