A History of NPRI


Since its inception in 1991, the Nevada Policy Research Institute has served as a clear and consistent voice for free-market principles in the Silver State, effectively advancing pro-liberty ideas in Nevada public policy.

A nonpartisan, non-profit think tank, the Institute seeks private, market-based solutions to public policy challenges facing Nevada, the West and the nation. Over the years, the Institute has built an impressive record as a champion for limited government and individual liberty.

One of NPRI's greatest achievements came during the 2003 legislative session, when the Institute, through its research and analysis, played an instrumental role in defeating a proposed gross receipts tax, which, if enacted, would have placed an unjust and crippling tax burden on Nevada businesses. The episode marked just one of many instances in which the efforts of NPRI helped to shape Nevada public policy.

A firm belief in the power of freedom has been a source of inspiration for NPRI since its earliest days. The Institute was founded in 1991 by Judy Cresanta, shortly after she returned from a trip to the Soviet Union with the Council for National Policy. As a council member, Judy had traveled to the U.S.S.R. to help train pro-democracy leaders in the basics of free markets and free elections.

In the Soviet Union, delegation members quickly learned, the concepts of personal rights and freedoms were unheard of, while property rights and the principles of ownership were found incomprehensible.

Upon returning to Nevada, Judy reflected on the widespread lack of understanding of the principles of freedom that existed even here at home. Resolving to make a difference, she founded the non-profit Nevada Policy Research Institute for the purpose of providing private, freedom-friendly solutions to public problems. The Institute was based in Reno.

From the outset, NPRI played a pivotal role in the debate over the course of public policy in the Silver State, and the Institute's influence has only grown over time. In June of 2001, the Institute's headquarters were moved to Las Vegas, which now serves as the base of statewide operations. The ensuing years have seen a steady increase in NPRI's influence in the policy arena, and the Institute's staff has expanded recently to include a communications director, a fiscal policy analyst and an education initiatives coordinator.


NPRI uses a variety of methods to spread its message. Its analysts often testify before the state legislature in the midst of heated policy debate, and members of the Nevada press increasingly seek out analysis from the Institute on the pressing issues of the day. The rise of the Internet has led NPRI to place greater emphasis on that medium as a communication tool, and the Institute publishes a weekly electronic newsletter called the NPRI E-Bulletin. In addition, NPRI-authored editorials appear frequently in newspapers and news magazines statewide, and the Institute also provides commentary on the state's various radio and television programs.

To this day, NPRI continues to serve Nevada and the nation by working to educate the community at large and by marshaling the best research and analysis on today's governmental, economic and educational issues. As at the beginning, the Institute's guiding principles remain the truths of the Declaration of Independence. NPRI truly is making a difference in the Silver State.

NPRI Presidents:

Judy M. Cresanta: 1991-2001
Helene Denney: 2001-2006
Sharon J. Rossie: 2006-2011
Andy Matthews: 2011-present