Archive for March, 2012

New Report Says Nevada Remains Average In Providing Public Access To Government Spending

By Sean Whaley | 4:25 pm March 15th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Nevada barely earned a C grade for its efforts in providing online access to government spending data with a score of 70, according to the latest report: “Following the Money 2012”, released this week by a national group.

The report from the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) ranked Nevada 31st among the states, with Texas coming in at No. 1 with a score of 98 and Idaho coming in last with a score of 6.

Following the Money 2012.

Nevada’s score declined slightly from the 2011 report when it earned a 74.

It is the U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s third annual ranking of states’ progress toward “Transparency 2.0” – a new standard of comprehensive, one-stop, one-click budget accountability and accessibility.

The report found that continued progress has been made over the past year, with new states providing online access to government spending information and several states pioneering new tools to further expand citizens’ access to spending information and engagement with government.

The release was timed to coincide with Sunshine Week, a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information.

Nevada was identified as one of 14 “emerging states” with a C grade for its transparency website, which was described as having checkbook-level detail that is easily searchable, but that is far less comprehensive in terms of detail as the 21 states with A and B grades.

Nevada’s under-performing areas include the inability to search for information by a keyword or activity, only partial ability to obtain contract or summary information, a lack of access to tax expenditure reports, and the inability to download data.

Nevada’s transparency ranking may soon improve, however, as the state moves into a new era of Priorities and Performance Based Budgeting (PPBB).

State Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp discussed the new budget process, which was used to a limited extent in the 2011 budget, during a budget planning session today with state administrators. The new budget development process was required as a result of legislation passed in 2011.

One of the goals of the new budget process is to provide increased accountability of state government, he said.

Gov. Brian Sandoval has involved his entire cabinet in the process, which has identified four strategic priorities for his administration: sustainable and growing economy, educated and healthy citizenry, safe and livable communities, and efficient and responsive state government.

There are also eight core functions of government, from public safety to education and workforce development.

“Our goal throughout this process was to improve transparency,” Mohlenkamp said.

Change is not easy, he said.

“But major decision-makers in the state, starting with the governor, have put their weight behind moving Nevada forward,” Mohlenkamp said.


Audio clips:

State Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp says the new budgeting process is about transparency:

031512Mohlenkamp1 :30 trying to accomplish.”

Mohlenkamp says Gov. Sandoval and others want to move forward:

031512Mohlenkamp2 :14 moving Nevada forward.”


Nevada State Administrators Get Budget Details In All-Day Planning Session

By Sean Whaley | 3:28 pm March 15th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s top state administrators gathered together in meeting rooms and via the internet today to hear first-hand about Gov. Brian Sandoval’s initial plans for his 2013-15 budget.

The all-day meeting called “Budget Kickoff” was intended to provide instructions to state administrators on how to begin preparing their spending plans for the new two-year budget that will take effect on July 1, 2013.

State administrators were briefed today on the 2013-15 budget plan. / Photo: Nevada News Bureau.

Agencies are expected to see flat budgets compared to the current spending plan after Sandoval surprised many around the state on Tuesday by announcing he would extend an expiring package of tax increases into the next budget cycle to avoid any further cuts to education and critical social services.

In announcing his intentions, Sandoval said: “I’m not going to pit kindergartners against senior citizens. I’m not going to pit higher ed students against people that need essential services.”

Agencies are also being directed to prepare their spending proposals using the new Priorities and Performance Based Budgeting process required as a result of legislation approved in the 2011 legislative session.

While the next budget won’t take effect for more than 15 months, the planning process begins early. Sandoval must submit his proposed budget to the Legislature by January 2013 in advance of the February 2013 legislative session.

“You know how difficult the last couple of sessions have been, and you understand the depth and the breadth of the cuts to state spending,” said Heidi Gansert, Sandoval’s chief of staff, in introductory remarks to the assembled administrators. “You’ve also heard about the positive economic news in recent months. Sales tax collections are up. Gaming revenues are improving. Unemployment is slowly declining. All signs that Nevada’s economy is turning the corner.”

But Medicaid caseloads have tripled over the past decade and new costs are looming due to mandates from the federal health care law, she said. The ballot proposals being circulated to raise taxes are not an option as far as Sandoval is concerned, Gansert said.

