The 2011 Nevada Legislative Session

Executive Summary


In recognition of the fact that many Nevadans do not have the time to follow the individual performances of their representatives in the Nevada Legislature, NPRI has committed itself to grading these performances and has produced the following report card. It provides an objective measure of each lawmaker's voting record on legislation impacting the degree of economic freedom and education reform.

The grading system is an adapted version of that used by the National Taxpayers Union to grade Congress. A key advantage of the NTU methodology is that it allows bills of greater significance to be weighted accordingly. Thus, each bill impacting Nevada tax rates, either directly or indirectly as the result of spending beyond available revenues, is assigned aweight of 1 through 100, depending on magnitude of impact. Also considered are bills that would create hidden taxes through costly regulation and bills that provide targeted tax subsidies to politically favored recipients.

It should be noted that some legislative proposals can reduce the tax burden – either by lowering tax rates directly or by curtailing spending. Lawmakers can gain points voting for such proposals. Lawmakers can also gain points by voting for bills that improve education through structural reform, increase government transparency and protect property rights.

Where substantial disagreement exists on how best to curtail spending, bills are not considered. Also excluded are bills that have zero net impact on spending or simply reassign existing funds. When a legislator has been excused from or did not vote on a bill, its corresponding points are subtracted from the denominator to reflect his or her absence.

All scores are expressed as a percentage of the maximum possible number of points. No congressman has ever received a perfect score using the NTU model and so perfect scores should not be expected. Generally, a legislator with a score above 50 is considered to be an ally of economic liberty.

A listing of the bills considered for this analysis is available below.

NPRI's scorecard also contains a comprehensive recap of the session.

Download file Download the full Review and Report Card
Download file Download calculation spreadsheets and list of bills included in analysis


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.