Vote Nevada Supporters,
I hope that everyone had a very restful and enjoyable holiday season. Now that the new year is here and our elected officials have been or are about to be sworn in, it is officially advocacy season. It’s time to switch from “What does the Controller do?” to “What are we doing about education and the water shortage?”
Nevada is a Dillon’s Rule state, which means all power flows down from our legislature to subordinate governing bodies. The legislature created the counties and cities and now decides which powers these entities can exercise.
This is not an optimal way to run things as our legislature technically only exists in odd years for 120 days; the rest of the time, the more limited governing bodies are managing everything.
So, if a law passed by the legislature has a problem, there is no way to fix it until the legislature comes into session again. To lessen the impact of this problem, the legislature often empowers state agencies to write regulations to implement laws or they empower governing bodies to just figure out how to implement laws on their own. This is a big reason why Nevada has difficulties fixing problems.
If we really want to solve systemic issues related to education, health care, mental health care, and basic governing infrastructure, we will either need a legislature that is in session more or we need to empower state agencies and local governing bodies to directly create and fund laws for addressing a wider range of issues.
This solution, however, requires a constitutional amendment to pass that creates Home Rule, but, until heck freezes over and that happens, we must rely on direct citizen participation to help get things done
This Saturday, January 7th, Vote Nevada is offering our workshop on using the legislature’s website for engagement and advocacy during the 2023 legislative session. We will focus on the website’s wide range of tools and features. The workshop is from 9 to 10 am, via Zoom. RSVP here: https://vote-nevada.news/Legislative-Advocacy-Training-2023
The Governor’s State of the State Address is scheduled for January 23rd at 6 pm. We will see the Governor’s budget around the same time. For the most part, the budget will be the one created by former Governor Sisolak’s team, but the new Governor has the discretion to alter the funding allocations. The budget reflects the current Governor’s priorities, except in the first year due to the overlap with the outgoing Governor.
The legislature can change the budget allocations but doing so sets up the possibility of the Governor vetoing bills supported by the Democratic legislative majority. Legislators can add to the budget, but Nevada has a balanced budget mandate, consequently, adding to the budget requires adding new revenue sources, aka raising taxes. See also heck freezing over.
In the two weeks before the legislative session starts on February 6th, the Interim Finance Committee hears the state agency budget requests. Unlike in the recent past, for this session, the Economic Forum has forecast revenue more than the agency requests. You can read more about the budget surplus here: https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/economic-forum-lombardo-lawmakers-will-have-11-4-billion-for-two-year-budget
When the legislative session starts on February 6th, the first week is devoted to funding the session, recognizing the leadership, establishing the rules, and affirming the committees. By the end of the week, the Assembly and Senate will begin the process of reading each bill three times before assigning each to a committee for hearings.
The majority party’s legislative leadership decides which bills are assigned to committees for hearings and the committee chairs decide which bills receive hearings and in which order.
You can see the committee information here: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/NELIS/REL/82nd2023/Committees/List
If you would like to know more about the process and how to read, follow, and advocate for or against bills, RSVP for the January 7th workshop at https://vote-nevada.news/Legislative-Advocacy-Training-2023
Our second event this month is on January 12th with Elko resident Scott Gavorsky whose blog is: The Rurals of Nevada https://ruralsofnevada.substack.com/
Scott is doing some deep dives on newly released Census data to show that Nevada has three distinct rural areas, all with their own character. Scott will join us on January 12th, from 6 to 7 pm, via Zoom to chat about how he uses Census data to learn more about Nevadans across the state. If you would like to attend, RSVP here: https://vote-nevada.news/Using-Census-Data
One last thing, if you are registered as a Nonpartisan voter, we’d like to hear from you. Some important races in this last election were decided by young voters and voters not affiliated with one of the major parties, so, we would like to get to know you. If you are a Nonpartisan voter who is willing to share a little about yourself, go to this form https://vote-nevada.news/Nonpartisan-Voters-Survey
Thank you for being Nevadans with me,
Vote Nevada: Solving Problems with Civics
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