By continuing the sunsetting taxes, no Nevadans will pay any more in taxes in the next budget than they are now, she said.

“The governor has said we will grow our way out of this recession and we will, it’s just going to take more time,” Gansert said.

She had some good news for state employees, noting that the unpaid furloughs, 2.5 percent salary reductions, frozen merit pay increases and the elimination of longevity pay are all under review for the next budget for restoration if possible.

Janet Rogers, an economist with the Budget Division, said the national economy is improving, but slowly, and Nevada is lagging behind.

State Budget Office economist Janet Rogers talks about the economy as Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp looks on. / Photo: Nevada News Bureau.

“In the train that represents the national economy, Nevada is the caboose,” she said. “During the recession, for those of you who have been here, know, we had the largest employment drop of any state, the highest unemployment rate, the highest foreclosure rate and we were the last state to enter the recovery.”

State Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp talked about the potential impacts of the health care reform law, saying it will have a significant effect on the state’s Medicaid population.

The federal government is expected to pick up the costs of Medicaid recipients eligible under the law, but an influx of enrollees among residents who are already eligible for the health insurance program for low income, disabled and senior citizens is also expected, and these costs will have to be covered in part by the state, he said.

Nevada’s Medicaid caseload has increased from an average of 117,627 recipients in fiscal year 2001 to 285,732 in fiscal year 2011.

“Now the overall impacts of the health care reform aren’t clear,” Mohlenkamp said. “We don’t know what the number is going to be but we do know it’s significant, and we’ve done some broad estimations in our budget preparation.”


Audio clips:

Sandoval Chief of Staff Heidi Gansert says the Nevada economy is improving:

031512Gansert1 :23 turning the corner.”

But Gansert says it will take more time to grow out of the recession:

031512Gansert2 :06 take more time.”

Budget Office economist Janet Rogers calls Nevada the caboose on the national economic recovery train:

031512Rogers :22 enter the recovery.”

State Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp says the new health care law will have big impacts on Nevada’s Medicaid program:

031512Mohlenkamp :11 our budget preparation.”



New Study Questions Value Of Regulations And Tax Incentives Enacted By States To Create “Green Jobs”

By Sean Whaley | 10:20 am March 15th, 2012

CARSON CITY – A new report questions the value of tax incentives and regulations approved by many states around the country, including Nevada, to create “green jobs,” noting that subsidies used for such programs can take away revenue for other needs such as public education.

“States face a hard and fast budget constraint; they cannot deficit spend or take on debt for general operating expenses,” said Bryan Leonard of State Budget Solutions in his report, “Green Jobs Don’t Grow on Trees.”

“This means that every dollar spent by states on green job training programs, grants to green firms, or subsidies for renewable energy producers is a dollar that cannot be spent on teachers’ salaries, educational tools, or social safety nets,” he said.

“Our study showed that green programs are incredibly expensive for states who aren’t in a position to know which investment will pay off and which won’t,” said Bob Williams, president of State Budget Solutions.

President Barack Obama views solar panels during a tour of the Photovoltaic Array at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas with Sen. Harry Reid and Col. Howard Belote, base commander, May 27, 2009. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

Nevada State Office of Energy Director Stacey Crowley said she doesn’t necessarily agree with all the views of the article, but she noted that two of Leonard’s recommendations – to use Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) and allow for renewable power purchase agreements – are both being used in Nevada.

Private sector ESCOs contract to come into a client’s operation and find opportunities for energy savings, pay for the necessary renovations, and then receive some contracted portion of the resulting energy savings as compensation. Renewable power purchase agreements use private firms to install solar panels on a host’s property and the host purchases the resulting solar power at a contracted rate usually set at or below prevailing energy rates. The contracted firm bears all the cost and risk associated with the installation and maintenance of the solar equipment.

“It goes to show you that we are looking at as many options as we can to try to get projects funded in innovative ways that don’t use taxpayer money,” Crowley said. “It is a problem we need to try to address. And that is trying to get all energy projects, clean energy projects, done in a way that has the least impact on ratepayers and taxpayers as possible. So that’s a goal that I think everybody can agree on.”

