Heller-Sponsored Bill Gives Veterans Health Care Choice

With a deadline rapidly approaching, two weeks ago President Trump signed a bill sponsored by Nevada Sen. Dean Heller that appropriates $2.1 billion to extend a program that provides veterans with an opportunity to seek health care outside the backlogged, and too often distant, Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals. Senate Bill 114, VA Choice and… [More…]

Interior’s New Sage Grouse Protection Efforts Welcomed

Earlier this month Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke ordered the implementation of recommendations from a team that reviewed the previous administration’s draconian land use restrictions under the guise of protecting greater sage grouse. The team — which included officials from Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Forest Service… [More…]

Court Ruling Puts State Water Rights in Jeopardy

Nevada is taking the lead in challenging a recent 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals opinion that has the potential to obliterate more than a century of state water rights law. The office of Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt this past week filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, in conjunction with nine… [More…]

Congress Needs to Delay or Repeal Health Insurance Tax

You might not have said anything when they announced that ObamaCare-compliant health insurance premiums are going up nearly 40 percent next year because you get your insurance elsewhere. You might not have said anything when they announced there will be no ObamaCare-compliant health insurance policies available in 14 Nevada counties because you get your insurance… [More…]

Rural Groundwater Grab Gets Federal Court Hearing

If whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting, this fight has gone on for 28 years and the combatants are still flailing madly. In 1989 the agency that is now the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) filed paperwork with the state engineer to lay claim to 589,000 acre-feet of groundwater in central Nevada… [More…]

Here’s Another Chance to Repeal the Commerce Tax

In 2014 Nevada voters rejected by 79 percent to 21 percent a proposed margins tax, effectively an income tax on state businesses. Despite this unequivocal rejection at the ballot box, lawmakers a few short months later passed a similar, though currently somewhat smaller, tax called the Commerce Tax. The Commerce Tax passed with a two-thirds… [More…]

Western congressmen seek monument size reductions

Recently the 17 members of the Congressional Western Caucus — which includes Nevada’s Rep. Mark Amodei — took Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke up on his request for feedback on what to do about all the national monuments created in the past two decades, sending him a letter with specific recommendations about 27 of those monuments.… [More…]

Legal dithering allows continuing violations of state Constitution

Frankly, it sounds like a self-contradictory argument. Or circuitous at best. Until the 1960s, it was largely agreed that public employees could not also serve in the Nevada Legislature. This was because the Separation of Powers Clause in the state Constitution stated that no one who exercised power in one branch of state government —… [More…]

Another public pension warning flag raised

Researchers at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University have published their annual “Ranking the States by Fiscal Condition,” and Nevada ranked a respectable 14th among the states in overall fiscal health and accountability. The study ranked each state based on short- and long-term debt and other obligations, such as unfunded pensions. The unfunded pension… [More…]

Police should not seize property without a conviction

President Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions has a reputation as a law-and-order guy, but the plan he announced this past week to step up civil asset forfeiture efforts skirts the law and jeopardizes order. The plan is to reverse an Obama administration policy that restricted how often federal agencies would accept property — cash, vehicles,… [More…]