Ralston agrees with NPRI on problem with legislature’s secret meetings

Victor Joecks

I call this look Blue SteelAs I’ve written before, regarding the secrecy with which Nevada legislators are crafting our state’s budget, “[i]f this were February, March or even early April, these closed-door meetings wouldn’t be so significant, because there would still be plenty of time for the public to debate whatever the legislative leadership ultimately proposed.” The problem with these secret meetings is that the legislature is going to pass Nevada’s budget and a record or near-record tax increase in fewer than nine days, and citizens won’t have time to learn about the details of the plan before it is voted on.

And today, Jon Ralston agrees:

The issue with these core group meetings is not that they exist but that they don’t form earlier. This silly conceit that putting a tax package out early creates more opposition and a chance to shoot down ideas is an abdication of responsibility by the leadership. Did they have so little faith in their ability to sell what they believe is right – preserving essential services by funding them with taxes – that they have to ram and jam in the final days?

Yesterday, we found out that the secret core group of legislators finally reached an agreement on the amount of higher education funding they want to pass. Which means citizens can now find out exactly how much the legislature wants to spend in the next two years. Oh, wait. We still don’t know that. After all, there’s no time like later to clue the public in on the crisis budget.

It’s not yet known precisely how much spending legislators have approved, but Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, estimated it at “just south of $7 billion.”

Just another reason not to trust politicians â’€ or, as Ralston describes them, that “collection of irredeemable nincompoops, borderline criminals and self-interested cowards” â’€ with more of your hard-earned money.