A majority of the legislation that affects your business’ day-to-day operations probably comes from one place. Chances are it is not coming from city hall, and it is probably not coming from Washington, D.C.
If you live and work in Nevada, it probably comes from Carson City. Powers not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution are reserved for the states themselves. There is no such restriction on the state government. Which means, there is a lot more at play at the state level.
Nevada is one of only four states (along with Montana, North Dakota and Texas) who have biennial legislatures. That means that our legislature only convenes for a regular legislative session every other year. That is not the norm. Forty-six states meet for regular session every year, which means that if you are a resident of those other four states, you only get one bite at the legislative apple every two years.
That being the case, if you have a business that is facing some regulatory or legislative challenges, it is imperative that you understand how that process works because if you miss an upcoming session you may have to wait for two years.
So, now that the election season has come to an end, what can your business expect from this upcoming legislative session in Carson City? Specifically, how can you get your business’ concerns and challenges on the legislative radar? We may all be familiar with how a bill becomes a law thanks to School House Rock, but how does it actually work in the real world and specifically how does it work in Carson City?
I would like to share some things I have learned having worked in multiple roles over the past several legislative sessions starting in 2011. Since that time I have worn several hats including that of deputy legislative legal counsel, government affairs director on behalf of multiple private sector clients, executive director of a statewide non-profit, while being involved in highly regulated and politicized fields such as the healthcare and education sectors. As a result, I have come to learn some tips and tricks that may help to get your issue discussed and acted on at the legislative level. These include:
• Understanding and recognizing the importance of the legislative calendar;
• Understanding the legislative process as a whole;
• Understanding the importance of committees and their respective chairman or chairwoman;
• Understanding the importance of budget negotiations and its effect on every potential piece of legislation;
• Understanding the importance of a fiscal note on any piece of legislation.
If this is something that interests you, please come learn more about how to get your business’ challenges on the legislative radar at NCET’s Biz Café on Wednesday, Dec. 7. NCET is a member supported nonprofit organization that produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology. More info can be found at www.NCETcafe.org
Victor Salcido serves as general counsel for Community Health Alliance, a Nevada nonprofit organization that has six health center sites, as well as a mobile clinic, throughout Washoe County. Community Health Alliance is a federally-qualified health center serving at risk and underserved populations and offers primary medical care, dental care and behavioral health care, along with full in-house pharmacies and prescription food pantries at select locations.