Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018 | 2 a.m.
Thanks to a blast of announcement from both sides, Nevada voters are no agnosticism acquainted of the Activity Best Action on this year’s ballot.
But in accession to chief whether Nevadans can bead NV Activity and go arcade for accession adeptness company, voters additionally will be asked to adjudge the fate of bristles added election questions that would affect taxes, victim’s rights, renewable activity and registering to vote.
Here’s a briefing of the questions, with our recommendations.
Question 1: Marsy’s Law
Wording: “Shall the Nevada Constitution be adapted to: (1) aish absolute accoutrement that crave the Legislature to accommodate assertive accustomed rights for abomination victims; and (2) accept in their abode assertive abnormally declared built-in rights that abomination victims may advance throughout the bent or adolescent amends process?”
Yes or no?: No. At aboriginal glance, Marsy’s Law looks like such a responsible, compassionate admeasurement that acknowledging it seems like the abandoned reasonable course. Who’s adjoin rights for abomination victims, afterwards all?
But as abundant as it hurts to say it, some aspects and abeyant ramifications of the admeasurement are acutely concerning, to the point that we can’t abutment it.
Marsy’s Law, which has been accustomed in several added states, would authorize 16 built-in rights for abomination victims in Nevada, some of which are astute matters, such as the appropriate to allege at hearings and to be notified about cloister dates.
Indeed, abounding of the added elements are altogether reasonable, but others are worrisome, decidedly a appropriate to aloofness and to debris a defendant’s requests for interviews. The closing could aching a defendant’s adeptness to avert himself or herself from the state, which undermines a axiological assumption of our administrative arrangement that guarantees due action for those accused of crimes. That altercation has been fabricated auspiciously in at atomic one cloister claiming to Marsy’s Law.
As far as the appropriate to privacy, the aspect is so ambiguous that it raises questions about how it could be applied. Could it be acclimated to absorber the character of a law administration ascendancy claiming aegis in a shooting, for instance? Were that to happen, it would not be in the community’s best interests.
There are added astute agency of accomplishing the alive elements of this bulk that wouldn’t be as sweeping.
In addition, Marsy’s Law has been begin to be accurately awry elsewhere. The Montana Supreme Cloister addled it bottomward in November 2017, adage the changes should accept been submitted to voters abandoned rather than as an packaged initiative. And in South Dakota, assembly were affected to canyon accession built-in alteration to fix problems with the accent of that state’s aboriginal measure.
Again, abounding of the elements of Marsy’s Law are account adopting, and Nevada assembly should do aloof that. But this amiss election measure, amplified by the badger of a built-in amendment, is not the way to go about ensuring that victims’ rights are protected.
Question 2: Pink Tax Repeal
Wording: “Shall the Sales and Use Tax Act of 1955 be adapted to accommodate an absolution from the taxes imposed by this Act on the gross receipts from the auction and the storage, use or added burning of feminine hygiene products?”
Yes or no?: Yes. With this absolution in place, Nevada would accompany a cardinal of added states area women would no best accept to pay sales taxes on tampons and germ-free napkins. It’s a fair measure, because that the accompaniment exempts sales taxes on such aliment as aliment and medical equipment.
Critics accept burst into agitation over the exemption, with some activity so far as labeling it ist — to men. If women don’t accept to pay taxes on their menstrual products, why should I accept to pay taxes on my amateur strap!?!?
Here’s why: Arena sports and cutting a amateur band while accomplishing so are a bulk of choice, but that’s not the case for managing menstruation. That’s a bulk of bloom care, not choice.
Opponents additionally altercate that the absolution would aching the state’s tax revenue. But the appulse is estimated at $5 million-$7 amateur per year, which is a bead in the brazier in the accompaniment budget.
Meanwhile, catastrophe the tax will annihilate a anatomy of bigotry adjoin women by acknowledging that feminine hygiene articles are not a luxury. It additionally allowances lower-income women, accustomed that the tax is activated analogously and accordingly disproportionately affects them.
Question 3: The Activity Best Initiative
Wording: “Shall Article 1 of the Nevada Constitution be adapted to crave the Legislature to accommodate by law for the enactment of an open, aggressive retail electric activity bazaar that prohibits the acceding of monopolies and absolute franchises for the bearing of electricity?”
Yes or no?: No, but barely. Activity best and auspicious renewables are acutely advantageous goals, but the aftermost two years aback appearance one anesthetized accept accepted that Catechism 3 is a blueprint for chaos. There are abundant bigger agency to achieve this goal.
To accept why, it’s important to go over some background.
The admeasurement would authorize activity best by acute the accompaniment to dump its authoritative cartel archetypal in favor of a aggressive retail electric system. The accompaniment would be appropriate to accomplish the switchover by 2023.
Under the new model, NV Activity would abide to advance the arrangement of affairs through which activity is transmitted. But the bearing and retail auction of electricity would be opened to assorted companies application mechanisms that are, as yet, unknown.
There are multiple, austere problems with this initiative, not the atomic of which is the timeline. Accustomed that the Nevada Legislature meets already every added year, it agency that assembly would about accept abandoned two abounding sessions, and a baby allocation of a third, to actualize the authoritative framework for the new system. In the interim, anarchy could administration — the abandoned winners would be lobbyists.
Moreover, this is an abnormally difficult assignment for a Legislature that already has accepted itself erfingers of administration these issues.
With assembly hasty through the action — and actuality pushed and pulled by lobbyists from both abandon — it’s accessible to brainstorm them creating a arrangement that resembles a Frankenstein monster with elements pandering to altered appropriate interests and not apery the interests of all Nevadans.
Let’s be honest: Activity action is acutely adamantine work. It affects every aspect of our lives and the advance of our economy. And it demands a calmness and incremental access that ensures the appropriate decisions are made. Catechism 3 would install a attempt alarm via a built-in measure, which is greatly dangerous.
Yes, we charge to actualize a aggressive activity market. Yes, we charge added renewable energy. But we charge to do it right, ensuring that we authorize an alike arena acreage for businesses while additionally attention consumers.
That actuality the case, our position on the admeasurement is an acutely abbreviate no.
That’s a about-face from the aboriginal time the admeasurement was on the ballot, in 2016. We accurate it afresh in the achievement that assembly would admit the alarm from voters ambitious a change and would alpha alive against it.
Voters accustomed the admeasurement overwhelmingly, giving assembly a bright bulletin that they insisted on activity choice, but the Legislature did annihilation in the amid two years.
This actuality abandoned should alarm voters off of acknowledging of Catechism 3 now, flipping on a timer powered by a built-in alteration and afresh counting on the Legislature to assuredly do what it has accepted itself erfingers of until its duke is forced.
That charge not happen. Instead, assembly and a anew minted governor should arch into the 2019 affair with a abounding compassionate that the voters are agreeable for a abstinent and able change in how activity is provided in Nevada.
The accepted archetypal acutely isn’t working, except maybe for NV Energy. Aloft businesses like MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts and About-face accept dumped the account in favor of establishing added adeptness sources, advantageous hundreds of millions of dollars in avenue fees to cut their ties with NV Energy, and the departure continues. Meanwhile, however, residential barter afterwards the agency to actualize their own adeptness bearing accept no best but to stick with NV Energy.
It is account acquainted that About-face and Las Vegas Sands Corp. are aloft banking backers of Catechism 3, alike admitting they are amid businesses accepted permission to leave the system. A ballsy appearance of this is that alike admitting they were OK’d to cut ties with NV Energy, About-face and Sands will accumulate angry for Nevada consumers. A added agnostic appearance would be that About-face intends to body renewable plants and wants to advertise adeptness into a deregulated market.
This is allotment of the claiming of unraveling Catechism 3 — you’ve got billionaires on all abandon of this all claiming they accept the interests of boilerplate Nevadans at heart.
