Nevada Families Eagle Forum's final Nevada Legislative Report
LIBERTY Victories at LEGISLATURE
One of our most important victories was the defeat of SB552 which provided for the taking of DNA upon Arrest instead of conviction. This bill was a serious departure from our Constitutional protection of innocent until proven guilty. In considering this legislation the question must be asked: Do you want Obama to have your DNA? Section 3 sub 4 of the AB552 stated, “The identification characteristics resulting from the genetic marker analysis must be stored and maintained by the forensic laboratory in CODIS.” CODIS is the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System.
If you have been arrested for a felony but not convicted, even if you are innocent, your DNA remains in the federal database system. This is because a State has no right and no power to demand that a citizen’s DNA be removed from the FBI’s database CODIS. Placing innocent people’s DNA in a federal database crosses the line and turns the database into a tool for surveillance instead of a tool for investigating crimes. DNA is not like a fingerprint. It is an individual’s entire genetic blueprint. In Nevada , felonies include such things as writing a bad check, unlawful interception of cable TV service, and dozens of other non-violent crimes.
Some might say, I have done nothing wrong so I have no need to worry. I was arrested for petitioning! Do you trust the government? Our state and local law enforcement have become co-opted agents of the federal government through federal grants of dollars, mandates, and cooperative agreements.
Have you seen the Federal Homeland Security Department’s Report on Domestic Terrorists? According to Homeland Security, if you are pro-life, pro-gun, pro-family, a Christian, opposed to illegal immigration, opposed to NAFTA, GATT, WTO, believe in end-times prophecy, a returning Veteran, or store food, you are a potential Domestic Terrorist!
AB552: was called the “Briana Dennison Bill”. Because of her tragic rape and murder, some feel that it might have been prevented if we had a law requiring DNA specimen collection upon arrest. We completely empathize with her family and friends, fully understanding that it could have been our daughter or granddaughter who was brutally victimized. However, high profile cases are often used to change our laws and undermine our liberties while playing on our sympathies.
However, as mothers and fathers we must consider all of our children and their futures. Securing and maintaining their possible immediate safety without considering the potential threat to their liberty would be shortsighted. We cannot allow our children’s Constitutional rights to be diminished because of such a tragedy. Indeed, the greater tragedy would be the loss of our Constitutional rights and protections making us all potential victims of an abusive government. Our founders understood this because they became in their fight for liberty and Independence outlaws, enemies of the King, felons, and domestic colonial terrorists. This bill passed the Assembly. However, Senator Horsford, Chairman of Senate Finance made the courageous decision not to take a vote on AB552 and let it die. He said there were too many unanswered questions about expungement/removal of the DNA from the federal database. He said it was too late in the session (on the last day) to consider such a far reaching issue without adequate time.
I believe that Americans have been artificially divided. Often during the Legislative session we have the opportunity to work with people and organizations we might often otherwise oppose like the ACLU. This is always a rewarding and positive experience as we learn to put down our preconceived ideas and reach out to find common ground as Americans who believe in liberty and agree on a particular issue. Such was the opportunity on this bill.
Other Legislative Victories
SB546: Early Childhood Education was an attempt to take over the child care businesses in our state and impose expensive new training and curriculum requirements. Instead of parents choosing the child care that is best for their children, the bill mandated a curriculum created by the failing education establishment. The provisions of this bill needed to be read in light of the left leaning NEA National Education Association’s goal which calls for “early childhood education programs…from birth through age eight. This bill was an important step towards that NEA goal of a Nanny State controlling our babies and preschool children. We can see the failures of the State/Federally controlled government education system which produces too many children who cannot read or think, and who know little or nothing of their own heritage, the Constitution and liberty. The Governor vetoed the bill.
