(Janine Hansen) – My brother, Dan Hansen, always said he ran his business on the principle of snorkel economics–your head is under water but you’re still breathing! That’s just how I feel…buried under a pile of 960 Bill Draft Requests and bills which have been introduced into the Nevada Legislature with hundreds more to come.
The question immediately comes to mind, why are there so many bills? How can we possibly need that many new laws every two years? Well, that is a good question to ponder. I have asked that question every session since 1971. Still in all these years the answer has remained a mystery.
One way the Legislature could save money is to cut the number of bills in half. You could bet this would be one austerity measure that nobody in the public would ever complain about!
There are some really good ideas this session and some really bad ideas and then there’s some really ugly ones too.
There are two Bill Draft Requests (BDR: no bill written yet—just a one sentence explanation) to enact “Freedom of Choice in Health Care”, one by Assemblyman Goedhart and one by Senator Rhoads. This is a legislative initiative based on the American Legislative Exchange Council’s model bill. Virginia was the first state to pass it.
This legislation is to protect citizens in their individual states from being forced to purchase health insurance or participate in any health care system against their will. In other words, this legislation would protect citizens from the federal government mandates in Obamacare. Last year some 38 states were considering this critical legislation. This one is a big winner in my book. Perhaps the most important piece of legislation this session…but watch out with the Democrats in charge, this good idea may not even get a hearing.
This idea certainly coincides with Senator Settelmeyer’s Resolution to Claim State Sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Think of that! Nevada and the U.S. Government abiding by the Constitution. That’s a novel idea I could really cheer for. The Tenth Amendment says, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. I guess the Tenth Amendment just slipped the minds of Congress when they passed Obamacare. Oh darn!
Senator McGinness’ Resolution with a message to Congress to STOP enacting federal mandates that exceed the scope of the powers delegated to Congress by the U.S. Constitution is part of the remarkable revolution to return to the roots of our liberties…the Founders Constitution…not Congress’s, the President’s, or the Supreme Court’s.
Senator Gustavson has a BDR that really rings the Liberty Bell. It would remove the fees and other requirements for carrying a firearm. The Founders would be incredulous that we are paying fees and asking permission from law enforcement in order to exercise our Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Assemblyman Goedhart’s Resolution addresses the same issue and would amend the Nevada Constitution to allow persons to carry a concealed firearm without a permit like the State of Vermont.
George Washington warned, “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people’s liberty teeth…the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable… more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference. When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour.” (Address to 1st session of Congress)
SJR3 Urges Congress to enact Legislation to require the Secretary of the Interior to convey ownership of certain land in Nevada back to the State of Nevada to help fund education. The marvelous thing about this resolution is that it is a product of the Assembly Education Committee….not your standard bastion of Conservative Constitutional thought! The quest for more government revenue can do strange and surprisingly wonderful things even to the resurrecting of some of the foundational truths of echoes of the Sagebrush Rebellion.
Now many of these bills and resolutions have very lofty ideals expressed. And as Pollyanna said they are the “glad” passages—the good ones, but let’s not forget that there’s plenty of Bad and Ugly circulating in the Legislative whirlpool.
AB34 repeals the prohibition on the use of automated equipment (cameras) to issue traffic citations. This reminds me of Great Britain’s spy cameras on every corner. That bastion of lost liberties also denies their citizen the right to defend themselves except perhaps with a wet noodle. Now, the Dept. of Transportation wants to increase their revenues with spy cameras so they can issue more tickets to the cash strapped public. Now that’s a really ugly idea in the land of liberty.
Assemblywoman Pierce thinks the way out of this economic quagmire is to raise taxes and impose a broad-based business tax. Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze the blood out of the public turnip! I never liked BAD tasting bloodless turnips anyway.
So far, in Nevada, it’s only elected officials in the legislature, county commissions and other representative legislative bodies that have the power to raise taxes. However, that’s about to change if AB54, introduced on behalf of Clark County, becomes law. This is a dangerous bill. It would throw out the principles of separation of powers and representative government and bestow the power to raise taxes on unelected appointees to a “medical district”. This depends on whether the all-powerful Clark County “decides” if the medical district czars should be “appointed” or “elected.” This idea surfaced last session for some of the smaller counties like Carson. This is an ugly idea that may have first surfaced in the Kremlin.
“We the people” is more than the first words of the Constitution. It implies that we the people have a responsibility if we wish “to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” A little forethought and some sacrifice might help to secure those blessings as well. But, AB108 by the Assembly Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections would allow a person to register to vote up until the polls closed on Election Day. Wow! I guess the Committee is not worried about ACORN voters, illegal aliens voting, or election fraud, only in racking up the numbers for number 1. Ug..Ug..Ugly!
Clear back in 1866 in a New York court of all places, they opined, “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the Legislature is in session.” AJR2, introduced by the inimitable Assembly Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections would subject the people to a legislative session every year instead of every other year. In addition, it would increase the total number of legislative days for the two years from 120 to 150. Most regular folk would agree with the New York court and say this is a BAD idea.