Democrats push to block Nevada entering statehood

The Democratic majority in the Nevada Legislature is doing everything they can to erase everything accomplished by the 2015 Republican-controlled session. First, labor reform and a minor prevailing wage reform are rolled back. Now, they want to keep Nevada a territory instead of barging ahead into some semblance of statehood.

In 2015 the Legislature passed Senate Joint Resolution 1, which urged Congress to release about 7.2 million acres of federal public land to the state, which would have reduced the federal land control in the state from about 85 percent to about 75 percent.

In support of that resolution in March 2015 Congressman Mark Amodei, who represents northern Nevada, introduced H.R. 1484, dubbed the Honor the Nevada Enabling Act of 1864 Act. The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources finally got around to conducting a hearing on the bill in November but the bill lapsed with the session of Congress.

Amodei at a meeting in Reno in April. (RGJ pix)

On Tuesday the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources, Agriculture and Mining heard testimony on Senate Joint Resolution 12, which would rescind SJR1 as if it never happened and the results of a years-long public lands task force report was written in smoke. That task force found that, while the federal government loses 91 cents an acre on the land it manages, states with public land trusts make $28.59 acre, meaning Nevada could net $114 million by taking over just 10 percent of BLM land.

SJR12  has already passed the Senate on a 12-9 party-line vote.

Meanwhile, Rep. Amodei appears to be throwing in the towel. He told the Reno newspaper editorial board this week that he won’t likely reintroduce a bill to transfer federal land to state control. “Transferring millions of acres of public lands … is not something I think the majority of people think is a good idea,” he was quoted as saying.

Janine Hansen, representing the Nevada Committee for Full Statehood, was one of the few to testify against SJR12. She noted that the federal land bureaucracies are blocking economic development in rural Nevada.




3 comments on “Democrats push to block Nevada entering statehood

  1. robertleebeers says:

    It is all in the names. Democracy vs Republic. A democracy means a strong central government with power over its territories. (have to ignore that inconvenient 10th amendment, you know). In a republic, however, the state has the greater power within its borders. The only thing the federal government can do to a state refusing to go along with an unconstitutional mandate is withholding federal funds. Ask Utah how that strategy has worked out. The Democrats do not want any semblance of sovereignty to get in that way of kowtowing to the gods in Washington. Ask yourself this, how many votes would Democrats get if you had to be employed in order to vote?

  2. deleted says:

    Correct me if I missed it here, but Thomas is describing an action taken by the state of Nevada right? I mean….states rights, states rights, states rights and the 10th Amendment forever and such.

    And I think maybe someone is confused about the proportion of democrats employed vs the numbers of republicans (or worse). Our neighbor to the west illustrates the point pretty well given that the population is the largest in the country, has a low unemployment rate, and is most decided democratically controlled.

    Course this is likewise true for the high density population states in the NE; low unemployment rates, dominated by democratic voters.

  3. Linda Sanders says:

    We can thank all the RINOs in the 2015 state legislature for the big Democratic sweep in the last election. Voters could not count on leaders Roberson and Hambrick to lead as conservatives and we, of course, got the biggest tax increase in history. We thought they were Republicans, but they were Democrats in sheep’s clothing. That fact and the backlash directed to those who were not instant Trump cheerleaders has led to apathy among some conservative voters.

    Jus’ sayin’

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