2015 Nevada Legislative Session Review and Report Card

By Victor Joecks
  • Wednesday, October 28, 2015
2015 Nevada Legislative Report Card
Sandoval and NV legislature make low grades
Higher taxes get lower scores
 
Executive Summary
 
On November 5, 2014, Nevada woke up to a vastly different state politically.
 
Voters had thoroughly rejected the margin tax, which went down by a stunning 78.74 percent to 21.26 percent margin. Even in liberal Clark County, the tax proposal won just 23.46 percent of the vote.
 
Republicans had also been swept to power, controlling both branches of the legislature and the governor’s mansion for the first time since 1929. Before the election, Democrats controlled the Assembly 27 to 15 and the Senate 11 to 10. After the election, Republicans controlled the Assembly 25 to 17 and the Senate 11 to 10.
 
Fresh off a decisive popular rejection of a massive tax increase and with candidates who pledged their support for low taxes throughout the campaigns, Republicans had earned a chance to lead.
 
Within four weeks of the start of the Legislative Session, the Legislature had already passed AB125, which significantly reformed Nevada’s construction-defect law. Previously, Nevada’s construction-defect law had been written by trial-lawyer lobbyists and guaranteed lawyers unlimited “prelitigation” fees, whether a case ever went to trial or not.
 
Signed on Feb. 24 by Sandoval, AB125 revised the state’s definition of “constructional defect” and rolled back attorney fee provisions.
 
The passage so early in the legislative session of that commonsense conservative reform showed the kind of progress that could have occurred, had Sandoval and Sen. Majority Leader Michael Roberson actually wanted conservative reforms. Instead, priorities for the two focused primarily on increasing taxes and government spending.
 
Legislators' scores are on pages 26-27, and Gov. Sandoval’s score is on page 25.

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