Category Archives: Uncategorized

Oct. 2017 LWVSN Community Meeting: New Voting Equipment Demonstration

Join LWVSN on October 21st at 9am for our Community Meeting. 

All are welcome to attend!

The Clark County Election Department will be offering a demonstration of our new voting equipment and information about vote centers.

You’ll get hands-on experience with Poll Books and our new voting machines through this mock election demonstration.

NEW! We will also be live-streaming through our Facebook page during the meeting.  Just log into our Facebook page at 10am on Saturday Oct. 21st to join us!

Like us on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/LWVSN/

If you aren’t a League of Women Voters member, please consider joining today:  http://lwvsn.org/membership.html

October 2017 League

Nevada Dept. of Transportation: One Nevada Plan

The Nevada Department of Transportation is currently updating it’s Long Range Transportation Plan and so needs our feedback.  Please make your voice heard by completing NDOT’s public survey: http://onenvplan.com/surveys/

The One NV Transportation Plan is an update to Nevada’s Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). State Departments of Transportation are required by the federal government to prepare LRTPs to ensure the continued movement of people and goods over a 20 year horizon.
The One NV Transportation Plan seeks to not only meet these federal requirements but to better align Nevada’s various transportation plans and processes and create a framework to make more informed transportation decisions.

The plan process includes the development of specific goals and objectives. In general, the One NV Transportation Plan aims to:

  • Identify, track and report transportation performance measures to decision makers and the public
  • Make more informed and transparent project decisions across NDOT’s entire program
  • Improve project prioritization and project certainty
  • Create a lasting collaborative process to ensure the plan continuously moves Nevada towards achieving statewide goals while also adapting to new developments

http://onenvplan.com/

Sept. 16th Community Meeting Update

Thank you to everyone who attended our League of Women Voters of Southern Nevada fall 2017 kickoff meeting!

We did a double-header this year with a presentation from the Regional Transportation System (RTC).  The RTC has some big plans in store for the valley, so please keep informed and take the transportation planning survey by going to this website: http://www.onboardsnv.com/

We also spent some time talking about K12 funding and the very complex issues of funding sufficiency and accountability.  If you are worried about education in Nevada, League will keep you engaged and informed!

Stay tuned and join the League!  http://lwvsn.org/membership.html

 

Join us September 16th!

Join the League of Women Voters of Southern Nevada for our fall 2017 kickoff meeting! Get the skinny about public transportation and education funding on Sept. 16th.  This is a public meeting open to the community, all are welcome!

We’ll have details on the planned light-rail system for Maryland Parkway and changes made to the K12 funding formula in the 2017 legislative session.

SEPTEMBER 2017 league_Page_1

League of Women Voters of Nevada: An Argument for Annual Sessions

Efforts to adopt annual legislative sessions have stalled again.  The reason has less to do with iron-clad resistance, however, and more to do with flaws in how we manage our current legislative system.  On this topic, we are stuck in a loop where the volume of voices in favor increase when an important bill fails or we endure another special session and then equally strong voices rise in opposition and point to real inefficiencies in our legislative processes.  The opposition argument boils down to: We don’t like the current system because of inefficiencies, so we don’t want to adopt a new system because it will just amplify those inefficiencies.

But what if we addressed the inefficiencies first and then talked about annual sessions later?

During the 2015-16 interim, the League of Women Voters of Nevada promoted the role of civility in elections and governance as well as the necessity for respectful dialog in passing beneficial legislation.

In the 2017-18 legislative interim, we are turning our focus to effective and efficient governance to produce better outcomes and bolster support for annual legislative sessions.

Our support for annual sessions derives from mounting evidence that, with each passing year, the biennial budgeting process is falling short and regularly requires special intervention to address growing deficiencies. This is not a criticism of any person or branch of government; it merely recognizes that the world moves so quickly now that anyone managing even a company’s strategic plan will find goals and strategies can easily go stale after just six months.  

Managing our dynamic economic and social systems in two-year legislative bites has resulted in legislative practices that ignore our Open Meeting Law and a growing transfer of power to the executive branch, the courts, and interim-institutions that exercise quasi-legislative authority.  And when power moves away from the “people’s” branch of government, we lose the public’s voice in the process.

This amounts to poor governance. League of Women Voters of Nevada, therefore, argues that Nevada will never be the cutting-edge state we hope to be if we fail to adopt cutting-edge governing systems that align with our democratic traditions.

We would like to propose ways to make our legislative processes more efficient and effective, so we can one day soon have a thoughtful discussion about adopting modified, annual legislative sessions. It is clear to us that, only after we can agree that our current system is running as effectively and efficiently as possible, can we hopefully reach consensus on a solution to remaining problems.  

Following League’s standards of research, the first step we took in gathering information for this report was to run a public survey, open to anyone, on personal experiences during the just completed legislative session.  Our survey reached hundreds through our large email list and it posted repeatedly on our social media accounts.  All questions allowed participants to submit written comments.  The survey was open for two weeks.

Comments ranged from an appreciation for the hard work of our elected representatives and legislative staff to frustration with the sometimes-chaotic scheduling of hearings and floor sessions.  

Some respondents asked to move to annual sessions and to rescind term limits as well as the 2/3 majority rule to pass taxes.  As these recommendations require a constitutional amendment, we cannot include them in this list.  At this time, we are strictly focusing on practices that can be changed without legislation or a ballot question, not laws or constitutional mandates.

In the survey feedback related to practices, respondents pointed to the legislature not abiding by the Open Meeting Law and suspending operating rules during the final two weeks of the session as a barrier to community members providing public comment on pending legislation.  This is compounded by the fact that much of the real business of the legislature occurs during those final weeks. Related to this was a frustration with lobbyists having undue influence over the legislative process.

League of Women Voters of Nevada would like to emphasize one particular point of frustration: the number of duplicate bills introduced each session is a waste of valuable time; they all receive multiple-hour hearings in both the senate and assembly, and often lack prior planning, such as communicating before a hearing with agencies and other groups impacted by these proposed bills.

Based on our survey feedback and our view of Nevada’s legislative processes, the League of Women Voters of Nevada offers the following recommendations for improving legislative efficiency and effectiveness:

  1. Each political party should create a mentorship program to pair veteran legislators, current or past, with freshman legislators to provide guidance.
  2. Each political party should work to reduce the number of duplicate bills by encouraging legislators to co-sponsor one or two bills on any given topic. Constituents will respect a legislator more for a co-sponsored bill that passes than for a bill singly sponsored that fails.
  3. During the drafting phase, if a bill will affect an agency or organization, legislators should reach out to agency heads or other organization leaders for feedback and/or collaboration.
  4. Bills should be as limited in scope as possible, unless an agency requires a “clean-up” omnibus bill.
  5. Committee chairs and party leadership should strive to follow posted agendas as closely as possible to facilitate as much public input as possible. Working people cannot wait for hours to provide public comment.

 

The League of Women Voters of Nevada is happy to work with anyone interested in making our legislative sessions more efficient and effective. If you would like to engage with us on these recommendations or if you have others to suggest, please contact us at: info@lwvsn.org

 

About League of Women Voters:

Carrie Chapman Catt founded the League of Women Voters on February 14, 1920, just months before the 19th amendment’s ratification.  She understood newly enfranchised women would need support registering to vote, maintaining access to a fair ballot, and advocating for legislation supporting healthy families and strong communities.  Today, League continues to assist voters, protect civic engagement, and much more. In everything we do, however, we strictly maintain our nonpartisan status; so, while League does encourage women to seek public office, we do not endorse candidates nor do we work directly with any political party.