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Category Archives: Current Affairs
Earlier today Nevada Newsmakers hosted a raucous and informative debate with the Republican candidates for state Senate District 4. The seat, located in a heavily Republican district, is open as the incumbent Senator Randolph Townsend is term-limited. You can watch the debate atwww.nevadanewsmakers.com. It provides some good insights into the platforms and personalities of the various candidates.
As all remain hopeful that the recent special session will keep the state budget in the black through the biennium, the looming problem of a budget deficit that could reach $3 billion (around 50% of the general fund ) in the next biennium inches closer. Anjeanette Damon wrote a comprehensive overview of the situation here. The stimulus crutch will be gone, and most of the temporary tax increases from the 2009 session are set to expire. The fiscal problem facing the state is severe and the solutions that come out of … Continue Reading
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The vigorous debate on the health care bill has largely focused on policy. Questions such as whether the bill will help or hurt and how expensive it will be for Americans are important and strong arguments have been made on both sides. But there is a deeper more fundamental question on the bill that has little to do with policy and more to do with the scope of Congressional authority. One aspect of the health care bill in particular brings this question to light. The bill includes a mandate, effective in 2014, … Continue Reading
With the passage of the health care bill, the Governor has renewed his call for the Attorney General to file suit to challenge the legality of the bill. Earlier in this blog, I wrote a post about what might happen if the Governor demanded the Attorney General file a lawsuit and the Attorney General refused. Now that the health care bill has been signed into law and other states have already filed legal challenges and the Nevada Attorney General has refused to comply with the Governor’s request that Nevada join in the litigation, that … Continue Reading
One instance of action and one of inaction at the recent special session may be grounds for another special session in 2010. At the session, the Governor and Legislature approved the transfer to the general fund of approximately $62 million from a fund designed to build a wastewater pipeline in Clark County in order to help with the budget crisis. Now, multiple groups who have either paid into that fund or oversee that fund have filed lawsuits against the state to prevent the transfer of those funds. Jon Ralston has … Continue Reading
Yesterday I attended the annual Nevada Taxpayers Association luncheon in Las Vegas. The keynote speaker was renowned economic forecaster Dr. John Silva of Wells Fargo. Other panelists included Jeremy Aguerro from Applied Analysis, Bill Anderson from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, Kevin McCarthy of the Arizona Taxpayers Association, David Kline of the California Taxpayers Association and Dale Craymer of the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association. Dr. Silva pained a fairly optimistic economic picture for Nevada, opining that while Nevada remains in a recession and will likely be … Continue Reading
Early this morning the Legislature concluded its 26th special session. In a showing of bi-partisanship and cooperation between the executive and legislative branches, elected officials enacted a series of fixes (many of which are temporary) in an attempt to shore up the general fund budget deficit for the current biennium. The major components of the plan, including spending reductions, have been comprehensively covered in the mainstream media. Here are a few of the other aspects of the plan, including what ended up in the plan and what was proposed but … Continue Reading
A new poll from renowned national pollster Glen Bolger shows that Nevada voters are generally dissatisfied with their government and are looking for change. 37% of those involved in the poll described themselves as Republican, 42% as Democrat, and 18% as independent or tending to lean towards one of the parties. Interestingly however, when asked if they would vote for the Republican or Democrat running in their legislative district, 34% picked the Republican and only 28% picked the Democrat (with the rest generally undecided). 80% said that the situation in Nevada “has … Continue Reading
When it comes to fixing budget deficits, there are three primary methods: reducing ongoing operational expenses; digging into contingency savings; and increasing revenue. In 2008, the State swept many contingency accounts to react to the budget shortfall (including the largest, the rainy day fund), and those accounts were not replenished in 2009. The proclamation for the special session to begin on Tuesday lists further sweeps of contingency accounts. While the Governor and Legislature continue to seek funding sources to solve the immediate short-term budget problem, doing so exposes the State … Continue Reading