This week in the Nevada legislature
A lot was going on in Carson City this week. Senator Heidi Gansert introduced a bill that would extend the funding for Opportunity Scholarships (read our response here), Democrats proposed repealing the very minor reforms made a few years ago to prevailing wage (read our testimony against that bill here) and Senator David Parks introduced a bill to strengthen Nevada’s open-records law (learn about who we’re partnering with to push for this change here). Keep up with everything that is happening by visiting Nevada Policy’s online Legislative Bill Tracker by clicking here!
In 2016, labor unions spent more than $1.7 billion on political activity. It’s a staggering amount of money, to be sure. However, of more significance is how public-sector unions use that money — to lobby for the expansion of government and more laws ensuring that ever-more taxpayer-funded dues flow into union coffers, to then be used for even more political lobbying. In short, public-sector unions have become a highly concentrated, government-funded political force — openly acting as lobbyists, campaign contributors and grassroots organizers for those many politicians willing to prioritize union demands over the concerns of taxpayers. Of course, this is no actual surprise. Decades ago, even pro-union activists and politicians — notably including FDR himself — rejected the idea of unionized government workers, recognizing the inherent corrupting of democratic government that would follow. (Read more)
What good is a law, if the very people who violate it are never actually penalized? It’s a question worth asking, because that is precisely what Nevada’s current open-records law is — a law without any teeth. Fortunately, Senate Bill 287 aims to fix this. Introduced in the Nevada Senate just last week, the bill would bring three major overhauls to Nevada transparency law. It would limit the fees agencies can charge for records, it would add penalties against those who violate the law and it would require agencies to actually help the public find the information they are seeking. Such reforms would be a major step forward for all Nevadan citizens — making it possible for them to know what, exactly, their government is up to. (Read more)
When “Democratic Socialists” are asked to point to a successful case of socialism, inevitably they end up using Sweden up as an example. However, in truth, Sweden is actually one of the most robustly capitalist nations in the world. The Scandinavian nation has privatized its pension system, instituted universal school vouchers, deregulated business, abolished the minimum wage and strengthened personal property rights. Sweden has only one thing in common with the “Democratic Socialist” agenda — a massive welfare state, funded by exceptionally high taxes on Sweden’s middle class. (Read more)