NCET helps you explore business and technology
By Tray Abney
The start of a new odd-numbered calendar year in Nevada means it is time for a new legislative session in Carson City.
This session brings added intrigue because we have Steve Sisolak, who will be the first Democrat to occupy the Governor’s Mansion in two decades. He will be working with Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson, who will be presiding over a veto-proof super majority of Democrats in that chamber and Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, with an increased Democratic majority there.
What issues can we expect to take up most of the time and headlines?
Education policy and funding is always at the top of the list. There will also be a major push on criminal sentencing reform.
Nevadans can also expect our legislators to have several in-depth discussions on mental/behavioral health, as we continue to realize how this issue affects so many aspects of our society.
Healthcare issues, especially the ability to deliver it cost-effectively, will be on the front-burner. With the Affordable Care Act currently on shaky ground in federal court, you can expect Governor Sisolak and legislative leadership to tackle the individual mandate, mandated coverage of pre-existing conditions, “surprise billing,” prescription drug costs, and other matters.
Expect the return of “Sprinklecare,” Assemblyman Mike Sprinkle’s effort to allow more Nevadans to buy in to Medicaid coverage. His bill passed the 2017 Legislature, but Governor Sandoval vetoed it after the Legislature had adjourned.
Even though Question 3, the Energy Choice Initiative, failed at the ballot box, energy policy will be heavily discussed. Increasing the amount of energy we receive from renewable resources and how new and existing companies are charged to leave the grid (or never plug into it) will be hot topics.
After voters supported the background check initiative in 2016 and the awful events of 1 October 2017 in Las Vegas, the new governor and legislative leadership have been very vocal about tightening up Nevada’s gun laws.
Governor Sandoval and Attorney General Laxalt have argued that the background check law is unenforceable due to the requirements it places on the federal government. Governor Sisolak and Attorney General Ford are determined to make it work and will be coordinating with legislative leadership. You can also expect to hear a lot about “bump stocks” and “assault weapons.”
Finally, business and trade groups are anxiously awaiting the fate of some issues that passed the 2017 Democratic Legislature but were vetoed by Republican Governor Sandoval, including a minimum wage increase, required paid sick leave for employees, and workplace discrimination.
Learn more about these issues and more at NCET’s Legislative Update panel on Thursday, January 24. More info and RSVP at NCETspecial.org.
NCET is a member-supported nonprofit organization that produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology.
Tray Abney is a partner at the Abney Tauchen Group. We know the people, the policies, the process and the politics to effectively deliver custom lobbying, government relations, and community affairs solutions.