State Assembly Republicans unveil plans for 2005 Legislative session
September 9, 2004
LAS VEGAS – Assembly Republicans on Thursday outlined an ambitious, seven-point plan for the 2005 Nevada Legislature that calls for no new taxes and limits on government growth.
The Republicans, now outnumbered 23-19 by Democrats, said their “Contract with Nevadans” plan depends upon whether Nevada voters give them control of the Assembly in the November elections.
If they gain control, the Republicans said they’ll pass and send to the Senate legislation on all aspects of their plan, which also includes capping property taxes, making water a priority, enacting an education performance audit, medical malpractice reform and establishing affordable housing.
“The Legislature is not addressing the issues important to Nevada,” Assembly Minority leader Lynn Hettrick, R-Gardnerville, said during a short news conference at the Grant Sawyer State office building.
“The Republicans … have decided that it is time for action rather than empty promises – a time to act on the issues confronting Nevada rather than just paying them lip service.”
Hettrick, who was joined by several dozen Republican incumbents and candidates for Assembly seats, said he wouldn’t support any new taxes unless the public voted for them.
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For instance, Hettrick said he’d support raising the sales tax to hire hundreds of new police officers in Clark County if residents voted for it in November.
“We have no problem with that,” he said. “We are not going to pass taxes at the state level.”
The Republicans also promised that if people elected their candidates, they would assure the passage of a law limiting the assessed value of property taxes.
“We will pass legislation capping your property tax increase to 6 percent or less annually and look for ways to further reduce the property tax burden on Nevada’s citizens,” he said.
Hettrick said his caucus will work hard to avoid a special session. Last year, it took two divisive special sessions before a budget and a record tax increase were approved. The tax increases managed to clear the Assembly with a two-thirds majority vote only after five Republicans sided with Democrats and voted for the taxes.
The 2005 session will go smoothly if Republicans are in control, Hettrick said.
“If we are the majority, it will be harmonious,” Hettrick said with a laugh.
But Hettrick added he didn’t expect the Democrats to do him any favors.
“We know this plan will be ridiculed immediately by the opposition.”