Happy New Year!
Can you believe 2016 is almost behind us?
It’s a great time of year to be optimistic. On New Year’s Day, we celebrate not just our success over the last twelve months, but the new opportunities that lie before of us in the months ahead. In this spirit, we look forward to forging another year of meaningful success.
And on behalf of everyone at the Nevada Policy Research Institute, we want to extend our best wishes to all of our supporters. Your generosity, engagement and dedication to our shared ideals is what will make our work in the coming year possible. And, for this we are extremely grateful. We have a lot to do in 2017, and your involvement is crucial to keeping Nevada free and prosperous.
Your support has helped us defend educational choice, fight for government transparency and expose the cronyism and corruption in Nevada government. As much as we were able to accomplish in 2016, I’m sure that, together, we can accomplish even more in 2017.
On a more personal note, everyone at the Nevada Policy Research Institute would like to wish our former Executive Vice President, Victor Joecks, good luck in his new adventures.
As many of you know, Victor was deployed with the Nevada National Guard for most of last year — and upon returning home he has seized an opportunity to be an opinion columnist with the Las Vegas Review Journal.
Although his presence will be missed at the Institute, we’re thrilled to have such a powerful voice for free markets and individual liberty on a soapbox at such a well-established media outlet.
Victor, we wish you well.
And to all of the Institute’s supporters, we wish you a great New Year’s weekend. I look forward to standing beside all of you as we fight for our shared ideals in the year ahead.
Happy New Year!
Sharon J. Rossie
A new state law requiring background checks on private gun transfers will not be taking effect in 2017, according to Attorney General Adam Laxalt. The law, passed by voters with a narrow margin in November, would have required the Federal Bureau of Investigation to run background checks on any individual that purchases, borrows or otherwise receives a firearm from another private citizen. According to Laxalt’s office, the FBI has refused to allocate resources to conducting the checks, and the state of Nevada lacks the authority to do so on its own. As a result, the law has been deemed “unenforceable,” and will not move forward at this time. (Read more)
President Barack Obama has once again used his executive authority to designate a large swath of western lands off-limits to future development or public use. The Obama administration has been taking criticism after its decision to create the Bears Ears and Gold Butte national monuments — monuments that cover portions of Utah and Nevada. The administration’s self-congratulatory Tweet turned the criticism into mockery after it was learned that the picture they shared was of an entirely different national park. As Senator Orin Hatch (R-UT) pointed out on his Twitter account, “If you're going to take 1.3M acres of Utah land, at least use the right photo.” (Read more)
According to a Clark County Education Association poll, parents believe public schools need more money. But, unsurprisingly, the CCEA never actually informed parents how much the schools already receive in funding. In fact, less than one in 10 respondents to another poll — conducted by EdChoice — could even guess the correct range of tax dollars being spent per year on public schools. When given the current amount of per-student funding, people began to change their mind about whether or not public schools actually “need” more money. (Read more)
When Nevada first became a state, a clause was added into its constitution giving the federal government control over most of its lands, with the understanding that the feds would quickly put the land up for auction. Clearly, that never happened. Since Oct. 31, 1864 — that's right, more than 152 years — Nevada has tried to hold the federal government to its word and regain control of its own backyard. Apparently, trusting Washington D.C. to do anything in a timely manner is far too much to ask. (Read more)
If you want to be a hairdresser in Chicago, Illinois, you will first need to take a class on how to identify potential victims of domestic abuse. And you will have to repeat that class every two years, otherwise the city will revoke your hairdressing license, and put you out of business. It’s just one more example of the ridiculous licensing requirements that plague local governments throughout the nation. In 1950, only one in 20 workers required any sort of government license for their occupation. Today, that number is one in three. Increasingly, Americans have to literally ask their government for permission before earning a living. (Read more)