(Assemblyman Pat Hickey) – Standing together at 7:00 AM this morning with my fellow Republicans to observe Governor Sandoval veto the school works bill, AB 183, brought me no great sense of satisfaction. Rather than being a proud moment of viewing a chief executive who I admire for keeping his election promises, sign into law legislation that both sides agree will move Nevada forward. Instead, we stood witness to the differences that separates Democrats and Republicans-just as America’s Loneliest Highway (U.S. 50) divides us geographically.
Still, I hold out hope that unofficial gatherings like “The Recession, Revenues and Nevada’s Recovery” on Monday, April 18th, at 3:00 PM in Senate Room 1214, will help to get both sides talking to each other. The fact that Leadership was reluctant to grant the use of a hearing room is an ironic indicator of the dilemma facing lawmakers. Observing the process of getting a room reserved, I could not help but think of the rhetorical question, “How can you come to the table, if you cannot use a room for the meeting?”
Confirmed speakers for the forum include: Carole Vilardo, Nevada Taxpayers Association, Dr. Heath Morrison, Washoe County Schools, Tray Abney, Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Elliot Parker, UNR Economist, Mary Lau, Retail Association of Nevada, Bob Fulkerson, PLAN, Geoffrey Lawrence, NPRI, Clare Andriola, Associated Builders and Contractors, Jim Pfrommer, Education Alliance, Chuck Muth, Citizen’s Outreach, Dr. Tom Cargill, UNR Economist, Sen. Randolph Townsend, Heidi Gansert, Assemblywoman Debbie Smith (invited), and others.
The hearing on my E-Verify bill (AB 252) will be at 7:30 AM this Wednesday, April 6th, in Assembly Government Affairs, Room 3143. To many, it seems reasonable to require all taxpayer-funded public works projects in Nevada to employ contractors who utilize the Federal employment-verification program. With the impact of illegal immigration costing Nevadans $800 million annually, I felt it necessary to bring this debate to the Legislature given the massive budgetary effects of educating, medicating and frequently incarcerating those who are working here illegally.
On a personal note, this past weekend was the time for placing my 98 year- old father George, in an assisted-living home near us in Reno. A Bronze Star recipient in WWII for his bravery along the Burma Highway, my Dad had been living with us for a number of years. It is sad not seeing him in the kitchen for breakfast and we will miss watching him out the back window trying to rake the yard. It was his time. Certainly, our time living with him in our home was a blessing the family will never forget. I recently wrote about the experience of having an aging parent with us in Tahoe Boy.
“The cycle of life is a beautiful thing. Our parents take care of us when we are young, and if we are lucky enough to be able to return the favor, we care for them when they return to their almost child-like state at the end of their life. Having three generations together in our house gave me a peek into the portal of eternity. The past is there in Grandpa, the present here in us, while the kids comprise the dreams of us both for the future.”