Nevada Legislature: All take and no give

The last line of the editorial in today’s Las Vegas newspaper said the Nevada Legislature exceeded expectations because it was ended without a series of special sessions.

Well, it certainly exceed my expectations, and I expected it to grab more of our hard-earned income, do nothing to require education accountability, do nothing to curb spending, do nothing to reform public employee pensions and collective bargaining.

It exceeded my worst fears by raising taxes $1.5 billion and enacting a mini-IRS with the governor’s commerce tax, despite voter rejection of this concept in November. There was hardly even a sop to merit pay for state workers or teachers, just more pay for everyone — 3 percent raises across the board no matter how poor the performance. Atop that was a bill to allow school districts to rollover or extend taxpayer approved bond programs without taxpayer approval — another $4 billion or so over the next decade.

In a last-minute deal a bill passed early in the session to remove the prevailing wage requirement for school construction was killed in what was described as a deal to will Democratic support for the governor’s tax hikes — like the Democrats were going to really vote against tax hikes? What a ruse.

A bill to reform public employee pensions was put off till next session, by when the unfunded liability will have grown even higher.

A bill to allow local governments to drop collective bargaining was starved to death.

It was all take and no give.

OK, there was one bright spot, as noted by Investor’s Business Daily today, the Senate and Assembly passed an education savings account bill that lets families take 90 percent of what a public school would spend on educating their children and spend that money at a private school. Families below 185 percent of the poverty level, about $45,000, would get 100 percent.

That will allow those parents with enough gumption to do so to opt out of the failing public school system, which despite the 16 percent spending increase in this budget will still be failing a decade from now — just as they are still failing despite a huge budget increase a decade ago.

The devil may be in the details. How hard will the bureaucracy make it for parents to opt out?

The governor hasn’t signed it yet. Do you think?

Like the generals walking among the dead bodies after the battle, the work of the governor and his tax hikers is done. (R-J photo)

 

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14 comments on “Nevada Legislature: All take and no give

  1. This is great and soooo true.

  2. Barbara says:

    Exactly. But, they managed to screw parents with the school choice program also. Parents who currently pay to have their kid attend a private school are not eligible to get any of their money back from the state. They would have to pull their kid from the private school and enroll them in a public school for one year –or so I am told. I have not read the bill.

  3. Anonymous says:

    why should I as a taxpayer pay for someone to send their kid to a private school?

  4. You aren’t. They get to keep the money, instead of paying it in taxes.

  5. Nyp says:

    Hey, there a bunch of public services that I happen not to use — can I get tax credits for them?

  6. Steve says:

    Sure Nyp!
    Get your legislature to pass a law and your governor to sign it….all set!

  7. Barbara says:

    NYP – Better idea- maybe these public services are not needed at all by anyone. Why not just do away with them and save paying for them in the first place.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Yeah. i live right down the street from a hospital, so as far as I am concerned we can do away with paramedics and EMS. I certainly don’t want to pay for them. We are basically rich and can afford to go to lots of fancy private beaches and forests, so I really don’t need public parks and recreation areas. Get rid of ’em. I’m in a gated community with private security, so we can cut way back on police. And my kids are in private colleges, so I don’t see a need for elementary schools, public high shools, or public universities and colleges. So let’s abolish NSHE! (I know that Mr. Mitchell agrees with me on the education stuff.)
    Think of all the money I could save — and we haven’t even started on the federal services I don’t use!

  9. Another pale pastel fuster cluck by the Rino’s! Those Republicans who went directly against their campaign promises in voting for this record tax increase in order to pander to the Governor…need to be replaced with rock ribbed conservatives! The main culprits…Speaker John Hambrick and his ring of co-conspirators in the assembly, Senate Majority leader Michael Roberson (with his two “Stepford Wives”…Patricia Farley & Becky Harris)…and a real traitor Greg Brower. “The reality is that we (Democrats) have been pushing this for the last 10 years,” said Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas. “But we’ve never got to two-thirds. Now finally they (Republicans) gave us seven votes. This is our idea, this is our issue and we have wanted this for a long time.” At least Tick (a blood sucking parasite) is honest. You want bold colors…you’ll have to look elsewhere…like Scott Walker of Wisconsin. Governor Sandoval in actuality…is little more than a moderate Democrat.

  10. Rincon says:

    How can you discuss taxation without discussing spending? Nevada’s budget shortfall as a percentage of the budget is far greater than any state listed here: http://kff.org/other/state-indicator/state-budget-shortfalls-sfy13/ If true. I believe you’re making the same mistake as Tea Partiers. The money’s been spent. If you fail to cut spending,enough, then failing to raise taxes is irresponsible. Of course, you could follow Illinois into the toilet by borrowing as they did.

  11. Steve says:

    2013 was a recession year…revenues were simply not living up to projections and the economy was not capable of taking on any more burden.
    The legislature meets bi-annually, thankfully, meaning they could not simply pass more taxes to compensate once adjourned. (unless the governor called them into special session)
    Nevada has a balanced budget requirement in the constitution and cannot borrow to cover spending.
    The current situation will take a few years to measure. Only then will this argument be legitimately discussed.

  12. Patrick says:

    I just don’t understand how allowing people to “opt out” of public services, and in fact pay them to do so, will accomplish anything but the ruination of society.

    I mean, so today, we’re going to allow people to receive 90% of what the state pays per pupil (even though obviously, that figure is far more than the amount the average citizen pays in taxes toward education). What happens tomorrow, when the state decides that it will give all citizens with children 50%, of the amount the state spends to educate Nevada students to the parents but completely free of any requirement that the child actually use the money for education? Or, how about this idea: instead of people being able to call the police, we just tell them that the state will give them 40% of what it costs, per citizen, to actually have a police force but now they are on their own? Is it really that difficult to understand that this is a de-evolution of how this country was built? Why do conservatives insist on turning the country backwards I wonder? The very reason that the country has evolved AWAY from limited government is because they didn’t like it. It didn’t meet the needs of a growing population. People didn’t like having a bunch of uneducated citizens around (at least among the less fortunate) they wanted a society where ALL people got a free public education. They demanded a world where police and firefighters were not the “privilege” of the wealthy only (and heck, the wealthy realized that this was in their interest as well cause dang those poor houses to hades anyway; when they burned down, while paid for firemen watched, those houses actually spread fire to the wealthiest houses and businesses as well.

    Sad that conservatives just never seem to learn from history isn’t it?

  13. Steve says:

    Patrick doesn’t like it, that settles it. It’s officially a great idea! Glad it made it through the session intact!

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