Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto’s 2018 Report Card
Senior Senator from Nevada
Serving Jan 3, 2017 – Jan 3, 2023
These statistics cover Cortez Masto’s record during the 115th Congress (Jan 3, 2017-Jan 3, 2019) and compare her to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Jan 20, 2019.
A higher or lower number below doesn’t necessarily make this legislator any better or worse, or more or less effective, than other Members of Congress. We present these statistics for you to understand the quantitative aspects of Cortez Masto’s legislative career and make your own judgements based on what activities you think are important.
Keep in mind that there are many important aspects of being a legislator besides what can be measured, such as constituent services and performing oversight of the executive branch, which aren’t reflected here.
Got the 3rd fewest cosponsors on their bills compared to Senate Democrats
Cortez Masto’s bills and resolutions had 96 cosponsors in the 115th Congress. Securing cosponsors is an important part of getting support for a bill, although having more cosponsors does not always mean a bill will get a vote. View Bills »
Got their bills out of committee the 3rd least often compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 1 other)
Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Cortez Masto introduced 3 bills in the 115th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.
Got bicameral support on the 5th fewest bills compared to Senate Democrats
The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 4 of Cortez Masto’s bills and resolutions had a companion bill in the House. Working with a sponsor in the other chamber makes a bill more likely to be passed by both the House and Senate.
Companion bills are those that are identified as “identical” by Congress’s Congressional Research Service.
Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 8th fewest bills compared to Senate Democrats
In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 11 of Cortez Masto’s 23 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Cortez Masto caucused with in the 115th Congress.
Held the 6th fewest committee positions compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 5 others)
Cortez Masto held a leadership position on 0 committees and 1 subcommittee, as either a chair (majority party) or ranking member (minority party), at the end of the session. For comparison to other Members of Congress, we assigned a score giving five points for each full committee leadership position and one point for each subcommittee leadership position. View Cortez Masto’s Profile »
Ranked the 9th bottom/follower compared to All Senators
Our unique leadership analysis looks at who is cosponsoring whose bills. A higher score shows a greater ability to get cosponsors on bills.
For more, see our methodology. Note that because on this page only legislative activity in the 115th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Cortez Masto’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.
Supported government transparency the 9th most often compared to All Senators (tied with 4 others)
GovTrack looked at whether Cortez Masto supported any of 14 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Cortez Masto 6 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.
Cortez Masto cosponsored S. 210: Global Health, Empowerment and Rights …; S. 298: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act; S. 1989: Honest Ads Act; S.Res. 323: STOP Sexual Harassment Resolution; S. 2159: ME TOO Congress Act; S. 2236: Congressional Harassment Reform Act
Got influential cosponsors the 9th least often compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 6 others)
4 of Cortez Masto’s bills and resolutions in the 115th Congress had a cosponsor who was a chair or ranking member of a committee that the bill was referred to. Getting support from committee leaders on relevant committees is a crucial step in moving legislation forward.
Introduced the 11th fewest bills compared to All Senators (tied with 3 others)
Cortez Masto introduced 23 bills and resolutions in the 115th Congress. View Bills »
Cortez Masto cosponsored 341 bills and resolutions introduced by other Members of Congress. Cosponsorship shows a willingness to work with others to advance policy goals. View Cosponsored Bills »
Cortez Masto missed 1.7% of votes (10 of 599 votes) in the 115th Congress. View Cortez Masto’s Profile »
Cortez Masto introduced 3 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in the 115th Congress. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law. View Enacted Bills »
The legislator must be the primary sponsor of the bill or joint resolution that was enacted or the primary sponsor of a bill or joint resolution for which at least about one third of its text was incorporated into another bill or joint resolution that was enacted as law, as determined by an automated analysis. While a legislator may lay claim to authoring other bills that became law, these cases are difficult for us to track quantitatively. We also exclude bills where the sponsor’s original intent is not in the final bill.
Joining Bipartisan Bills
Of the 341 bills that Cortez Masto cosponsored, 27% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »
Only Democratic and Republican Members of Congress who cosponsored more than 10 bills and resolutions are included in this statistic.
The Speaker’s Votes: Missed votes are not computed for the Speaker of the House. According to current House rules, the Speaker of the House is not required to vote in “ordinary legislative proceedings.” In practice this means the Speaker of the House rarely votes but is not considered absent.
Leadership/Ideology: The leadership and ideology scores are not displayed for Members of Congress who introduced fewer than 10 bills, or, for ideology, for Members of Congress that have a low leadership score, as there is usually not enough data in these cases to compute reliable leadership and ideology statistics.
Missing Bills: We exclude bills from some statistics where the sponsor’s original intent is not in the final bill because the bill’s text was replaced in whole with unrelated provisions (i.e. it became a vehicle for passage of unrelated provisions).
Ranking Members (RkMembs): The chair of a committee is always selected from the political party that holds the most seats in the chamber, called the “majority party”. The “ranking member” (sometimes “RkMembs”) is the title given to the senior-most member of the committee not in the majority party.
Freshmen/Sophomores: Freshmen and sophomores are Members of Congress whose first term (in the same chamber at the end of the 115th Congress) was the 115thCongress (freshmen) or 114th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.
The Barbara Ellestad November 15th opinion piece in the Mesquite Local News (MLN) is a veiled threat to elected officials to support her view of what she thinks the public wants or face her wrath in print.
She threatens those recently elected to the Mesquite City Council to remember that they work for “us,” and not for those who donated to them. By dividing the population into “us” and them (donors) she sets herself up for future articles where she can criticize elected officials who push issues that benefit both the community and maybe donors but are against her view of “us.”