SB133: the People’s Right to Petition escaped further decimation when Senator Rhoads’ bill, originally designating “petition districts” as the 42 Assembly Districts, could not meet Constitutional muster. It made petitioning so burdensome as to be virtually impossible. SB133 was amended to make petition districts the same as Congressional Districts which is a very reasonable requirement. In addition, there was a final attempt to torpedo the right to petition when a provision was added to the bill by the Assembly Elections Committee which would have required anyone hired to petition to be treated as an employee with all the taxes, insurance, and regulations of a regular employee instead of the usual contract worker. This would have killed petitioning. It’s startling how arrogantly and antagonistically the Legislature works every session to further annihilate the people’s right to petition. The unions helped us on this one. Often the Legislative process creates interesting coalitions through mutual concern over a specific issue. This greatly increases the opportunity for success when diverse organizations can come together to defend Constitutional Rights.
AB299: Low cost taxpayer subsidized auto insurance available for up to 50% of people in Washoe and Clark counties. This was a Great Victory on a bad bill. It passed the Assembly on a 29 to 13 vote. It passed the Senate Commerce, Labor & Energy Committee, but never received a vote in the full Senate, probably because they didn’t have the votes. We don’t need more Government entitlements!
SB64: State Treasurer’s discriminatory State Stimulus. This bill allowed the State Treasurer to deposit $20,000,000 million into banks and credit unions at 2% below market and then the banks would loan the money out giving preference to “politically correct” businesses run by women, minorities and veterans. Good old reverse discrimination at its’ finest. Additionally, this bill circumvented the Nevada State Constitution which prohibits the state from loaning any money to corporations. The Constitution states in Article 8, Section 9: “Gifts or loans of public money to certain corporations prohibited. The State shall not donate or loan money, or its credit, subscribe to or be, interested in the Stock of any company, association, or corporation, except corporations formed for educational or charitable purposes.” Oh that pesky Constitution always standing in the way of new liberal projects to use the taxpayers’ money! The bill died a quiet death in Senate Legislative Operations and Elections.
SB269: “Write in” Voting would have allowed a candidate to lose in the Primary Election and file as a write in candidate in the General. In Alaska in 2010, liberal establishment Republican incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski was defeated in the Primary in an upset by Conservative Joe Miller. Lisa Murkowski then became a “write in” candidate for the general election. Because she could now draw voters from both liberal Democrats and RINO Republicans, Murkowski just barely beat Joe Miller and was elected. “Write in” candidates will result in the defeat of Conservative Constitutional candidates and was soundly defeated with all Senators voting No except the sponsor of the bill Senator Joe Hardy.
AB289: Dietetics licensing bill, which was amended to apply only to dietitians, removed concerns of alternative health providers and suppliers, which had originally opposed the bill.
SB412: the regulation of complementary integrative medicine was amended to address the legitimate concerns of alternative health providers who had energetically opposed it. In the end the bill was withdrawn.
AB452: provided for the option of swearing an oath under God or affirming under penalty of perjury on campaign reporting laws. This was a personal victory for me as I have worked to provide this option for years since I received a $15,000 fine for swearing in the name of Jesus Christ that my report was true and correct rather than under the secular affirmation of penalty of perjury. Would you call the fine religious persecution?
AJR 2: Annual Legislative Sessions was stopped however Interim Legislative hearings are scheduled on the bill. In the future the way to stop the continual Legislative drum beat for annual sessions is to cut the number of bills introduced at the Legislature in half. It is insanity to believe that we need 1,318 bills every session.
AB578: Was an attempt to have the Legislature in Session Year Round. It was sponsored by the Democrats. It changed the Legislative Interim Committee structure to put all members of the Legislature on Interim Committees and form nine Standing Committees just like they have during the Session. Each committee could have 10 bill drafts prepared for introduction during the session. It was designed to greatly expand the Legislature’s work and per diem pay during the Interim. Bad News… It passed the Senate 11 to 10 with all Republicans voting No and the Assembly 28 to 14 with 2 RINOS Lynn Stewart and Pat Hickey voting Yes. There’s no end to the voracious appetite of the government expansion crowd cooking up tempting schemes for more and more and more and more government. Thankfully, the Governor vetoed the bill.
