Every week, NPRI President Andy Matthews writes a column for NPRI's week-in-review email. If you are not getting our emails, which contain our latest commentaries and news stories, you can sign up here to receive them.
While reading a Los Angeles Times article this week on Gov. Sandoval’s “tax-hike surprise,” I couldn’t help but think of the Legislative Review & Report Card that NPRI publishes at the end of every Legislative Session.
The Report Card grades each legislator and the governor on his or her performance in Carson City, taking into account votes on the matters that affect you and your family most, such as education and taxes. For the vast majority of Nevadans not entrenched in Silver State policymaking and politics on a daily basis, it’s a highly useful tool to gauge the performance of their elected officials.
As you may know, NPRI Executive Vice President Victor Joecks has relocated to the capital, not only to provide regular updates on important hearings and votes, and to offer a free-market perspective to lawmakers, but also to be a watchdog.
In the coming months, we’ll be watching how our elected officials stand up against new and extended taxes; support giving students the educational freedom they need to succeed; promote crucial reforms to Nevada PERS; and work to loosen public-sector unions’ hold on taxpayers’ wallets. We’ll be watching them when it comes to attempts to raise the minimum wage, expand ineffective programs like full-day kindergarten, and plenty more.
As that LA Times article I mentioned accurately suggests, politicians try a lot of things after an election. Despite Nevada voters’ overwhelming rejection of the margin tax — which Sandoval himself opposed — the governor and some legislators are now pushing a modified version of that same tax that voters just shot down by a 4-1 gap. Others want to circumvent taxpayers by allowing school boards to raise property taxes without their consent, despite voters’ repeated rejection of such increases.
We know the vast majority of Nevadans don’t have the time to follow every development from Carson City, and that many more are precluded from following their legislators’ actions closely by the vast distance that separates them from our state’s capitol.
So NPRI will again spend the next few months watching on your behalf — and reporting on how your lawmakers perform — so you can make the most informed decisions possible come next election.
On another front, we’ve had a significant development in one of our legal efforts to defend the Nevada Constitution. As you’re aware, we’re currently in a lawsuit against the Governor’s Office of Economic Development over its administration of the unconstitutional Catalyst Fund, through which state government gives taxpayer money to private companies.
Last Thursday, the district court judge in that case heard oral argument on both parties’ cross motions for summary judgment and denied both, holding that factual issues raised by the case precluded the grant of summary judgment for either party. This represents an important step forward, because it opens the door to the trial phase of this case, during which we’ll have an opportunity to make the argument as to why our client, an alternative-energy entrepreneur named Michael Little, has suffered direct harm as a result of his competitor, SolarCity, receiving a government subsidy.
We’ll be sure to keep you posted as this case continues to unfold, but in the meantime, please accept my sincerest thanks for all you do to help us fight this important battle, among many others.
Until next time,
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