Category Archives: Nevada Legislature

Dawn of a New Era for the Veto?

In 2009, then Governor Gibbons was criticized for vetoing a record 48 bills (8 of those bills pertained to the budget), surpassing the prior record of 33 set in the 19th century. In 2011, Governor Sandoval vetoed 28 bills, putting him in third place for vetoes by a Nevada Governor. Much of the reason for the increase in vetoes can be traced to the fact that beginning in 2009 the Legislature was controlled by one party while the other party held the Governor’s Office.  That has only happened three times in the past 50 years (1967, 1979 and … Continue Reading »

The Name Game

Some eyebrows recently raised in Nevada when the majority Democrat leadership changed the name of the former “Committee on Taxation” to the “Committee on Revenue.”  But, the fact that caucus leadership may change a committee name is nothing new. For example, in Colorado the GOP recently took control of the state House of Representatives.  The change in control resulted in “energy” being dropped from the Transportation and Energy Committee, “labor” being dropped from the Business Affairs and Labor Committee, and “human services” being dropped from the Health and Human Services Committee.  Colorado Democrats immediately began criticizing the name … Continue Reading »

State Budget Relief?

With a projected shortfall for the upcoming biennium of somewhere around $3 billion, Nevada’s budget is in serious trouble.  However, the latest concept forfederal bailout money is aimed at providing fiscal relief to beleaguered states, by way of payments Medicaid payments that are otherwise a serious drain on a state budget. Under the Recovery Act, Nevada received around $450 million to help with Medicaid payments.  The current legislation proposes $16.1 billion nationwide.  Although Nevada’s ultimate share is unknown (and is of course dependent on the bill passing Congress in the first place), most will view any help … Continue Reading »

High Noon for the IFC

Throughout the past few years, tensions between the executive and legislative branches have been on the increase.  The constitutionality of the Interim Finance Committee (IFC) has been questioned by the Governor.  The IFC has been fiercely defended by the Legislature.  Those rooting for a legal showdown earlier in the year were disappointed as the constitutional conflict took a back seat to a special session and the primary election. But now, the conflict is boiling up again and the dynamics between the executive and legislative branches have changed dramatically from just a few months ago.  A … Continue Reading »

Senate Candidate Debate

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.

Now What?

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 »

The Internet Tax

The Governor’s callfor the recent special session asked that the Legislature consider extending the use tax to online vendors.  The Legislature did not take action on this issue. Currently, online vendors without a nexus in Nevada are not required to remit sales or use taxes to Nevada and consequently the purchasers of goods from those vendors do not pay the tax either. The use tax in Nevada is commonly misunderstood in its application.  The use tax is a compliment to the sales tax.  The sales tax is due when tangible goods … Continue Reading »

Another Special Session?

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 »

The Battle Over the IFC

Today the Governor vetoed Senate Bill 3 from the special session.  SB 3 addressed employee furloughs and related subjects.  One section of the bill required exemptions to the furlough program to be approved by the Interim Finance Committee (IFC).  The veto message specifically cited to that section as part of the rationale for the veto, noting that the Legislature was giving “itself authority to administer and execute the law in violation of the separation of powers provision in the Nevada Constitution.” This is not the first constitutional clash between the … Continue Reading »

The Dust Settles on the Special Session

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 »