Letters to the editor for Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015

Can Republicans work with Democrats on anything?

Well the Republicans have taken over ... what will change?

Congress already voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act thus trying to deny nine million health insurance. Nobody even dares mention the possibility that health reform might actually prove workable.

The Senate tried to attach an amendment to the Homeland Security funding bill that would remove the president’s executive orders on immigration and deport 5 million. In Nevada, our new attorney general has entered into lawsuit with 24 states challenging the president’s constitutional executive orders. Gee, how much will this cost us?

The new secretary of state wants to impose stricter voter ID laws. Voter suppression is working remarkably well, but that won’t last. They key is voter ID. The whole “voter integrity” sham may have given Republicans a one or maybe two-election boost in low-turnout races. Voter turnout was awful. It was more awful for the Democrats, but the GOP won 52 percent of 35 percent of the vote registered electorate (and 13 percent of those eligible to vote). The message to minority (but growing) groups is clear. We GOP don’t give a damn about you.

A proposed bill that would allow guns in cars in school parking lots! Can anyone see a problem? It is time for grown-up ideas and stop the pandering to the fringes. But at some point, doesn’t pride kick in? Do Republicans really want to be known as a purely negative party? Is there any room to work with Democrats on something?

Jerry Denis Sullivan


Good job, Ron Knecht, Dan Schwartz

I just read the Controller and Treasurer’s budget reports which are both excellent and required reading for all. We are all still reeling from the governor’s budget proposals, which if passed would be the largest tax increase in the history of our great state.

It seems the Nevada Business Margins tax is not dead, after all. And the additional spending on education would be pouring more money down the rat hole of an existing system that does not work and demands no accountability. The suggestions for reform, throughout both reports, are spot on and need to be seriously considered by the new Legislature.

The window of opportunity is open for meaningful reform in our fiscal systems and educational institutions. As suggested in these reports, the governor and the Legislature need to jointly buckle down and prepare a comprehensive report on the state’s expenses and funding mechanisms that will be ready for the 2017-2018 biennium.

I also purpose that money be approved to create a Blue Ribbon committee responsible to both the governor and Legislature to provide oversight over all state budget processes and require a zero based approach. It would be mandated to root out all budget excess, duplication and non-effective programs, with the goal of directing the savings toward a prioritized list of spending that meets the needs of Nevada taxpayers.

The Legislature cannot just “rubber stamp” the governor’s budget proposal; it would be a betrayal to all Nevada taxpayers. Good Job, Ron Knecht and Dan Schwartz.

Bill Johnston

Carson City


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