Trolling the new state legislature
Since the Republicans are in the minority in both houses of the Nevada Legislature, and the Republican governor leans progressive, the expectation is that Republicans will be spending most of their time fighting to stop Democratic taxing and spending initiatives. President Trump’s election by the forgotten deplorables, who cling to their guns and bibles, is the backdrop for the 2017 legislature. Many assumptions and plans may not be as relevant today as they were before Trump’s election. No one can deny the deplorables blame the elites for many crises over the last decades, including the most severe recession and slowest recovery since the Great Depression. Nevada was particularly hard hit. Economic recovery creates the temptation for the legislature to overspend. The major parties have often demonstrated they cannot be trusted when holding both houses of the legislature. The legislature will be challenged to respond to the long awaited recovery in a responsible way.
The sessions always begin with a lot of referendums honoring citizens and schools and a good deal of back slapping and congratulations. Some Democrats have already indicated they would be more than willing to go beyond the 120 day limit. Of course they would. There is always some little problem in the world, like who can or can’t use the school bathrooms, that a good deal of debate and moralizing and legislative sausage-making will be called on to fix. It’s what they do.
Unfortunately, recent studies show that the more dysfunctional government is, the more people respond by demanding more government. With congressional, presidential, major party and media favorability all in the tank, it’s hard to see how government could be seen as any more dysfunctional than now. The people of Nevada will have their work cut out to restrain this year’s legislature and turn it to a more constitutional conservative direction. Small business still enjoys high approval ratings, and the legislature could be encouraged to keep government off the backs of Nevada small businesses. Some occupational licensing laws, particularly in health care, could be abolished.
An early examination of submitted bill draft requests shows a bill to lower the gambling age to 18. If you can die for your country, why shouldn’t you be able to draw to an inside straight?
There are bills to clarify and hopefully expand marijuana legalization to allow for lounges and restaurants to provide places to smoke marijuana in public. This was a problem in Colorado, where sales were legal but prohibitions on smoking in a public place led to frustration for tourists who wanted more from legalized pot than just to shop for it. The legislature must avoid the temptation to overtax pot like Washington did, which caused the black market there to actually grow with legalization. How the Trump administration will respond to the spread of legalized and medical marijuana to eight new states has California and Nevada worried.
The state attorney general has proposed a bill to further punish sex offenders, and several bills are concerned with the alleged dangers of human—er, sex trafficking. Social conservatives promised there would be a bill to re-criminalize our brothel system. These proposed laws in the ongoing progressive war on commercial sex and sex-related crimes will hopefully draw considerable skepticism. For the first, time in at least a decade the Super Bowl was played without constant lurid stories about thousands of sex slaves being imported to Houston to make millions for cruel pimps. In fact, even the New York Times trashed the hysteria over sex trafficking and major sporting events. Like the Bowling Green Massacre, it never happened.