Consider the self-financed candidates who have business interests in the community and claim only small contributions on their disclosure forms. Who do they represent? Themselves, their business? How about the candidate who discloses about $9,000 in contributions with one at $1,000 but the remaining $8,000 from individual $100 donations? Is that person compromised by a $1,000 donation? What about the high-end campaigner who spends $20,000 on a campaign, with donations from individuals, contractors and labor unions. Is that person any more compromised then self-financed individuals with community business interests? These are just examples and not meant to represent any one candidate.
Ellestad’s attempt to divide the community into “us” and “donors” is self-serving and misguided. She is not the arbitrator of the interests and values held by those who vote, donate or run for public office.
As a final thought, the printing of opinion pieces above the fold in a “news paper,” is a form of yellow journalism and should be avoided if retaining public confidence is of interest to the owners.
In the run-up to the midterms, Trump is acting less like a toddler and more like a liar.
Is there an explanation for this? Has Trump actually grown into the presidency?
Not exactly. As the midterm elections approach, and as Trump has devoted more and more of his time on the campaign hustings, he appears to have switched from general toddler-like behaviors to one specific toddler-like trait: lying.
Calling the president of the United States a liar used to be no small thing, but Trump’s record for lies, falsehoods and general untruths is genuinely impressive. Still, even the folks who fact-check Trump for a living have been surprised at just how bald-faced his recent lies have been.
It took thirty-four years before 80-year old Republican Senator Pete Domenici, admitted that as a 46 years old husband and father he fathered Adam Laxalt with 25-year old Michelle Laxalt, the daughter of a then-Senate colleague, Nevada Republican Paul Laxalt.
By keeping her secret, Ms. Laxalt, who never married, was able to work for Ronald Reagan, both George Bushes and held plum jobs at the State Department and Agency for International development (AID). She also built a lucrative practice representing corporations.
The relationship between Domenici and Ms. Laxalt would be a footnote in history if their son Adam had not decide to enter Nevada politics, and perform poorly as the states Attorney General. Now he wants to be Governor. Even 12 Laxalt family members oppose him. Here is why in their own words
According to Gabriel Urza, Kevin Nomura, Amy Nomura Solaro, Alexandra Urza, Kevan Danielle Laxalt, Michelle Terese Laxalt, Peter Laxalt, Michelle Janet Laxalt, Dr. Kevin Marie Laxalt, Dr. Kristin Laxalt, Monique Laxalt, and Meggan Laxalt Mackey, their family member Adam Laxalt is the wrong choice for Nevada governorship.
According to the Laxalt-12, “for those of us who were raised in Nevada, it’s difficult to hear him continue to falsely claim that he was raised in Nevada or has any true connections to Nevadans. The simple fact is that while he may have been born in Reno, he left as an infant and was raised on the East Coast, 3,000 miles away, in Washington, D.C., and moved here only in 2013, only one year later launching his political career. Aside from the occasional short visit, Adam never knew the state or its people. Perhaps if he had, he would stand for Nevada’s values rather than for those of his out-of-state donors.”
Consider the Adam Laxalt August 2017, Basque Fry Republican fundraiser. Attendees included Kellyanne Conway and Devin Nunes, with Laxalt dressed in jeans, a western shirt monogrammed with his campaign logo, his feet encased in “work” boots. Behind the stage was an orange tractor surrounded by hay bales.
The Laxalt-12 point out that Adam rallies against immigrants, the backbone on Nevada’s working force, thus denying his own immigrant family’s history.
His brief experience as a practicing lawyer was described as a “train wreck” by members of his own firm. His tenure in the attorney general’s office has been little more than a four-year publicity tour for his current campaign for governor. He even outsourced jobs in the AG’s office to out-of-state lawyers who were given special exemptions to practice law in Nevada.
According to the 12 family members, “Adam proceeded to undermine, time after time, not only twice-elected Governor Brian Sandoval but the welfare of all Nevadans. Most concerning is the ethical shortcomings that have come to light while Adam has been attorney general, and his willingness to ignore the law for self-serving political purposes. In his short time in public office, Adam has already demonstrated a servitude to donors and out-of-state interests that puts their concerns ahead of real Nevadans”.
The twelve family members argue that Laxalts shortcomings come down to a lack of real, authentic connection to our state, and a failure to understand what is important to real Nevadans.
Laxalt’s relatives point out that Nevada is a state driven by a modern economy and a diverse population, and we take deep pride in our rich, complicated history. Nevadans value their independence and their ability to share in the beauties of our wild state, while still respecting each other’s autonomy. “If Adam is elected governor, these values will be put in danger. Public lands will become less accessible for hunters and fishers and backpackers. Adam’s positions on health care and reproductive rights would limit how Nevadans care for their bodies or be free from government interference in relationships as sacred and personal as marriage. Adam wants to repeal hundreds of millions of dollars of education funding, even though he knows full well that Nevada is ranked 49th in the nation for pre-K-12 education”, the family says.
If Laxalt responds to this column at all, the twelve say, it will probably be to say that he hardly knows the people writing this column. “And in many ways that would be true. We never had a chance to get to know him, really — he spent his life in Washington, D.C., while we lived in Northern Nevada and grew up in public schools and on public lands. He moved to Nevada in 2013 so that he could lean on the reputation of a family that he hardly knew while tapping into support by donors who had no interest in our state or its people”, they say.
Editors Note: Below is an article concerning Congressional Candidate Cresent Hardy’s use of fake charity money to enhance his campaign. Before we get to that lets examine some of his other questionable activities.
