In case you missed it…
2019 Legislative Session
Next week is going to be an extremely busy week for Nevada’s 80th Legislative Session. You can expect many bills to be introduced, as lawmakers face a deadline to get their priorities heard. Once again, we’ve added a few things to our Online Bill Tracker that every Nevadan should be watching. Click here, and keep up to date!
The Nevada legislature will soon be considering a bill to allow state government employees the ability to collectively bargain. Despite the fact that such a policy will increase state spending by roughly $500 million annually, there appears little doubt the bill will ultimately pass. The justification used by the bill’s proponents is that state workers are currently underpaid. Unsurprising (and right on time) the union-affiliated Economic Policy Institute has produced research arguing precisely that point. However, as AEI Scholar Andrew Biggs points out, that research is fundamentally flawed. (Read more)
Next week is Sunshine Week — a week dedicated to the concept of transparency in government. Despite the bipartisan appeal of increased government transparency, Nevada lawmakers are currently weighing a proposal to shroud the activity of Nevada’s Public Employee Retirement System in a veil of secrecy. Senator Julia Ratti has proposed a bill — which was heard by committee last Friday — that would make secret the names PERS beneficiaries. (Read more/ watch the news report) Nevada Policy testified against the bill, explaining that making names public is not only common practice in a number of states, but it is also vital to protecting against fraud, corruption and abuse. (Read Nevada Policy’s testimony here)
Tax and fiscal policy
Higher taxes don’t always translate into more revenue for government coffers. New York state is currently learning this lesson the hard way, as high-income earners flee the state for low-tax alternative locations. (Read more here) Further proving this point are the tax cuts passed on the national level and signed into law by President Trump. Despite lower rates, federal coffers were actually able to collect more revenue last year, thanks to the economic growth those lower rates encouraged. (Of course, the federal government remains spend-happy, resulting in ever larger deficits. Read more here.) The good news for Nevada is that our tax burden is still relatively low — especially compared to our western neighbor. However, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. (Read more)
A certain element in America’s political class has always excelled at bribing a chunk of the public with other people’s money. Nevertheless, behind the continuous clouds of rhetorical smoke, the practice remains nothing but plunder — taking money from private earners so that politicians can hand it out in whatever way they deem most advantageous to themselves. Now, a new crop of American voters are loudly demanding even more plunder and bribery. As Walter Williams writes, “We enthusiastically demand that the U.S. Congress forcibly use one American to serve the purposes of another.” (Read more)