AB243: Requiring reporting and accountability by Quasi-Public organizations, in other words, “private,” non-profit organizations who receive State Government money through grants, contracts or other means. Believe me there are far more than you think. They must provide reports to the Legislature and make certain information available on their websites. This bill is long overdue. It received unanimous approval in both the Assembly and Senate. The Sponsor was Democrat Assemblywoman Kirkpatrick.
SB271: Imposes conditions upon Nevada ’s continued participation in Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.
Although this bill was watered down and deadlines extended for possible withdrawal, its passage is a step in the right direction to bring the TRPA, a bi-state agency, under control. The TRPA has been highly controversial because of decisions on private property. The TRPA regulations go far beyond environmental protection and violate the Takings Clause of the U.S. Constitution. TRPA assumed taxing powers of Tahoe property owners as an appointed agency with quasi-federal powers and no accountability to the taxpayers. California style environmental extremism has led to incomprehensible decisions prohibiting the cutting of dead and dying trees in the basin, creating potential environmental calamity from fires. In June 2007, the Angora wildfire burned 3,100 acres and destroyed 254 residences and many other structures in South Lake Tahoe . Developers’ rights groups and local real estate lobbyists immediately charged that the structures burned because of TRPA’s strict environmental regulations, which allegedly prohibit property owners from clearing defensible space around their homes. It’s time return to sanity and protect Nevada citizens in the Tahoe basin.
SB385: granted more power to County Commissions and City Councils. It died a quiet death in the Assembly Government Affairs Committee. Under current state law, Counties and Cities can only do what is authorized by the State Legislature as a check and balance on local governments. We believe in local government, however, local special interests can unduly influence local governments. For instance, government worker unions have much more influence on the local level in getting much higher wages than from the State, as clearly shown by the Nevada Policy Research Institute’s “Nevada Piglet Book 2010”.
The bill provided that a board of county commissioners or an incorporated city “may exercise any power it has to the extent that the power is not expressly: Denied by the Constitution” of the State of Nevada , the U.S. Constitution, by the laws of the State of Nevada or granted to another entity. This bill violates the Ninth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and its companion in the Declaration of Rights in the Nevada Constitution Art. 1 Section 20 which states, ”This enumeration of rights shall not be construed to impair or deny others retained by the people.” We have many more rights than those specifically/expressly mentioned in the Bill of Rights or in the Nevada Declaration of Rights.
This bill would allow local governments to pass local ordinances which could violate these real but not expressly identified rights. Then there is an arrogant provision in the bill which states, “Any doubt as to the existence of a power of [a county commission or city council] must be resolved in favor of its existence.” In other words, if you challenge it, the resolution (in court) must be decided in favor of the local government! Amazing arrogance!
AB78: Secretary of State Ross Miller’s bill which raised fees on Small Home Based businesses by $260% died in Senate.
Gun Rights/Concealed Carry Bills: Tremendous progress was made on improving the Gun Rights.
SB126: Provided for CCW holders to qualify on one semi-automated and then be able to carry any semi-automatic as the law now provides for qualification on any revolver. Sponsored by Senators Settelmeyer & Lee. Vote: Senate 21 Yeas 0 Nays, Assembly 40 Yeas 2. Nays (Maggie Carlton and Peggy Pierce).
Gun Rights Continued:
AB143: Same provisions as SB126 but was sponsored by Assemblyman Bobzien. Vote: Senate 21 Yeas 0 Nays, Assembly 39 Yeas 3 Nays (Maggie Carlton, Harvey Munford and Peggy Pierce).