The State Budge Solutions report examines each state’s green jobs statistics, including Nevada, where Leonard identified seven separate financial incentives for green jobs. Three of the seven are property tax exemptions.

Nevada also received just over $1.1 billion for “energy and environment” projects from its federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding.

Leonard said Nevada came in 11th among states for such projects, meaning there has been a lot of investment by the federal government in green jobs in the state compared to others.

Nevada has also established a goal of having 25 percent of its energy consumption coming from alternative energy by 2025.

(Source: Green Jobs Don’t Grow on Trees)

Leonard said the average number of financial incentives is eight per state, with New York leading the way with 22 different incentives.

They range from tax credits and rebates for homeowners who install renewable energy systems or purchase Energy Star appliances, to multimillion dollar grants to wind farms and green manufacturing firms.

Tax credits are tricky because they add up quickly and create less obvious budgetary problems because they do not show up in the “expense” column and instead amount to foregone revenue,” he said in his report.

In a telephone interview, Leonard said: “Under certain circumstances is probably makes sense to do things that have real economic costs because it is important. But I think that it is just a pipe dream to think that you can enact these policies that raise the cost of doing business, raise energy costs, and somehow that is going to create economic growth.

“That’s the real problem right now is that there is this whole idea of the green economy, that we can improve environmental quality by raising costs on businesses and that somehow is going to create jobs. I think that is pretty counter-intuitive.”

Leonard said Nevada is in the middle of the pack of states for both policies and outcomes.

Crowley said the costs associated with tax breaks and regulations identified in the article don’t reflect “avoided costs,” like not having to build new and expensive power plants because of energy efficiencies. Other costs are associated with EPA regulations that can be avoided by producing clean energy, she said.

Crowley also noted that the subsidies provided for oil and natural gas far outweigh those given for alternative energy projects.

A little more than one year into the job, she said: “I am sure that there is a lot of potential here. What we need to do is just balance that with the other impacts that are affected by this. We’re very sensitive to the fact that rates are high in this state and that we need to make sure we’re doing the best we can to keep them reasonable. And there isn’t a silver bullet.”

Crowley said her office is working to help ensure green energy development in Nevada is sustainable and does not suffer the fate of the state’s housing market.

Leonard said in the conclusion of his article: “Green growth proponents are convinced that if they could only offer the right subsidies, their agenda would prevail. Unfortunately, subsidies are doomed to fail because they try to make fundamentally economic decisions through the political process.

“State officials, no matter how well-informed they are, simply don’t know what demand for green products will look like or what the opportunity cost of differently technologies may be. Examples like Solyndra, Evergreen Solar, and Cascade Grains illustrate the enormous costs when the government gets it wrong. Far from being the exception, failed investments are by far the more likely result when state governments try to steer the market.”

Nevada has seen a taxpayer funded green energy product fall on tough times as well.

Amonix reported in January that it was laying off about 200 people from its solar panel manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas. Amonix received $5.9 million in federal ARRA funding to build the plant, which opened in May, 2011.


Audio clips:

Bryan Leonard of State Budget Solutions says it is a pipe dream to think policies that raise the cost of doing business will create economic growth:

031512Leonard1 :17 create economic growth.”

Leonard says such ideas are counter-intuitive:

031512Leonard2 :15 it’s pretty counter-intuitive.”

Nevada State Office of Energy Director Stacey Crowley says Nevada is pursuing some of the ideas recommended in Leonard’s report:

031512Crowley1 :15 use taxpayer money.”

Crowley says green energy projects need to be accomplished with the least impact on ratepayers and taxpayers;

031512Crowley2 :16 can agree on.”

Crowley says there is a lot of potential in Nevada but agrees there is no silver bullet:

031512Crowley3 :24 a silver bullet.”



Rep. Berkley Proposes Ban On 3rd Party TV, Radio Ads In Nevada U.S. Senate Race

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 3:47 pm March 14th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., today proposed the “Free Nevada Pact,” an agreement seeking to ban 3rd party spending on television and radio advertising for the duration of the 2012 U.S. Senate race in Nevada.