In 1993 Cresent Hardy, and other Virgin Valley water shareholders formed the Virgin Valley Water District (VVWD) in part to use public funds to purchase water shares. At that time one acre foot of water was sold or leased outside the area manged by the water board for about $7.20 per acre foot annually (AFA). In 1996 Hardy argued that one AFA of water was worth $662.25 per AFA. His fellow shareholders on the board set the price at $441.50.
In 2009, after Hardy had left the water board and sold 317.1 AFA of shares of public water to the board for $8,836.23 per AFA taking in a total of $2,801,968.05 of rate payer money for his shares of public water. One AFA of irrigation water outside the area controlled by the VVWD was priced at $13.60 per AFA.
He sold 1.18 acres of land to the Virgin Valley Water District (VVWD) for an arsenic plant at an artificially high price of $425,000.
Hardy took his company Legacy Construction & Development, Inc. into Chapter 11 bankruptcy with 73 creditors owed more than $8.1 million. This move allowed Hardy to extract himself from the business and turn it over to his partners to reorganize and resolve the debt over time.
Shortly after his tenure on the Mesquite city councilman ended, Hardy purchased the former Mesquite City dump, adjacent to an emerging golf course development. The dump, and its toxic producing methane was covered with dirt and houses sold unsuspecting senior citizens.
Cresent Hardy has apparently decide to keep his $1,000 campaign contribution from a telemarketing scam PAC. Nevada Democrats called on Hardy to return the ill-gotten money on Friday, but Hardy has yet to answer any questions about the campaign cash.
According to numerous law enforcement agencies, the “Police Action Fund PAC” is a telemarketing scam. The Kansas City Star reported that the Police Action Fund raises money “by claiming their donations help support police officers,” despite the fact that most of the money is spent on overhead while a small portion is funneled to political candidates like Hardy. It is unclear why the Police Action Fund donated to Hardy’s campaign. Republican Missouri Senate candidate Josh Hawley also received a donation from the Police Action Fund, and decided to donate the funds to charity after press inquiries. Hardy has yet to respond to calls to donate the money.
Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Michael Soneff released the following statement:
“The silence from Cresent Hardy’s campaign is disturbing but sadly unsurprising. We don’t know why Cresent Hardy took a campaign contribution from a telemarketing scam, but we know for certain that he can’t plead ignorance now. He knows that he is funding his campaign with money that was taken under false pretenses, by people exploiting law enforcement officers for profit. Cresent Hardy’s shameful behavior is yet more evidence that he is unfit to represent Nevada in Congress.”
Highlights taken from an article by by: Bobby Azarian, Ph.D at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mind-in-the-machine/201712/analysis-trump-supporters-has-identified-5-key-traits
- Trump emerged on the political scene. A 2016 Politico survey found that high authoritarians greatly favored then-candidate Trump, which led to a correct prediction that he would win the election, despite the polls saying otherwise.
2. In Trump’s speeches, he appeals to those with Social dominance orientation (SDO) by repeatedly making a clear distinction between groups that have a generally higher status in society (White), and those groups that are typically thought of as belonging to a lower status (immigrants and minorities).
A 2016 survey study of 406 American adults published this year in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that those who scored high on both SDO and authoritarianism were those who intended to vote for Trump in the election.
3. Trump’s are sometimes shockingly direct. There’s no denying that he routinely appeals to bigoted supporters when he calls Muslims “dangerous” and Mexican immigrants “rapists” and “murderers,” often in a blanketed fashion. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a new study has shown that support for Trump is correlated with a standard scale of modern racism.
4. A 2016 study found that “…the racial and ethnic isolation of Whites at the zip-code level is one of the strongest predictors of Trump support.” This correlation persisted while controlling for dozens of other variables. In agreement with this finding, the same researchers found that support for Trump increased with the voters’ physical distance from the Mexican border.
5. There is no doubt that some Trump supporters are simply angry that American jobs are being lost to Mexico and China, which is certainly understandable, although these loyalists often ignore the fact that some of these careers are actually being lost due to the accelerating pace of automation.
If such data is accurate, the portrayal of most Trump supporters as “working class” citizens rebelling against Republican elites may be more myth than fact.
Bobby Azarian, Ph.D., is a cognitive neuroscientist and science writer in the Washington, D.C. area. Online: www.bobbyazarian.com
Editors note: This is an extract from BallotPedia. Its primary purpose is to provide in one place the information needed to make a sound decision on the six constitutional amendments on the Nevada 2018 ballot. If this information aids you in making a decision on these questions please consider donating to the Virgin Valley Democrats.
- Two of the initiated constitutional amendments certified for the November 2018 ballot, the Energy Monopolies Amendment and the Medical Equipment Sales Tax Exemption Amendment, were approved for the first time in 2016. The state constitution requires amendments to be approved at two consecutive elections.
- Question 5 is an automatic voter registration initiative is on the ballot. The measure was designed to automatically register citizens as voters when receiving certain services at the DMV.
A “yes” vote supports this measure to add specific rights of crime victims, together known as a Marsy’s Law, to the Nevada Constitution.
A “no” vote opposes this measure to add specific rights of crime victims to the state constitution beyond those added to the constitution in 1996.
