LWVNV 2017 Legislative Survey

League of Women Voters of Nevada Legislative Survey

(The survey is at the end of this post)

The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization that neither supports nor opposes political parties or candidates.  League does, however, support issues related to voting rights, fair and accessible elections, and healthy communities. 

League is also a strong proponent of good governance through an emphasis on civility and transparent, open, and effective governing processes.

In Nevada, our legislature has budgeting and regulatory power over many public agencies and programs, which makes our biennial, 120-day legislative sessions very important.  Considering all the issues addressed each session, 120 days is a very short amount of time, and the gap in-between sessions is very large. 

We believe that in this area, our governing practices can make it difficult to effectively conduct the business of a modern state with twenty-first century needs.   This leads us to ask: Could we be more efficient or organize our sessions in ways that better align our legislative outcomes with our overall needs?

In our state, we are constitutionally bound to the biennial time-frame and the 120-day limit, and we are statutorily bound to various other deadlines and rules.  This doesn’t mean we can’t change, it just means that some changes are more difficult and time-consuming than others.   While constitutional amendments can take five years, statutory changes can happen in one session, if a legislator or the Governor agrees to sponsor a bill.

Either way, both methods for modifying governing practices starts with a discussion of what works well and what we could do better.

League of Women Voters of Nevada, therefore, would like to engage our community to begin assessing our legislative system with a survey.  If you would like to participate, please remember, we do not condone attacks against people and will delete all personal references, so only focus on rules, procedures, and practices.

If you would like to participate, simply fill out the form below and then click on Submit.  The survey will be open until July 1st.  After July 1st, we will aggregate the submissions into an annotated report for public release.  No names will be collected in the survey nor shared in the report.

Pass AB405: It’s Time To Change

In a 2006 paper titled “Regime Change and Corruption: A History of Public Utility Regulation,” Werner Troesken summarized various types of utility reform.

He wrote that over the last one-hundred years local and state leaders have enacted various utility regulations to combat corruption and improve public life.  In some instances, municipalities converted private utilities into public enterprises to address consumer outrage over poor management, high billing rates, or outbreaks of disease, in the case of water.  While in other cases, states transitioned municipal utilities into privately-held, but state regulated, companies due to egregious political corruption.

Troesken’s main point, though, was that water and energy are so important for a community’s well-being, some form of utility regulation has been the status quo in every state since 1900.

It’s within this context that our legislature has been debating a slew of clean and renewable energy bills.  None of these pieces of legislation propose to eliminate NV Energy; but some do require the utility to change how it treats newer forms of energy production.  This includes energy produced by individual homeowners through rooftop solar. 

One bill specifically, AB 405, proposes new rules to govern relationships between NV Energy and rooftop solar owners and between rooftop solar customers and solar panel companies. Owners would be able to sell excess power back to NV Energy at an attractive rate and customers would receive stronger protections.

It’s not surprising NV Energy doesn’t like being told how to manage its portfolio or how to control energy inputs and outputs, but this isn’t the main issue underlying current disagreements over AB 405. Legislators aren’t mulling over whether NV Energy likes AB 405, instead they are deciding how to best protect consumers.  So, the focus is: Will accepting or rejecting changes to the status quo benefit or harm Nevadans?   

On one side, we have legislators who believe protecting the status quo will benefit Nevadans from every part of the socioeconomic spectrum, while on the other side we have equally passionate advocates who argue for benefiting consumers by creating a rational path to move from one model of energy production and distribution to another. 

History tells us that the most effective forms of public regulation of utilities over the past one-hundred years, have included both protections and mechanisms that allow for big and small changes.  In fact, clinging to the status quo has often invited more disruptive future measures.  So, as we work through the last week of the legislative session, we hope our elected representatives can find common ground, work to fashion appropriate amendments, and then pass AB 405 to both protect Nevadans and allow for a smooth transition from one form of energy production to another.  

 

Clark County Election Dept. Update: Municipal General Elections

Mail Ballot Request Deadline:  May 13, 2017

Early Voting:  May 27 – June 9, 2017

Election Day:  June 13, 2017

NEW:  VOTE CENTERS ON ELECTION DAY!

