Redistricting likely to muddy the waters

Geoffrey Lawrence

On Thursday, the legislative majority plans to release proposed political redistricting maps that would outline new legislative jurisdictions for the next decade in Nevada.

To this point in the legislative session, there has been a deafening silence on the redistricting debate and, indeed, the timing of this event immediately calls into question the majority’s motives. Speculation has been rampant that Democrats will infuse the redistricting debate into the budget debate – extracting support for tax increases by threatening to draw Republican lawmakers out of their districts. The timing of the majority’s unveiling of their proposed redistricting maps would seem to validate these suspicions.

The majority’s last strategy for breaking impasse on the budget debate – pulling budget bills out of the budget committees and hearing them before the press in Committee of the Whole meetingsappears to have backfired. The budget stalemate between Democratic and Republican lawmakers appears to have only intensified as both sides have further entrenched their positions. As such, legislative Democrats appear to be playing their last card in order to lure some Republicans into supporting major tax increases.

It’s likely that legislative Democrats will become increasingly desperate for pro-tax Republican votes as the session wears on. These majority lawmakers will try to avoid a special session to resolve the budget, wherein the agenda would be controlled by the governor.

They are ready to play their trump card. We’ll see where it goes.

Geoffrey Lawrence

Geoffrey Lawrence

Director of Research

Geoffrey Lawrence is director of research at Nevada Policy.

Lawrence has broad experience as a financial executive in the public and private sectors and as a think tank analyst. Lawrence has been Chief Financial Officer of several growth-stage and publicly traded manufacturing companies and managed all financial reporting, internal control, and external compliance efforts with regulatory agencies including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  Lawrence has also served as the senior appointee to the Nevada State Controller’s Office, where he oversaw the state’s external financial reporting, covering nearly $10 billion in annual transactions. During each year of Lawrence’s tenure, the state received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Award from the Government Finance Officers’ Association.

From 2008 to 2014, Lawrence was director of research and legislative affairs at Nevada Policy and helped the institute develop its platform of ideas to advance and defend a free society.  Lawrence has also written for the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation, with particular expertise in state budgets and labor economics.  He was delighted at the opportunity to return to Nevada Policy in 2022 while concurrently serving as research director at the Reason Foundation.

Lawrence holds an M.A. in international economics from American University in Washington, D.C., an M.S. and a B.S. in accounting from Western Governors University, and a B.A. in international relations from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.  He lives in Las Vegas with his beautiful wife, Jenna, and their two kids, Carson Hayek and Sage Aynne.