This measure is part of a national effort to enact similar Marsy’s Law amendments. Measures concerning Marsy’s Law crime victim rights amendments were put on the ballot in six states for 2018 elections. Read more about Marsy’s Law here »
Added Sec. 23. 1. Each person who is the victim of a crime is entitled to the following rights: (a) To be treated with fairness and respect for his or her privacy and dignity, and to be free from intimidation, harassment and abuse, throughout the criminal or juvenile justice process. (b) To be reasonably protected from the defendant and persons acting on behalf of the defendant. (c) To have the safety of the victim and the victim’s family considered as a factor in fixing the amount of bail and release conditions for the defendant. (d) To prevent the disclosure of confidential information or records to the defendant which could be used to locate or harass the victim or the victim’s family. (e) To refuse an interview or deposition request, unless under court order, and to set reasonable conditions on the conduct of any such interview to which the victim consents. (f) To reasonably confer with the prosecuting agency, upon request, regarding the case. (g) To reasonable notice of all public proceedings, including delinquency proceedings, upon request, at which the defendant and the prosecutor are entitled to be present and of all parole or other postconviction release proceedings, and to be present at all such proceedings. (h) To be reasonably heard, upon request, at any public proceeding, including any delinquency proceeding, in any court involving release or sentencing, and at any parole proceeding. (i) To the timely disposition of the case following the arrest of the defendant. (j) To provide information to any public officer or employee conducting a presentence investigation concerning the impact of the offense on the victim and the victim’s family and any sentencing recommendations before the sentencing of the defendant. (k) To be informed, upon request, of the conviction, sentence, place and time of incarceration, or other disposition of the defendant, the scheduled release date of the defendant and the release of or the escape by the defendant from custody. (l) To full and timely restitution. (m) To the prompt return of legal property when no longer needed as evidence. (n) To be informed of all postconviction proceedings, to participate and provide information to the parole authority to be considered before the parole of the offender and to be notified, upon request, of the parole or other release of the offender. (o) To have the safety of the victim, the victim’s family and the general public considered before any parole or other postjudgment release decision is made. (p) To have all monetary payments, money and property collected from any person who has been ordered to make restitution be first applied to pay the amounts ordered as restitution to the victim. (q) To be specifically informed of the rights enumerated in this section, and to have information concerning those rights be made available to the general public. 2. A victim has standing to assert the rights enumerated in this section in any court with jurisdiction over the case. The court shall promptly rule on a victim’s request. A defendant does not have standing to assert the rights of his or her victim. This section does not alter the powers, duties or responsibilities of a prosecuting attorney. A victim does not have the status of a party in a criminal proceeding. 3. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 4, no person may maintain an action against this State or any public officer or employee for damages or injunctive, declaratory or other legal or equitable relief on behalf of a victim of a crime as a result of a violation of this section or any statute enacted by the Legislature pursuant thereto. No such violation authorizes setting aside a conviction. 4. A person may maintain an action to compel a public officer or employee to carry out any duty required by this section or any statute enacted by the Legislature pursuant thereto. 5. The granting of these rights to victims must not be construed to deny or disparage other rights possessed by victims. A parole authority shall extend the right to be heard at a parole hearing to any person harmed by the offender. 6. The Legislature shall by law provide any other measure necessary or useful to secure to victims of crime the benefit of the rights set forth in this section. 7. As used in this section, “victim” means any person directly and proximately harmed by the commission of a criminal offense under any law of this State. If the victim is less than 18 years of age, incompetent, incapacitated or deceased, the term includes the legal guardian of the victim or a representative of the victim’s estate, member of the victim’s family or any other person who is appointed by the court to act on the victim’s behalf, except that the court shall not appoint the defendant as such a person.
Remain Sec. 8. 1. No person shall be tried for a capital or other infamous crime (except in cases of impeachment, and in cases of the militia when in actual service and the land and naval forces in time of war, or which this State may keep, with the consent of Congress, in time of peace, and in cases of petit larceny, under the regulation of the Legislature) except on presentment or indictment of the grand jury, or upon information duly filed by a district attorney, or Attorney General of the State, and in any trial, in any court whatever, the party accused shall be allowed to appear and defend in person, and with counsel, as in civil actions. No person shall be subject to be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense; nor shall he be compelled, in any criminal case, to be a witness against himself. Renumbered if passed 2. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. 3. Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation having been first made, or secured, except in cases of war, riot, fire, or great public peril, in which case compensation shall be afterward made.
Deleted 2. The Legislature shall provide by law for the rights of victims of crime, personally or through a representative, to be: (a) Informed, upon written request, of the status or disposition of a criminal proceeding at any stage of the proceeding; (b) Present at all public hearings involving the critical stages of a criminal proceeding; and (c) Heard at all proceedings for the sentencing or release of a convicted person after trial. 3. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 4, no person may maintain an action against the State or any public officer or employee for damages or injunctive, declaratory or other legal or equitable relief on behalf of a victim of a crime as a result of a violation of any statute enacted by the Legislature pursuant to subsection 2. No such violation authorizes setting aside a conviction or sentence or continuing or postponing a criminal proceeding. 4. A person may maintain an action to compel a public officer or employee to carry out any duty required by the Legislature pursuant to subsection 2.
A “yes” vote supports this measure to exempt feminine hygiene products from state and local sales taxes.
A “no” vote opposes this measure to exempt feminine hygiene products from state and local sales taxes.
Changes to statute
There are exempted from the taxes imposed by this act the gross receipts from sales (e) Feminine hygiene products.
- Yvanna Cancela(D-10)
- Joyce Woodhouse(D-5)
- Sandra Jauregui(D-41)
- Daniele Monroe-Moreno(D-1)
- Ellen Spiegel(D-20)
Nevada Question 3, the Legislature to Minimize Regulations on the Energy Market and Eliminate Legal Energy Monopolies Amendment.
