Kelly Bullis: Crystal ball for the 2019 Nevada Legislature
You’re either in one of three camps. Either you are ecstatic about the Legislature being led in both houses by Democrats as well as having a Democratic governor (from down south to boot) or you are terrified of the same. Finally, you might be in the “I don’t think it will be the end of the world, nor will it make everything better” camp.
Put me in the third group. Why? Several reasons: 1. Many Democrats in Nevada are still fairly level-headed folks, unlike in Congress. 2. The minority leadership in both houses are smart, experienced and from a conservative base (Douglas County). 3. The new governor could turn out to surprise many by leading more from the center. 4. Politicians of every party like to get re-elected. If the Democrats go too far left, they almost guarantee they will be booted out in the next election.
So here’s my prediction, once the dust is settled in June.
Expect a rise in minimum wage. Probably scheduled small increases each year to give the economy time to adjust to the rises.
Expect some sort of feel good gun control. Ban bump-stocks? (Probably at least this.) Bring back the failed ballot initiative from 2016 and fix the background check problem? (Most likely.) Will there be a lot of crazy bills submitted that will attempt to make almost everything illegal? (Yes, but most will die in committee and the few that make it out will most likely be watered down or just not pass. Remember, quite a few Democrats in Nevada are NRA members.)
Will there be more money thrown at schools without accountabilities? (Probably, but there is a hope that even Democrats recognize that school systems can waste a lot of money and need some “guidance.”)
Expect some sort of tax increase. (Hey! When the voters make stuff exempt from sales tax, there has to be something increased to make up for the lost revenue. Also, those pesky schools never seem to be happy with what they have and always ask for a lot more every session. Democrats have shown they are more oriented toward bowing to those requests than Republicans.) How that will be done is anybody’s guess. They might slightly increase the tax rates on the commerce tax. They might make a small increase in the business tax. They might even do a small increase to the gaming tax. (The gaming industry may even encourage that, figuring a small increase now will give them the moral high ground to fight future increases in later sessions.)
Expect some crazy “feel good” bills. Hopefully, level heads will prevail and most will not make it to the governor’s desk. Expect Gov. Steve Sisolak to be much less inclined to veto bills than outgoing Gov. Brian Sandoval. This is where the minority leadership will have the most challenges.
I still have confidence that our Nevada legislators are not like California’s. I have not lost any sleep over the last election results.
Have you heard? Proverbs 8:15 says, “By me (God) kings reign, and rulers decree what is just…”
Kelly Bullis is a certified public accountant in Carson City. Contact him at 775-882-4459, on the Web at bullisandco.com or on Facebook.