AB282: Speaker Oceguera’s bill lifted ideas from other Legislators including Goedhart and Hickey and put them all in his bill. It incorporated the important provision for renewal of CCW permits to require an investigation by the sheriff and a report from National Instant Criminal Background Check System. This put Nevada ’s CCW law in compliance with federal law, so permittees do not have to undergo a Brady background check every time they buy a weapon. It also included the same provisions as SB126 and AB143 for semi-autos. It took the idea of Senator Gustavson’s bill SB175 to protect the confidentiality of CCW holders. After much ado between the Senate and Assembly it limited the fees for the permits to actual costs for background/ criminal history checks so that they could not be used for revenueing. And finally, it prevents the administrator of State Parks from adopting regulations in State Parks or recreation facilities which are more restrictive than the laws of the state regarding possession of firearms and engaging in lawful resistance against an offense of person or property. Passed the Assembly 40 to 2 with same 2 no votes and Senate 21 to 0.
SB175: Gustavson’s Confidentiality for identity of CCW holders passed Senate and did not receive a vote in the Assembly. SB231 Lee’s Campus Carry passed Senate but no vote was taken in Assembly Judiciary.
Bad Bills that passed:
AJR5: Allowing the Legislature to call special sessions under limited circumstances, which already passed last session and so it will be on the November 2012 ballot. Currently, only the Governor has the power to call the Legislature into Special Session.
AB81 & AB82: the Secretary of State’s Anti-Democratic Election Suppression bills were significantly amended with the most egregious portions amended out of the bills. However, SB81 still contains repressive regulations on election speech and elicited NO votes from all 10 Senate Republicans. Amended out of AB81 in the Assembly was the section which increased the filing fees for candidates running for election in some cases by 600%, increasing filing for US Senate from $500 to $3000. The Secretary of State, Ross Miller, felt that only “credible” candidates should be able to run for office. That would have left only the incumbents and “anointed” candidates, chosen by the “powers that be,” able to run for office. Ross Miller’s record as Secretary of State is frightening as exemplified in his election bills which are anti-democratic, anti-participation, and anti-free speech. Now that’s some record for the State’s Chief Election Officer. It may give you reason to pause and understand why I called these bills the SOS’s Anti-Democratic Election Suppression Bills.
SB43: Electronic Health Records is getting us all ready for ObamaCare. It was “mandated” and “funded” by Congress in the so-called Federal Stimulus Act of 2009. It will force you into a system where all of your personal health records will be electronic, making them more vulnerable to identity theft. But more importantly, this personal critical and potentially damaging physical and mental health information can be more easily accessed, misused, and abused by those who gain access legally or illegally. Do you trust the government with your health records? We have recently seen examples of how “safe” electronic data is when the Pentagon and big corporations are hacked.
SJR 14: Intermediate Appellant Court passed the Senate 16 to 5 with 5 Senators having the courage to vote NO: Cegavske, Gustavson, Halseth, Kieckhefer, Settelmeyer. It will have to be voted on again in 2013 and then if it passes it will go on the ballot in 2014. This was just defeated by the people in the 2010 election. I guess they weren’t listening! No Surprise…
Died at end of Legislature: SB177: Motorcycle Helmet Freedom bill passed the Senate Transportation Committee with Chairman Breedan begrudgingly taking a vote. It was then sent to Senate Finance with a phony fiscal note where Senator Horsford let it die. Freedom is rarely to be gained in the Legislative halls bent on more government control.
These bills DIED at the April 15, 2011 deadline:
AB34: Allowed the cops to use cameras for giving traffic tickets. This is a short stop on the way to Great Britain which has more than 4.2 million spy cameras filming each citizen over 300 times a day. Hello Orwell!
AB54: Gave unelected appointed people the power to impose taxes in “medical districts”. The concept of unelected unaccountable people raising taxes really seems to fly in the face of that somewhat quaint idea, “No taxation without representation.” I’m glad we didn’t have to start a revolution over that one!
AB108: Allowed people to register to vote on Election Day. Nobody was ready for such a radical step and there were great concerns over potential fraud, which were not addressed in the bill. You can bet it will be back next session.