A “yes” vote supports this constitutional amendment to require the Nevada Legislature to establish “an open, competitive retail electric energy market,” reduce energy market regulations, and prohibit energy monopolies.
A “no” vote opposes this constitutional amendment to require the legislature to establish an open and competitive retail energy market
In Nevada, initiated constitutional amendments need to be approved in two even-numbered election years. On the ballot as Question 3 in 2016, this amendment has been approved once. The measure needs to be approved again in 2018.
Nevadans for Affordable Clean, Energy Choices is leading the campaign in support of Question 3.
- Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R), 2018 gubernatorial candidate
- Michael Roberson (R), 2018 lieutenant gubernatorial candidate
- Wes Duncan (R), 2018 attorney general candidate
- Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce
- Clean Energy Project
- Nevada Conservation League
- Nevada Resort Association
- John Hanger, former head of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
- Jon Wellinghoff, former Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and chief policy officer at SolarCity 
- Andy Wirth, President and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, LLC
Nevadans for Affordable Clean, Energy Choices answered the question “Why is energy choice good for Nevada?” with the following:
While energy technology has vastly improved in recent years, Nevada laws have not kept pace with innovation. The absence of a competitive energy market in the Silver State has denied Nevadans the freedom to lower their electricity costs, adopt clean energy, and even threatens the pursuit of innovation.
Nearly one-third of Americans already have the ability to choose their electricity suppliers and several states have successfully transitioned to open energy markets. Data from states with energy choice shows lower electricity costs across all sectors – residential, commercial, and industrial – with a nearly 20 percent cost savings for consumers.
Nevada law currently authorizes a single utility to provide electric service to customers. The utility is owned by investors and provides service to Nevadans under a legal monopoly.
- Controller Ron Knecht (R)
- Sen. Pete Goicoechea (R-19)
- Mayor Bob Crowell (D), Carson City
- Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick (D), Clark County
- Lincoln County Commission
- Dina Titus (D-1) said she was concerned that Question 3 “would undermine Nevada’s clean energy future.” The measure would add a new section to Article 4 of the Nevada Constitution.
- Steve Sisolak, the Democratic nominee for governor in 2018, said he opposes Question 3 and supports Question 6. Sisolak said that Question 3 “could slow our growing renewable energy sector,” while his ultimate goal is to go beyond Question 6’s requirements and aim for a 100 percent renewable power in Nevada.
- Nevada Mining Association
- NV Energy
No Handouts to Billionaires, the campaign that opposed Question 3 in 2016, argued:
Question 3 would deregulate Nevada’s electric utility system, removing all limits on what providers could charge. Customers would have to buy their power on the open market and energy prices could go sky high.
1. Question 3 is just another handout to billionaires at our expense. Q3 is backed almost entirely by billionaires who would rather change the state Constitution than pay their fair share for electricity. It’s time to stop handing out funds to the people who need it least, and start investing in middle class kids and families.
2. Texas, New York, California and other states have tried similar plans with disastrous results. In California, market manipulation led to an 800 percent increase in electricity prices in just eight months – and to skyrocketing utility bills, rolling blackouts, and the Enron scandal. It cost ratepayers 45 billion dollars to fix. Prices have gone up in every state that tried deregulating, and Question 3 would create the same mess in Nevada.
3. Question 3 could lead to an immediate and severe increase in electrical rates for residential customers. It hurts everyone – but especially poor Nevadans and rural families by doing away with protections that currently guarantee their service.
The people of the State of Nevada declare that it is the policy of this State that electricity markets be open and competitive so that all electricity customers are afforded meaningful choices among different providers, and that economic and regulatory burdens be minimized in order to promote competition and choices in the electric energy market. This Act shall be liberally construed to achieve this purpose. 2. Rights of Electric Energy Effective upon the dates set forth in subsection 3, every person, business, association of persons or businesses, state agency, political subdivision of the State of Nevada, or any other entity in Nevada has the right to choose the provider of its electric utility service, including hut [sic] not limited to, selecting providers from a competitive retail electric market, or by producing electricity for themselves or in association with others, and shall not be forced to purchase energy from one provider. Nothing herein shall be construed as limiting such persons' or entities' rights to sell, trade or otherwise dispose of electricity. 3. Implementation (a) Not later than July 1, 2023, the Legislature shall provide by law for provisions consistent with this Act to establish an open, competitive retail electric energy market, to ensure that protections are established that entitle customers to safe, reliable, and competitively priced electricity, including, but nor limited to, provisions that reduce costs to customers, protect against service disconnections and unfair practices, and prohibit the grant of monopolies and exclusive franchises for the generation of electricity. The Legislature need not provide for the deregulation of or distribution of electricity in Order to establish a competitive market consistent with this Act. (b) Upon enactment of any law by the Legislature pursuant to this Act before July 1, 2023, and not later than that date, any laws, regulations, regulatory orders or other provisions which conflict with this Act will be void. However, the Legislature may enact legislation consistent with this act that provides for an open electric energy market in part or in whole before July I, 2023. (c) Nothing herein shall be construed to invalidate Nevada 's public policies on renewable energy, energy efficiency and environmental protection or limit the Legislature's ability to impose such policies on participants in a competitive electricity market. 4. Severability Should any part of this Act he declared invalid, or the application thereof to any person, thing or is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the remaining provisions or application of this Act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are declared to be severable. This subsection shall be construed broadly to preserve and effectuate the declared purpose of this Act.
