NCET helps you explore business and technology
By Dave Archer
The question of election fatigue aside, one thing is certain as all corners gird for who will fill congressional seats, state offices from the governor on down, and state legislative and local-level lawmaking positions.
That certainty is this: Your vote – whatever or whomever you choose – is important in two big ways this year:
- On key issues presented in six statewide ballot questions, some with potential impacts on business and home budgets.
- On who will fill several state Senate seats at play this year as well as all 42 Assembly seats for the 2019 Nevada Legislature which convenes on February 4.
I am not advocating for any candidates or issues here, only emphasizing the importance of voting. Turnouts in Nevada in recent years have been disappointing, in some cases abysmal. This year, expectations are higher given the political atmosphere, and there’s plenty that needs your attention, starting with the six statewide ballot questions.
And none, it seems, has dominated the public’s attention more over the past year than Question No. 3, also known as the Energy Choice Initiative.
Question 3 would amend the Nevada Constitution to require the Legislature to establish an open, competitive retail electric energy market prohibiting monopolies and exclusive franchises for generating electricity.
It’s already been passed by the Legislature and for purposes of changing the state Constitution, it requires two votes of the people. The first came in the November 2016 election. This is the second, and final, vote.
Whether Question 3 would result in higher or lower utility rates for Nevada’s businesses and residents is at the white-hot core of the matter.
If you need a refresher course on what Question 3 would do, and wonder what those for and against have to say, their arguments are stated, cogently, in a separate supplemental sample ballot mailing to registered voters from county registrars of voters.
State Question No. 6 also pertains to energy, in this case seeking a constitutional amendment to require starting in 2022 that all providers of retail electricity generate a larger percentage of renewable-based power up to a minimum of 50 percent of their energy portfolio by 2030.
State Question Nos. 2 and 4 pertain to exemptions to tax laws. Under Question 2, feminine hygiene products would be exempt from the Sales and Use Tax, and under Question 4, prescribed durable medical, oxygen delivery and mobility enhancing equipment would be exempt from sale, storage, use or personal property taxes.
As with Question No. 3, the sample ballot supplemental provides detailed arguments for and against those measures, and for one Washoe County and one Sparks question as well.
Sample ballots can easily get lost or tossed aside by Election Day, so don’t wait until November 6 to find it!
Dave Archer is president/CEO of NCET, a member-supported nonprofit organization that produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology.