In a press conference on Sunday, Hansen said he was upset with Sandoval for his staff’s full-court-press lobbying efforts just before the Assembly was expected to vote on on the largest portion of his $1.1 billion overall package of new and extended taxes. The Sparks Republican made the comments as opposition to the governor’s budget has shrunk, potentially setting it up for passage before Monday’s midnight deadline.
Hansen also lashed out at Speaker John Hambrick, R-Las Vegas, and Assembly Majority Leader Paul Anderson, R-Las Vegas, for not allowing the Assembly GOP caucus to meet before the vote.
Hansen said the meeting was denied so Republicans who have now committed to vote for Sandoval’s tax package won’t be talked out of voting for it.
“We are going to hear AB464, the biggest tax package of all time, without letting the caucus have a meeting on it and discuss it,” Hansen said. “In the entire time I’ve been here, every bill that goes on third reading, we have had the opportunity to discuss it (in caucus) and come to some resolution on how we want to vote.
“Speaker Hambrick and (Majority Leader) Paul Anderson just met with me and (Jim) Wheeler and (John) Ellison and he said ‘no meeting,'” Hansen said. “He is going to sneak it (tax bill) in here without giving us a chance to discuss it. In the most important vote in the entire session, we are being denied the chance to discuss the bill as a group.”
Hansen and others who are opposed to the tax are seeing their base erode. He needs 15 votes in the Assembly to block the tax bill.
“It’s within a vote, I know that,” Hansen said.
Right after saying that, Assemblyman James Oscarson, R-Pharump, announced he was supporting Sandoval’s tax plan.
Assemblywoman Vicki Dooling, R-Las Vegas, and a sure “no” vote on Sandoval’s tax plan, left the Legislature because of the death of her husband.
Assemblyman John Moore, R-Las Vegas, another “no” vote, has left the legislative building due to illness. Hansen is not sure if he would return for the vote on AB464.
Hansen was particularly upset with Sandoval because of his lobbying effort.
“There is supposed to be a separation of power in this building, right?” Hansen said. “You go down there (near the Assembly chamber entrance) and there are as many governor’s staff people as there are lobbyists. You literally have the governor’s staff here 24/7, lobbying like they are lobbyists.
“Have you ever seen us, our people, standing in front of the doors to the governor’s office?” Hansen said. “No. We respect that there is a separation of powers and each house and each branch of government is supposed to be independent in their decision making.
“He (Sandoval) has every right to come here and discuss their bills,” Hansen said. “I don’t think he has the right to sit there and literally twists the arms of the legislators who should be making the decisions, not based on what he (Sandoval) wants but based on what the voters in their districts want.
“And I got a real problem with that today. Just go down there are look. The guys over here are paid lobbyists but all those other guys (governor’s staff) are lobbyists, paid for by taxpayers. And I think it is an abuse of the system.”
Sandoval’s press secretary, Mari St. Martin, declined to comment.
Hansen also said Sandoval’s overall tax package is closer to $1.5 billion because of $376 million that is going to the Distributive School Account as part of the re-approved sunset taxes.
The Assembly on Wednesday approved AB110, which allows judges to charge people for misconduct while acting as their own attorney in civil court cases.
Assemblyman Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, said the bill lets a judge determine whether a litigant is being “vexatious” and trying to delay or frustrate the legal process. He said those people should be charged for reasonable expenses and fees incurred because of their actions in a civil action.
The bill mirrors the requirements imposed on a lawyer appearing in a case if the lawyer pursued a civil action not warranted by the facts or law, imposing those same requirements on parties who aren’t represented by counsel.
But several lawmakers objected including James Ohrenschall, D-Las Vegas, who said he was extremely concerned about holding regular people to the same standards as members of the bar.
“Constituents who cannot afford to be represented by counsel, have no choice but to represent themselves,” he said.
But unlike attorneys who he said are trained and required to know the rules, these citizens may not.
He said requiring fees and expenses takes away judicial discretion.
Nelson Araujo, D-Las Vegas, said the bill “hurts constituents who may not be able to afford an attorney.”
But Assemblyman Erven Nelson, R-Las Vegas, said judges will still have the discretion over whether to declare a pro-se litigant “vexatious.” He said his experience in more than 30 years of legal practice is judges “bend over backwards” to help people acting as their own lawyers.
AB110 passed the Assembly on a 24-17 party line vote with Republican Michele Fiore absent.
The bill goes to the Senate for consideration.
In case you haven’t heard, taxes are going to be big once the 2015 Legislature convenes on Monday.
Gov. Brian Sandoval has called for increase in the business license fee (which carries the delicious acronym “BLT”), switching to a progressive fee depending on a company’s gross receipts. He’s also proposed continuing a package of temporary taxes.
But there are plenty of other things the Legislature will have to deal with in its compressed, four-month session as it sets policy for the state for the coming two years. Here’s a look at five of those pressing issues, and maybe a few more:
1. Construction defect reform: For years, Republicans have sought to overhaul the rules regarding when and how homeowners can sue construction companies or home-repair contractors for allegedly shoddy work. But Democrats successfully kept most of those bills at bay. Now that Republicans control both houses of the Legislature, things will be different.
For one, Assemblyman Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, is chairman of the Assembly Judiciary Committee (where construction defect bills will be heard). Hansen is a plumbing contractor, and has long been an advocate of a “right to repair” bill in which contractors get a chance to make a defective repair right before being sued.
For another, state Sen. Greg Brower, R-Reno, is preparing a comprehensive tort reform package for introduction in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs. Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, said a recent breakfast forum sponsored by the Review-Journal and the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce that Nevada’s litigious legal environment is “a hidden tax on business.” So the question is not whether the law will be reformed, but how. And how will Democrats — who count trial lawyers among their key constituencies — react to the proposals, now that Republicans have the votes to pass them even in the face of Democratic opposition.
2. Organized labor reform:Danny Thompson, the head of Nevada’s AFL-CIO, just today announced that working families are under attack by Republican lawmakers. And organized labor reforms long sought by the GOP are what he meant. Now that Republicans are in charge, this will be a prime focus. Ideas include changes to binding arbitration rules (or perhaps the elimination of it entirely), changes to the Public Employees Retirement System pension system and clearly defining a “fiscal emergency,” as well as outlining how collective bargaining contracts are to be handled in such circumstances, are going to be the subject of legislation in the 2015 session.
Once again, Democrats will find themselves playing defense, as labor unions are among the most reliable of their political base. But with a sympathetic Republican governor, they may not be able to muster the votes to stop some of the more moderate ideas. The real question: What will moderate Republicans and Sandoval do if, for example, a bill to simply end government-worker collective bargaining makes it out of the legislative building?
3. Education reform: Public schools in Nevada don’t have a very good reputation, but the prescriptions to fix them are as varied as the membership in the Legislature. Sandoval set the tone early in his State of the State address,promising to add more than $780 million to K-12 schools alone. But the Republican governor also called for reforms, and that’s where some of the biggest political battles will take place.
School choice will be an oft-debated topic during the session, including vouchers, scholarships and an expansion of the laws governing charter schools. While the state’s constitution prohibits state funds from being used for sectarian education, some conservatives believe that provision can be evaded by giving money directly to parents and allowing them to choose a private, even a parochial school, without offending the constitution.
Not only that, but reforms to rules governing teachers may be in the works, including further restricting (or even eliminating) teacher tenure. Those efforts will be staunchly opposed by Democrats, one of whom once declared teachers to be the “backbone” of the party, without whose support it would be “defunct.”
4. Voter ID: Republicans have repeatedly tried to get a simple law passed in Nevada that would require a drivers license or state identification card in order to vote, but they’ve been just as repeatedly thwarted by Democrats. In fact, the Democratic antipathy to the idea even led lawmakers in the 2013 session to reject a proposal by then-Secretary of State Ross Miller that would have used DMV photos at polling places, but would not have disenfranchised any voter who didn’t have a photo ID. Their stated reason: Too costly.
But now, with Republicans in control of the Legislature and with the foremost advocate of voter ID, former state Sen. Barbara Cegavske, in the secretary of state’s office, voter ID is at the forefront of the agenda. But instead of Miller’s proposal — the only voter ID at the time that didn’t draw the condemnation ofBrennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School — it appears Republicans will try to enact a straight-up voter ID requirement over Democratic objections and, inevitably, a lawsuit.
5. Marijuana: Once a neglected topic in Carson City (who else misses Assemblywoman-turned-Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani?!), marijuana is now the cause of the moment. Not only will the Legislature have to address problems that have cropped up with the licensing of medical marijuana dispensaries, but lawmakers will also be compelled to deal with a voter-approved initiative to legalize recreational marijuana outright. (If they approve the measure in the first 40 days, it could become law right away; if not, it goes to the 2016 ballot for voters to decide.)
Although he’s now in the minority, nobody knows more about the issue than state Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, who will no doubt play a prominent role on the issue (when he’s not crossing swords with Republicans over labor and tort reforms).
6. And lots of other stuff: With more than 1,000 bills expected to be introduced (to say nothing of resolutions!), every subject under the desert sun will get some attention. Among the other issues are guns, especially where they may be carried concealed and whether a background check should be required for sales between two private parties. Economic development, including rules about which companies should get state incentives and how much they should pay their employees before they can get tax breaks from the state, is another one. The development of a UNLV medical school is another hot topic, one that Northern Nevada lawmakers will monitor with interest (since the only existing medical school in Nevada now is based at the University of Nevada Reno). And funding for treatment of mental health services will be an issue, spurred by negative publicity over the state’s handling of some patients who were bused to other states instead of receiving care here.
Oh, and my personal favorite: Wineries! Las Vegas may have a platoon of master sommeliers working at the various high-end restaurants in town, but there are precious few places where grapes are cultivated, fermented and bottled, to say nothing of handed out to the public in on-premises samples! Don’t make Las Vegans and Renoites schlep all the way to Napa Valley, Legislature!
For the first time since 1985, the Republicans have control of the Nevada Assembly. And to lead their coalition, they have designated Ira Hansen to be the Speaker of the Assembly, passing over the man already leading the GOP caucus in favor of a man who actually believes in conspiracy theories…
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Clip from the Thursday, November 20th 2014 edition of The Kyle Kulinski Show, which airs live on Blog Talk Radio and Secular Talk Radio monday – friday 4-6pm Eastern.
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Ira Hansen’s tough days are not over yet.
Last week, he lost the speakership of the Assembly, one of the highest offices in state government, when the Reno News & Review published parts of Hansen’s opinion columns from the Sparks Tribune. It caused the Reno-Sparks chapter of the NAACP to call for his ouster, calling his writings “racist, bigoted and homophobic.”
A day or so later, Gov. Brian Sandoval asked Hansen to resign. And with the governor’s clout, “asking” is really demanding.
Hansen, however, has been adamant he will not resign from his Assembly District 32 seat, which covers much of rural Nevada and parts of Sparks.
So far, no one has asked him to. So Ira Hansen will be there in February, the day after the Super Bowl, when the 2015 Nevada Legislature opens.
Ironically, Hansen received a larger percentage of the vote in his Assembly race (71.96 percent), than Sandoval got in his landslide gubernatorial victory (70.58 percent).
The opening day of the Legislature could be uncomfortable for all.
Many of Hansen’s colleagues are black, gay or female. They may have felt insulted or shocked at some of the things Hansen wrote as a columnist.
State lawmakers may have difficulty welcoming him, even though Hansen has made his apologies, some more sincere than others. Assemblywoman Teresa Benitez-Thompson, D-Reno, is one of those who could feel insulted. She has a hard time thinking that the kind and polite Hansen she has worked with could write that despicable trash.
“In the past, I worked really well with Ira,” said Benitez-Thompson, the former chairwoman of the Assembly Government Affairs Committee. “Last year, he successfully moved two bills out of government affairs. And working with him on those bills, he was really enjoyable to work with.
“That is why I find it so hard to reconcile in my mind, knowing Ira as a person then seeing these statements that Ira, as a columnist, made,” she said.
“It’s perplexing to me,” Benitez-Thompson said. “I have to ask, which is the real Ira? Is it the Ira who has shown me respect and has been kind to me, especially last session when I was pregnant? I never experienced a hint of misogyny (dislike of women). I mean, it really floored me and hurt my feelings. I respected him a lot more until I saw some of his deeper thoughts.”
Benitez-Thompson, however, seems willing to forgive.
“They were disappointing,” she said of Hansen’s columns. “And actually, I look forward to talking to him about it to help me understand this a little bit better.”
WE MIGHT HAVE SEEN the last of Assemblyman David Bobzien, D-Reno, at the Nevada Legislature. Bobzien applied for the open Reno City Council seat vacated when Hillary Schieve won the election as mayor. Bobzien has already told colleagues in the Democratic Assembly caucus that he was applying as a “professional courtesy,” said Benitez-Thompson.
Bobzien was the only candidate nominated on all six ballots of the current Council members, who will make their final choice on Wednesday. If he leaves the Assembly, he would vacate his spot on the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, the money committee of the lower house. Without Bobzien, Washoe Democrats only have one member on Ways and Means, Assemblyman Michael Sprinkle, D-Sparks.
ITS NO SECRET that construction-defects legislation and collective bargaining reform are part of the agenda for the Republican majority at the Legislature.
Tray Abney, the director of government affairs for The Chamber of Reno, Sparks and Northern Nevada, called construction defects, “the lowest hanging fruit” of the GOP agenda. His comments came during a taping of Nevada Newsmakers that will be seen Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. on Reno’s KRNV News-4.
“We have actually gotten that through the Senate before but it got held up in the Assembly,” Abney said of construction-defects legislation. “Now (with a GOP Assembly majority), we now have a real chance to get this through.”
During his brief time as the “Speaker designate,” Hansen said the GOP is not trying to dismantle collective bargaining but thought the first thing the GOP could pass in 2015 is a law that would open collective-bargaining sessions to the public.
“That’s a good idea,” Abney said. “But I think we can go farther than that. Again, we are not trying to get rid of collective bargaining but what we need to do is make some reforms. This is bankrupting our local governments.”
Update 3:50 p.m.: Outspoken Nevada Assemblyman Ira Hansen got the vindication he was looking for in his dispute with state wildlife officials.
On Wednesday, Judge Richard Glasson in New River Township Justice Court said Hansen was not guilty on four misdemeanor counts of setting steel traps too close to the road.
Prosecutors argued that Hansen’s snares set in Churchill County in November 2013 violated the law stating steel traps should be more than 200 feet from a public road.
Hansen argued the law only applies to steel leg clamp style traps, not snares.
He also argued the case was the result of a “vendetta” against him by the Nevada Department of Wildlife.
“See you next time,” Hansen told John Swisher, the game warden who confronted him in the field and testified for the prosecution in court.
Chris Healy, spokesman for the state wildlife department, said there is no vendetta against Hansen.
“We have no vendetta against Ira Hansen, we never have,” Healy said.
Hansen said he was “feeling very good” about the outcome.
He also said he won’t pursue legislation on the issue in the upcoming session of the Nevada Legislature.
“Not now, I don’t need to,” Hansen said.
Original post: Assemblyman Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, on Wednesday was found not guilty of violating wildlife trapping regulations by setting snares within 200 feet of a highway.
Nevadagate a youtube series exposing Nevada government corruption by GuyFelton – Ombudsman for Nevada. These youtube videos dig into an array of Nevada government corruption, conspiracies and cover-ups. Guy Felton has helped the Nevada ANTI-Corruption movement in his protesting efforts and his unique abilities to convey corruption in our youtube videos and his new series called Nevadagate. Please see Guy’s work below and visit his website Booksampler.net
is WAS running for U. S. Congress in 2011. Hooray! In this video, Guy discusses the controversy and conspiracy surrounding the former University of Nevada Reno (“UNR”) President Milton Glick who allegedly died of stroke at 73 – but was it really a suicide or murder?
Uploaded on May 28, 2011
Guy’s background includes: Marine Corps Reservist, Intelligence Operative, Police Officer, Classroom Teacher, Head of Negotiations for Nevada State Education Association (now having 27,000 members), Newspaper Columnist, Newspaper Photographer, Executive Jobsearch Consultant (Listed in “Who’s Who in America”), Volunteer Ombudsman for the People of Nevada (the latter resulting in being wrongfully arrested and jailed three times for legally challenging corrupt public officials in Washoe County including Commissioners Humke, Weber, and Larkin ~ as well as Washoe Manager Katy Simon, and Deputy D.A. Melanie Foster.)
NEVADAGATE: SUGGESTIONS FOR THE 2013 LEGISLATURE