(An initiated constitutional amendment on November 6, 2018). In Nevada, initiated constitutional amendments need to be approved in two even-numbered election years. As the measure was approved in 2016, it needs to be approved again in 2018 to amend the Nevada Constitution.
A “yes” vote supports this amendment to require the state legislature to exempt from sales and use tax durable medical equipment, oxygen delivery equipment, and mobility enhancing equipment prescribed for human use by a licensed health care provider.
A “no” vote opposes this amendment to require the legislature to exempt certain types of medical equipment from the sales and use tax.
Josh Hicks and Doug Bennett of the Alliance to Stop Taxes on the Sick and Dying PAC, along with Dr. Joseph Kenneth Romeo, wrote the argument in support of the measure found in the state’s 2016 voter guide. Their argument was as follows:
A YES vote on Question 4 helps sick, injured, and dying patients and their families. It stops the Department of Taxation from imposing unnecessary sales taxes on medical equipment prescribed by physicians, such as wheelchairs, infant apnea monitors, and oxygen delivery devices. It will bring Nevada in line with the vast majority of states which do not tax this type of equipment for home use.
A YES vote would relieve the sales tax burden on medical equipment used by patients who require oxygen devices to live, such as those with cancer, asthma, and cardiac disease; babies who need protection from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome; children with cystic fibrosis on home ventilators; and hospice patients in their last weeks of life. Current Nevada law already exempts medicine and prosthetics because we have recognized how vital this relief is for our most vulnerable populations. Question 4 simply seeks to extend this protection to critical medical equipment.
For insured Nevadans, this tax is contributing to the increasing copays, deductibles, and premium costs that are crippling family finances across the state. For uninsured Nevadans the impact is even worse: Sales tax on medical equipment can reach thousands of dollars for severely disabled patients, and it forces people to forego essential equipment prescribed by their doctors because they simply cannot afford to pay.
While this may be a good idea, it raises many questions in context of the various things the state does and does not tax. But even if one concludes as a matter of sound tax policy that these items should be tax-exempt, the legislature already has the power to exempt them now. Once again, enshrining these provisions in the constitution would prevent timely reform of any parts of the proposal that may be found to merit change or repeal later.
Ann O’Connell wrote the argument against Question 4 found in the state’s 2016 voter guide. Her argument was as follows:
Basic budget principles state that when expenses exceed revenues, debt is created. When the law requires state or local government agencies such as schools to be funded, the law expects a set amount of revenue to fund that agency. When a tax exemption reduces the amount of revenue expected, the agency has no choice but to request a replacement of the lost funding. To do that the agency must depend on the Governor and the Legislature to include the lost funding in the budget.
Sales taxes pay for a myriad of services Nevadans rely on including schools, police, fire departments, libraries, and parks, to name a few.
Question 4 seeks to exempt durable medical equipment from sales tax. On the surface, this exemption seems like a good thing, providing tax relief to those in need. However, this exemption is really a wolf in sheep’s clothing:
1. It is vaguely worded without clear definitions of what specific devices will be exempt and who will benefit, leaving such determination to the Legislature;
Section 7. The legislature shall provide by law for the exemption of durable medical equipment, oxygen delivery equipment and mobility enhancing equipment prescribed for human use by a licensed provider of health care acting within his or her scope of practice from any tax upon the sale, storage, use or consumption of tangible personal property.
The initiative was approved in both legislative chambers along partisan lines, with Democrats favoring and Republicans opposing the measure. Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) vetoed the initiative, sending the issue to a public vote.
Question 5 would establish an automatic voter registration system in Nevada. An individual who submits an application for the issuance or renewal of a driver’s license or identification card or an address change at the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) would have his or her information automatically forwarded to the secretary of state and county clerk within five working days for voter registration. Citizens would be permitted to opt out of automatic voter registration.
A “yes” vote supports this initiative to provide for the automatic voter registration of eligible citizens when receiving certain services from the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
A “no” vote opposes this initiative to provide for the automatic voter registration of eligible citizens when receiving certain services from the DMV.
The Nevada Election Administration Committee is leading the campaign in support of the initiative. The campaign is a project of iVote, a national political action committee that focuses on voting issues and advocates for automatic voter registration.
As of August 26, 2018, supporters had raised $371,400, with iVote as the sole donor. Opponents had not yet organized a campaign committee to oppose the initiative.
According to the Pew Center on States, as of 2012, approximately 51 million eligible Americans are not registered to vote. This number represents a disproportionate share of low-income voters, people of color, and younger Americans. 30 percent of eligible African Americans, 40 percent of Hispanics, 45 percent of Asian Americans, and 41 percent of young adults (ages 18-24), were not registered to vote in 2008.
An Oxford Journal study of Google search terms for registration after registration deadlines had passed, found that between three and four million eligible Americans would have voted, but were too late to register.
In short, the opt-in nature of registration is leaving a lot of our democracy at home. By making registration automatic and universal, we have the potential to bring new – disproportionately minority and young – voting power to bear in our elections.
IP1 advances a worthy goal by encouraging more eligible Nevadans to register to vote. However, such a result must partner with sound policy. IP1 fails this test because it extinguishes a fundamental, individual choice—the right of eligible voters to decide for themselves whether they desire to apply to register to vote—forfeiting this basic decision to state government. … the core freedom of deciding whether one wishes to initiate voter registration belongs to the individual, not the government.
Moreover, if IP1 became law, it would create an unnecessary risk that people who are not qualified voters may unintentionally apply to vote, subjecting them to possible criminal prosecution, fines, and other legal action.
The following underlined text would be added.
Added Section 2 of Chapter 293 of Nevada Revised Statutes 1. The Secretary of State, the Department of Motor Vehicles and each county clerk shall cooperatively establish a system by which voter registration information that is collected pursuant to section 4 of this act by the Department from a person who submits an application for the issuance or renewal of or change of address for any type of driver’s license or identification card issued by the Department must be transmitted electronically to the Secretary of State and the county clerks for the purpose of registering the person to vote or updating the voter registration information of the person for the purpose of correcting the statewide voter registration list pursuant to NRS 293.530. 4. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the Secretary of State shall adopt regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of sections 2 to 7, inclusive, of this act. The Secretary of State shall not require a person to provide any documentation in order to apply to register to vote or have his or her voter registration information updated, as applicable, pursuant to section 4 of this act that is not required by section 4 of this act or federal law, including, without limitation, documentation to prove the person’s identity, citizenship or residence. The Department (of Motor Vehicles ) is not required to provide a paper application to register to vote pursuant to subsection 1 to a person who declines to apply to register to vote pursuant to this section and submits to the Department a written form that meets the requirements of 52 U.S.C. § 20506(a)(6). Information related to the declination to apply to register to vote must not be used for any purpose other than voter registration. 2. The system established pursuant to subsection 1 must : (Editors note: This requires compliance with a list of existing statutory provisions.) 3. From the applications to register to vote received by each county clerk, the county clerk shall: (Editors note: This requires compliance with a list of existing County Clerk statutory provisions.)
(b) The voter registration information of a voter whose name is on the statewide voter registration list is updated pursuant to section 6 of this act, the county clerk shall provide written notice of the addition or change to the voter not later than 5 working days after the addition or change is made. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the notice must be mailed to the current residence of the voter. The county clerk may send the notice by electronic mail if the voter confirms the validity of the electronic mail address to which the notice will be sent by responding to a confirmation inquiry sent to that electronic mail address. Such a confirmation inquiry must be sent for each notice sent pursuant to this subsection.
A “yes” vote supports this initiative to require electric utilities to acquire 50 percent of their electricity from renewable resources by 2030.
A “no” vote opposes this initiative, thus keeping the existing requirement that electric utilities acquire 25 percent of their electricity from renewable resources by 2025.
On July 12, 2018, Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske announced that 133,005 signatures were valid, certifying the ballot initiative to appear on the ballot for the election on November 6, 2018. At least 112,554 signatures needed to be valid.
Question 6 would increase the state’s renewable portfolio standards (RPS). An RPS is a mandate that electric utilities acquire a minimum amount of electricity from renewable energy sources. As of 2018, Nevada’s RPS is 25 percent by 2025. Question 6 would increase the RPS to 50 percent by 2030. The initiative would define renewable energy to include sources such as solar, geothermal, wind, biomass, and hydroelectric. Specifically, Question 6 would require an increased RPS each year until reaching 50 percent in 2030.
NextGen Climate Action is taking actions to increase renewable portfolio standards (RPS) in both Nevada and Arizona in 2018, financing the campaigns behind Nevada Question 6 and Arizona Proposition 127. Both ballot initiatives would require utilities to generate or acquire 50 percent of their electrical power from renewable resources by 2030, thus putting them on par with neighboring California’s RPS.
Tom Steyer, the founder of NextGen Climate Action, said, “It turns out Nevada is the Saudi Arabia of solar energy in the United States, and Arizona is number two.” Nevada receives the largest amount of direct sunlight in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Arizona receives the second largest amount.
In 2016, 21.78 percent of Nevada’s electrical power was derived from renewable resources, including 8.43 percent from geothermal and 7.85 from solar sources—an increase from 10.10 percent in 2007. Kyle Roerink, a spokesperson for Nevadans for a Clean Energy Future, said, “For one of the sunniest states in the nation, that is not good enough.”
In June 2017, Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican, vetoed a bill that would have increased the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 40 percent by 2030. In the Nevada State Legislature, Democrats, along with three House Republicans, supported the bill, while the remaining 12 House and 10 Senate Republicans opposed the bill. Gov. Sandoval said an increased RPS was a commendable idea but “its adoption is premature in the face of evolving energy policy in Nevada,” such as Question 3.
Nevada Question 3 would prohibit electrical utilities from establishing monopolies in their service areas. As of 2018, NV Energy controlled about 90 percent of the state’s retail electricity market. Voters approved Question 3 in 2016 and need to approve the initiative again in 2018 for the measure to become constitutional law.
Steve Sisolak, the Democratic nominee for governor in 2018, said he opposes Question 3 and supports Question 6. Sisolak said that Question 3 “could slow our growing renewable energy sector,” while his ultimate goal is to go beyond Question 6’s requirements and aim for a 100 percent renewable power in Nevada.
Adam Laxalt, the GOP nominee for governor, supports Question 3 and has not announced a position on Question 6. His campaign website says Laxalt opposes “efforts to impose or expand costly and burdensome mandates on energy providers, which only lead to higher prices that hurt Nevada’s families, and have a particularly damaging impact on those with lower incomes.”
The editorial board of the Las Vegas Review-Journal said, “[Question 6] would undermine Question 3 and the ability of consumers to pick the plan that best suits their needs. If renewable energy were a superior product and could compete on price, it wouldn’t need government mandates to prosper.”
Statement of Policy ]The People of the State of Nevada declare that it is the policy of this State that people and entities that sell electricity to retail customers in this State be required to get an increasing amount of their electricity from renewable energy resources such as solar, geothermal, and wind. Increasing renewable energy will reduce the State’s reliance on fossil fuel-fired power plants, which will benefit Nevadans by improving air quality and public health, reducing water use, reducing exposure to volatile fossil fuel prices and supply disruptions, and providing a more diverse portfolio of resources for generating electricity. This Act shall be liberally construed to achieve this purpose. Implementation (a) Each provider of electric utility service that is engaged in the business of selling electricity to retail customers for consumption in this State shall generate or acquire electricity from renewable energy resources, including solar, geothermal, wind, biomass, and waterpower, in an amount that is: (i) For calendar years 2022 and 2023, not less than 26 percent of the total amount of electricity sold by the provider to its retail customers in this State during that calendar year. (ii) For calendar years 2024 through 2026, inclusive, not less than 34 percent of the total amount of electricity sold by the provider to its retail customers in this State during that calendar year. (iii) For calendar years 2027 through 2029, inclusive, not less than 42 percent of the total amount of electricity sold by the provider to its retail customers in this State during that calendar year. (iv) For calendar year 2030 and each calendar year thereafter, not less than 50 percent of the total amount of electricity sold by the provider to its retail customers in this State during that calendar year. (b) Not later than July 1, 2021, the Legislature shall provide, by law, for provisions consistent with this Act to implement the requirements specified in subparagraph (a). Severability
Should any part of this Act be declared invalid, or the application thereof to any person, thing or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the remaining provisions or application of this Act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are declared to be severable. This subsection shall be construed broadly to preserve and effectuate the declared purpose of this Act.
Former U.S. Rep. Cresent Hardy is reviving a 2014 campaign strategy that helped him defeat former Rep. Steven Horsford in their rematch on tap for November.
Hardy has kicked off an invitation only four-day “Nevada Tough” tour that stops in seven counties and 10 cities, with the focus on Nevada’s rural areas like Mesquite, Pioche, Alamo, Round Mountain, Tonopah, and Hawthorne.
“At the end of the day, the people who call this district home are extremely tough and resilient,” Hardy campaign manager Ross Hemminger said. “While people like Mr. Horsford look at our state as a temporary destination — a steppingstone to something else — many of us have chosen to lay down roots, raise families and work here.”
Here is what Hardy wants people to forget about his first term in the Nevada Assembly. Hardyfavored smokers, ignored the pleas of educators to stabilize funding, attempted to reduce wages for workers on rural public works projects, voted against prohibiting discrimination in employment and housing based upon gender, joined other Republicans in arguing that people enjoy too many entitlements, and blamed the press for making the community a joke.
Hardy supported legislation (signed into law by Governor Brian Sandoval) to allow smokers to drink, eat a snack or a full meal at the same time in some restaurant areas. He took this view even though the Campaign for Smoke Free Kids reports that smoking costs Nevadans $565 million-a-year or about $554 per household and causes a loss of Nevada productivity of an estimated $903 million. These amounts do not include health costs from exposure to secondhand smoke, smoking-caused fires, smokeless tobacco use, or cigar and pipe smoking. Tobacco use also imposes additional costs such as workplace productivity losses and damage to property.
Hardy voted no on a bill to ensure enough funding for K-12 public education for the 2011-2013 biennium. He disagreed with the claim that Nevadans spends less per pupil than other states arguing that Nevada provides somewhere between $9,000 and $14,000 per student thus ranking education in Nevada at 26th in the nation. “I think we have a fair budget for education,” Hardy commented at his June Town Hall meeting.
However, the 2010 annual survey by Education Week magazine ranks Nevada 50th in the nation for the quality of its public K-12 education and gives Nevada an overall report card score of D. The nation earned a C. Nevada’s overall score was dragged down in four main categories: 1) potential for success, 2) K-12 achievement, 3) ratio of teachers to students need and 4) school finance. Nevada ranks 48th in the nation in education spending. On average Nevada, politicians spend one-third the nation’s average and have a higher average teacher to student ratio (19.41 versus 15.38). According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, Nevada students in grades 4 and 8 are below average in math, reading, science, and writing.
If one focuses on overall outcome instead of spending input, it’s clear to see why Nevada is ranked so low. To that end, Hardy joined in supporting a bill that required the Board of Regents to increase their focus on auditing. In another piece of legislation, (Assembly Bill 222) he agreed to install a four-tier educator evaluation system. A four-tier system represents a shift from the current binary system that classifies teachers as either satisfactory or unsatisfactory. The new categories include highly effective, effective, minimally effective and ineffective.
While in the State Assembly Hardy introduced a bill (AB 312) on a prevailing wage to improve the benefits to contractors and reduce costs on public work projects. The bill died in committee.
Specifically, the bill attempted to reduce overtime expenses for contractors and eliminate collective bargaining on overtime for workers on public works projects. Also, the bill attempted to modify the way the Labor Commissioner sets prevailing wages for public works projects performed in a county. The intent was to build into the Commission’s survey the lower wages paid to workers in rural areas.
Hardy voted against a bill that prohibited discrimination in employment and housing based upon gender. The record doesn’t show why a state legislator would vote against discrimination. Perhaps it’s because discrimination is adequately covered by the federal and constitutional law. Nonetheless, bills such as this are often introduced to tease out a legislators’ biases.
Hardy publicly stated that the state and nation are teetering on a slippery slope because of an attitude of entitlements. Entitlements are a hot topic between Republican and Democrats these days. Nationally, Republicans seem to be after Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Nationally, Democrats have offered up cuts in defense and farm, livestock and dairy subsidies in addition to ending tax breaks for the oil and other industries.