(Jim Clark) – Mad as hell and can’t take it any more? You need to know about the Nevada Legislative Affairs Committee.
This group hosted a well-publicized and well-attended meeting in Carson City earlier this month dedicated to providing basic training to citizen activists. It was the brainchild of former Gibbons Administration Chief of Staff Robin Reedy and a few other retired state officials who got extremely upset every year when public employees’ union lobbyists would cruise around the legislature threatening solons who refused to cave in to hefty salary and retirement demands for their members.
The group is non-partisan but there appeared to be no Democrats present at their initial session. The meat of the presentation was to encourage participants to register as citizen lobbyists to haunt the legislature and counter big spending proposals being advanced by special interests.
By way of explanation, any of us can go to Carson and meet with legislators who represent Incline/Crystal Bay any time we want. If, however, you seek to convince other legislators to listen of your point of view you are supposed to register as an unpaid lobbyist. It only costs twenty bucks so it’s no big deal.
Perhaps the most valuable information presented was by Nevada Republican Party official Jim DeGraffenreid of Clark County. He explained how concerned citizens can become well-informed and effectively lobby legislators.
If you would like to be a political activist from the comfort of your own home, sporting your jammies and quaffing a beer, log on to the State of Nevada web site www.leg.state.nv.us. The home page is the gateway to a wealth of information.
On the upper left hand you can click on: “Session info”, “Interim Info” (activity between sessions), “Law Library”, “General Info”, “Counsel Bureau”, “Research Library”, “Assembly” or “Senate”.
“Law Library” itself is an enormous asset. All of Nevada Revised Statutes and the Nevada Administrative Code are at your fingertips.
“Session Info” provides a complete list of bill drafts by sponsor and subject as well as hearings on the bills.
Under “Assembly” and “Senate” is a list of legislators with phone numbers, addresses and emails. You only need to register as a citizen lobbyist if you personally visit legislators so feel free to contact as many as you wish by phone, mail and email.
On the right hand side of the home page are some more interesting possibilities, amongst which are: “Personalized Bill Tracking” in which each of us can register to get periodic reports on up to 10 bills absolutely free.
Also there is an icon called: “Share Your Opinion on Legislative Bills”. Click on that and you can register your thoughts which will be combined with those of others and reported to all legislators.
There is also a “Live Meetings” icon which will allow you to listen to or view committee hearings as well as hearings before the whole Assembly or Senate in real time. You can also use that resource to observe and hear special events such as Governor Sandoval’s State of the State Speech.
With such a versatile resource we will never again have to rely on the biased liberal media to tell us after the fact that the legislature raised our taxes. As a matter of fact well before it’s too late you can log on and tell those rascals not to do it.
(Jim Clark is President of Republican Advocates, a vice chair of the Washoe County GOP and a member of the Nevada GOP Central Committee)