EARLY VOTING, MAY 27-JUNE 9, 2017
If you are registered to vote at an address within an incorporated city, you may vote early before Election Day at any site within your own city.     

ELECTION DAY VOTING AT “VOTE CENTERS,” JUNE 13, 2017
Starting this year, all cities will have “Vote Centers” instead of traditional polling places. If you are registered to vote at an address within an incorporated city, you may vote on Election Day at any of the Vote Centers within your own city. Unlike traditional polling places, Vote Centers are similar to early voting sites in that, on Election Day, voters within an incorporated city may vote at any one of the multiple Vote Centers within their own city, regardless of where they live in their city.  In addition, the Election Day voting process at Vote Centers differs from traditional polling places, e.g., an online “Posting Log” (a link will be on the Election Department’s home page) will be available rather than a paper Posting Log.  Posting Logs will show who voted, when, and at which Vote Center.    

You can view ONLINE updates of the 2017 Municipal Early Voting Elections at:  http://www.clarkcountynv.gov/election/Pages/EVTurnout.aspx.  Election Day stats will be updated on our website after 7pm. 

CANDIDATES, CONTESTS, AND BALLOT QUESTIONS

  • Boulder City(including written explanations, and arguments for and against the two ballot questions)

o    1 contest for City Council at Large (all voters in Boulder City may vote for this contest)

o    2 ballot questions (all voters in Boulder City may vote for these questions)

o    1 contest for City Council Ward III (all voters in Henderson may vote for this contest)

o    No ballot questions

o    3 contests that include:

  • Councilman Ward 2 (only voters in Las Vegas’ Council Ward 2 may vote for this contest)
  • Councilman Ward 6 (only voters in Las Vegas’ Council Ward 6 may vote for this contest)
  • Municipal Court Judge Dept. 3 (all voters in Las Vegas may vote for this contest)

o    No ballot questions

o    1 contest for Council Member Ward 3 (only voters in N. Las Vegas’ Council Ward 3 may vote for this contest)

o    No ballot questions

WHO MAY VOTE AND MAPS
Only voters properly registered within the specific boundaries of the cities of Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, or North Las Vegas may vote in the 2017 Municipal Primary Elections and only in their own City’s election at a site within their own City. Voters registered in unincorporated areas of Clark County do NOT participate in Municipal Elections. Additionally, Mesquite will have no elections at all in 2017 because it consolidated its elections with the 2016 Federal/State Elections. Log-in to our website to look up your voting eligibility, precinct, elected officials, etc.

Each city has maps of its boundaries:
Boulder City      Henderson Map      Las Vegas Maps      North Las Vegas Maps

Vote by Mail

Any Clark County registered voter, for any reason, may request a Mail/Absentee Ballot. The request MUST be in WRITING.  For more information, go to: http://www.clarkcountynv.gov/election/Pages/MAILBALLOTS.aspx or call (702) 455-6552.  If you would like to drop off your voted primary mail ballot, see the attached listing of specific site locations.

Early Voting

You can view the daily Early Voting totals on our website at http://www.clarkcountynv.gov/election/Pages/EVTurnout.aspx.   You can also view past election results and trends on the “Past Elections” link on the left hand side of our webpage.

Sample Ballot (City Elections)

You should have received your sample ballot in the mail or your e-sample ballot.  Please remember to review your sample ballot for all the early voting and Election Day Vote Center locations in your respective City.  You can only vote at sites within your own City.

 IMPORTANT DATES

http://www.clarkcountynv.gov/election/Pages/Dates.aspx 

DEPARTMENT CONTACT NUMBERS

Spanish Telephone Number:  (702) 455-3666

Filipino Telephone Number:  (702) 455-7871

Administration Line:  (702) 455-2944

Polling Place Worker Line:  (702) 455-2815

You can contact me at lpo@clarkcountynv.gov or at 702-455-2944 if you have questions, need updates or additional reports.