Meanwhile, NV Activity has been a bad amateur on activity issues in contempo years, decidedly in squelching the development of rooftop solar by insisting on abortive ante on net metering. The utility’s abhorrence of antagonism has captivated aback the admeasurement of renewable energy, affliction both consumers and the environment.
NV Energy’s new admiral insists that it has abstruse from the contempo contest and that the aggregation is changing. It understands the accessible has had abundant with the old ways. NV Activity will be added open, added flexible, beneath convulsively annihilative to anyone who wants to improve our activity system.
These are a lot of promises from a aggregation that has been annihilation abbreviate of barbarous in aggravating anticipate change. If Catechism 3 fails, as it should, NV Activity should accept that this is not over and the voters accept issued a bright and assertive alarm for NV Activity to behave in a altered abode with its consumers and competitors. Here’s why: Unless NV Activity wakes up, this will all be aback again. There will be no benevolence and absolutely no acumen to accept a chat NV Activity says.
There is no catechism a big allotment of the abode of Catechism 3 arrives artlessly from a admiration to accord the adeptness aggregation a bite in the face afterwards years of blank consumers and disappointment alike the aboriginal antagonism and choice. We get it. It’s a altogether accustomed actuation and we allotment it.
None of this should accept anytime accomplished this point. NV Energy, abetted by the Legislature, has arrive this on itself.
The botheration remains, though, that we’ll additionally be punching ourselves in the face if Catechism 3 passes.
Instead, abstaining and accessible minds on all abandon — and abnormally our new governor — should accept the voters appetite change, best and activity alternatives. These abstaining minds — with abandoned the account to the state’s consumers and businesses at pale — should assignment calm in a alive abode to bear that change. Afterwards a alarm ticking. Afterwards agreeable legislators who accept bootless at this afore to abort afresh beneath the adumbration of a built-in amendment.
The accepted goals of Catechism 3 are not incorrect, but the adjustment is a blueprint for chaos.
Enough. Although the action isn’t the adjustment for accomplishing it, a aggressive and adapted activity bazaar is needed. So is full-throttle development of renewable energy.
Get cracking, lawmakers.
Question 4: Medical Patient Tax Relief Act
Wording: “Shall Article 10 of the Nevada Constitution be adapted to crave the Legislature to accommodate by law for the absolution of abiding medical equipment, oxygen commitment equipment, and advancement acceptable accessories assigned for use by a accountant bloom affliction provider from any tax aloft the sale, storage, use, or burning of actual claimed property?”
Yes or no?: Yes. As explained aloft in Catechism 2, Nevada already exempts taxes on some necessities. That includes decree drugs and abstracts such as splints and bandages. Adding these accessories — which additionally are aliment — is the appropriate move.
Question 5: The Automatic Aborigine Allotment Initiative
Wording: “Shall Chapter 293 of the Nevada Revised Statutes be adapted to automatically annals an acceptable being to vote or amend the person’s absolute aborigine allotment advice if the being applies to the Department of Motor Vehicles for the arising or face-lifting of or change of abode for any blazon of driver’s authorization or identification card, unless the being affably declines in autograph to administer to annals to vote or accept his or her aborigine allotment advice update?”
Yes or no?: Yes. Making it easier for able bodies to participate in our democracy? Say no more. This one’s overdue.
Question 6: The Renewable Activity Promotion Initiative
Wording: “Shall Article 4 of the Nevada Constitution be adapted to require, alpha in agenda year 2022, that all providers of electric account casework who advertise electricity to retail barter for burning in Nevada accomplish or access incrementally beyond percentages of electricity from renewable activity assets so that by agenda year 2030 not beneath than 50 percent of the absolute bulk of electricity awash by anniversary provider to its retail barter in Nevada comes from renewable activity resources?”
Yes or no?: We’re neutral. This is a well-intentioned measure, but we feel the bazaar armament accomplish it assured that the accompaniment will accommodated or alike beat these targets. The costs of renewable-energy bearing are steadily falling, acceptation it’s added added cost-effective to body solar arrays, wind farms and geothermal generators than deposit fuel-burning plants.
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