Live blog: IFC vision stakeholder selection meeting

Victor Joecks

***Scroll for updates***

Today, a working group of the IFC subcommittee to conduct a review of Nevada’s revenue structure is meeting to start figuring out who will be included the Nevada Vision Stakeholder Group.

Click here to watch the meeting live.

Here’s some very helpful background reading on the IFC and the Nevada Vision Stakeholder Group:

IFC to hide behind unelected stakeholders
Nevadans deserve honesty from the IFC

9:10 The meeting hasn’t started yet, but I do have a list of nominees to the Nevada Vision Stakeholder Group (NVSG). Just over 70 people nominated. I’ll be highlighting some of the nominees throughout the morning.

9:15 Alright, what percentage of the NVSG will be full time lobbyists? 40 percent? Half?

9:17 33 ,10, 13, 10, 9, The objective of the NVSG is to make recommendations to improve the quality of life in the five main program areas of Nevada’s budget — Commerce and Industry, Education, Public Safety, Health and Human Services, and Infrastruture. Notice there is no category for Taxpayer.

The real question is why do our Legislative leaders measure quality of life only in areas of government spending? Most people’s quality of life has nothing to do with what the government’s doing.

9:20 Chair (Assemblyman Conklin) recommends a committee of 16 – 18 members. 6-7 in commerce and industry and 2-3 in the other areas.

9:28 Discussion of the make-up of the group. Chair Conklin: “We can’t get adequate representation with only 11 members.”

But with 18 members, you’ll be able to get adequate representation? Every individual is unique. Have government fulfill its core functions and then allow individuals and families to do the things that they believe improve their own quality of life.

Chair Conklin: No parent organizations in the education category. Sen. Rhoades: No rural ranchers.

9:30 Sounds like the nomination process will continue after today’s meeting.

9:34 Sen. Townsend is wearing sweet suspenders.

9:35 Geoff Lawrence (here with me at the meeting) just summed up what’s really happening here. “This is all about cherry picking special interests.”

And you know who’s not a special interest? Taxpayers. The people whose quality of life this group is suppose to determine how to improve.

9:37 Sen. Matthews is worried that small gambling will be left out.

This is exactly why the government shouldn’t try and pick the winners and losers in anything — someone is always going to be excluded. That’s why government is suppose to provide a uniform and low tax and regulatory burden. That way no one is left out and all are treated equally.

9:41 Sen. Townsend suggests excluding elected officials. “Keep it as apolitical as we can.”

9:43 Assemblyman Goicoechea: “One size doesn’t fit all.” Exactly.

Exactly why the government should try and determine what quality of life is. What makes one person’s life meaningful, would make another miserable.

To quote an old cliche: One man’s trash in another man’s treasure. That’s the beauty of freedom. With freedom, each individual is able to pursue the things that make their life meaningful. Which is why creating these arbitrary quality of life goals is bound to disappoint almost everyone.

9:51 NVSG members are required to work 20 hours a month.

9:52 Alright they’re working through an initial estimate of the number of people from each category. Public safety: 2 members.

9:59 Infrastructure: 3 members

10:01 Sen. Wiener is worried that Education and Health and Human Services are going to get jobbed. She recommends four spots for each category.

As Geoff said, this is all about cherry picking special interests.

10:05 Health and Human Services, Education: 3 each. Although Sen. Wiener wants more.

10:12 Sen. Townsend: “We’ll have an imbalance between taxpayers and tax users.”

Exactly the right point, except — where are the taxpayers?

Chair Conklin: I’m not sure there’s anybody in this state who’s not a payer. It’s who pays the bulk. Some groups pay a larger burden … I don’t want to make this partisan … We also have to sell these quality of live indicators.

Only problem is that it’s an impossible sale. Everyone views quality of life differently. That’s why government (and it’s great power) needs to be limited to a few core functions.

10:17 Sen. Townsend: We can’t be all things to all people … I’m willing to pay for a high quality higher education.

“We believe this is what you (public) want.”

Has money made higher education better? Has nearly tripling per-pupil education spending over the last 40 years made K-12 education better? No and no.

10:20 Have any of our politicians been following what California is going through? You can’t spend your way to prosperity.

10:21 Motion to cap the NVSG at 19. No set number in Commerce and Industry. The 19 includes 2 bonus (“floater”) members. Motion passes.

10:39 The working group started a 5 minute break 15 minutes ago.

10:42 And we’re back. Chair Conklin suggests that the group continue to collect nominating applications and having their next meeting on Nov 16.

10:45 Next meeting is November 16.

10:58 Geoff’s now giving testimony. I’ll post his testimony sometime this afternoon. Update: Geoff’s testimony is here.

11:07 A citizen named Ed is giving an awesome public comment — the list is full of feeders. The commerce people want to use the government to limit competition.

11:10Meeting adjourned.