Yearly Legislative Sessions Finally Necessary

The issue of yearly legislative sessions in Nevada has been a very contentious one for years. I can honestly say that when I first heard the proposal from a former legislator 10 years ago, I was adamantly against it.

Nevada as many of you know is currently facing some very difficult issues as it relates to our state budget. For years now, Nevada has kept taxes low, but hasn’t been able to diversify income for the state. While Nevada continued to grow and was for years the fastest growing state in the country–we failed to provide resources to assist in funding our infrastructure.

While many of our elected officials had good intentions, the consequences of astronomical growth in Southern Nevada caused a scenario where the demand for government services continued to increase–Nevada just hasn’t been able to keep up in so many critical areas.

The more I thought about all the issues that face this great state, the more I realized that we need a government that’s responsive to its citizens needs. So this issue of a yearly (3 -4 month) legislative session in my opinion is a good idea. I believe that if the issues addressed in the even numbered years are isolated, meeting every year could prove to be a beneficial exercise.

I was speaking with a friend of mine the other day who works at the legislature and he made me laugh when he said, “I’ve attended more special legislative sessions in Nevada than I have regular sessions.” While I got a chuckle from his comment, it made me think about the average costs per week to run a special legislative session. The last time I checked, that cost was around $300,000.00 per week–bottom-line, that’s a lot of money!

So, if we went to restricted yearly sessions–not allowing for legislators to pass needless laws and regulations, maybe we could keep this state on track with its budgeting process. As a Republican, I am all for “limited” government. However, I’ve always believed that government can and should serve a valuable purpose for its citizens. I believe that government should serve the people and not special interests. Nevada has for years maintained limited government in the face of unprecedented growth, but now is the time for Nevada to do what’s right for its citizens and meet once a year.

By Nathan Taylor

Saturday, April 18th, 2009 Government

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