AB208, AB430, AB435, SB161 SB178, SB380: All good bills providing needed steps to address illegal immigration and/or making English the official language. No surprise in the Democrat controlled Legislature they went no where.
AB314: “Comprehensive sex education” was sponsored by the infamous Planned Parenthood, the number one abortion providers in the nation. It provided for instruction on sexual perversions, abortion, graphic and explicit instructions on how to use contraceptives without parental consent.
AB336: Income tax on business in Nevada was just one more way to suppress businesses and jobs.
SB235: Made not wearing a Seat Belt a primary offense so that you could be stopped at any time for any reason. This was another surveillance society bill which didn’t make it.
SB247: School Based Health Clinics taking away parental consent and providing contraceptives and abortion referrals bit the dust.
SB310/AB411: the Freedom of Choice in Health Care insuring the right of individuals to choose their own health care in “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” died quiet deaths providing us no protections against the ominous ObamaCare mandates.
SB344: National Popular Vote would have circumvented the U.S. Constitution and the Electoral College allowing big population states to completely control the Presidential election. It was perhaps the most dangerous bill of the session. Eagle Forum made it a top priority and with public support stopped this bill cold.
SB366, SJR10, AJR8 and AB367: School choice. The government schools have failed our children. Its time to explore and return to education that works for children, parents and good teachers. We need to provide successful options in education so that our children can be rescued from the stranglehold of the Teachers Union and Educrats. The Governor proposed school choice based on Florida ’s successful system. Of course, something so successful was too much for the Dems to shallow. It died.
AB462: Redefined “terrorism” as including the “use or attempted use…of coercion…to influence the policy of a governmental entity.” Isn’t that what active citizens and lobbyist do everyday at the Legislature? Are we all potential domestic terrorists? According to Homeland Security that may be true. The new definition did not fly.
SJR6 & AJR4: Tenth Amendment Resolutions would have taken us a long way towards reestablishing state sovereignty in our ongoing battle with the Feds. Why would Nevada’s Legislators, burdened with horrendous unfunded federal mandates and unconstitutional programs, straining to pay the bills with only 13% of Nevada’s lands taxable to the state (the rest under usurped control by the feds) want to reaffirm the Tenth Amendment? A sacrilege for sure to the left wing orthodoxy dedicated to continual violation of the U.S. Constitution!
The Tenth Amendment is the key to restoring our liberties. The Tenth Amendment states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. Those few words are very threatening to the power hungry…they mean there are limits on what the federal government can do and what they can mandate the states to do.
SJR7: A constitutional amendment to limit property taxes was a good idea which went no where.
Legislature and Governor Reneged on Promises to Sunset Taxes
The Governor and the Legislature reneged on their promises and voted to pass AB561 to extend the tax on wages paid by businesses. This tax suppresses job creation and flies in the face of the stated goals of the Governor and Legislators of creating jobs. The repeal of these sunsets will take another $600 million out of the productive sector during these devastating economic times and give it to the non-producing insatiable tax eaters!
Of course, all the Democrats voted to repeal the taxes scheduled to be sunsetted, but once again the Republicans betrayed the people, for without their capitulation the taxes would not have passed. Only six Senators and six Assemblymen had the courage to vote NO including Senators Brower, Cegavske, Gustavson, Halseth, Roberson, and Settelmeyer and Assemblymen Ellison, Goedhart, Hambrick, Hardy, Livermore, and McArthur.
Recently, someone in the Nevada Unemployment bureaucracy revealed that although the federal government claims that the unemployment rate in Nevada is 12.1%, the real rate is nearly twice that at 23%!!! The reason is- many people have been dropped off unemployment rolls when their benefits run out and are not counted. They are now “invisible” to the Federal government for deception’s sake.
Remember, there is never enough money for the government growers.
-Janine Hansen, Nevada Eagle Forum President & IAP Executive Director