Berkley said she has made the proposal to U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., “in an attempt to free Nevada’s election from the influence of millionaires, billionaires, corporations and special interest groups on both sides of the aisle trying to buy Nevada’s Senate seat.”

Since third party groups are free to spend money on behalf of or against candidates as they see fit, Berkley has come up with a unique way to discourage them from operating in Nevada.

The agreement would require Berkley and Heller to pay a penalty equal to 60 percent of any third-party ad buy supporting their candidacies or attacking their opponents. The penalty would go to a charity of the other candidate’s choice.

It would cover any cable, satellite or over-the-air broadcast of a TV or radio advertisement funded by a third-party.

The proposal was quickly dismissed by the Heller campaign.

“Yet another sideshow in the Shelley Berkley campaign circus,” said Mike Slanker, general consultant to the campaign. “ ‘Free Nevada?’ Three quarters of her contributions come from outside Nevada. If the congresswoman is willing to send her out of state money back, we are willing to discuss her pact.”

In a letter sent to Heller, Berkley said:

“These so-called Super PACs – funded by self-interested millionaires and billionaires, massive corporations and special interest groups – are overpowering the voices of Nevada voters and damaging the democratic process that has defined the United States of America since its founding.

“I’ve enclosed a common-sense, straight forward proposed agreement that provides a powerful incentive for third party groups to stay out of Nevada’s 2012 Senate race,” Berkley said. “I’ve already signed it, and I hope you will as well.”

Berkley, who filed today for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Heller, noted that third party groups on both sides spent more than $14 million in negative ads attacking both candidates in the 2010 Nevada U.S. Senate race.



Grover Norquist Criticizes Gov. Sandoval For Plan To Extend Expiring Taxes Into Next Budget

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 1:29 pm March 14th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist has weighed in on Gov. Sandoval’s announcement Tuesday that he will extend a package of sunsetting taxes into his next budget to avoid cuts to education, sending a letter to state lawmakers urging them to oppose the idea.

The creator of the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” said in his letter today that Sandoval should contact his Republican governor colleagues for advice on how they achieved balanced budgets in 2012 without raising taxes.

Grover Norquist. / Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons.

The letter was reported by Las Vegas Sun columnist Jon Ralston.

Norquist said: “In 2011, there was one Republican governor who opted for tax increases over the difficult decisions that come with governing: Nevada’s Brian Sandoval. It’s taken him no time to double down on that approach, announcing this week that he will instruct state agencies to budget a $600 million extension of a tax increase set to expire.

“Sandoval should consider himself removed from the 2012 Veepstakes, as none of the current Republican candidates, all of whom have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, share his view that taxes are too low.”

Norquist then goes on to list the 27 Republican governors Sandoval can call on for advice on balancing a budget without raising taxes.

“They could teach him how to govern rather than raise taxes on Nevadans, as each of them did in their own states last year,” he concludes in his brief letter.

Sandoval announced yesterday a package of taxes and fees in effect for the current budget and set to expire on June 30, 2013, will be continued in his next budget to offset further cuts in education.

“Again, my baseline is this: I’m not going to cut education, and that includes K-12 and higher ed. I am not going to reduce services for the most vulnerable people in our society,” he said in announcing his plans to continue the taxes, which include a higher business tax for large firms and a slight increase in the sales tax.

It is hard to say yet how the Legislature will respond to his proposal when it reconvenes next February.

But Sandoval’s announcement has already won support from Senate Republicans, including some who opposed the tax package extension in the 2011 legislative session.

Senate Democrats have called the proposal an inadequate, short-term response to the state’s budget problems.

Nevada Secretary Of State Removes Candidate Nicknames From Website, Won’t Appear On Ballot

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 5:44 pm March 13th, 2012

CARSON CITY – In the world of Nevada politics, not all nicknames are equal.

Secretary of State Ross Miller’s Elections Division has notified two Nevada candidates who filed for public office in the 2012 elections that their nicknames were removed from the Secretary of State’s website because they indicate a political or social view or affiliation in violation of Nevada Revised Statutes.

Nancy “Occupy” Price, who filed as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate; and Eddie “WarNoMo” Hamilton, who filed as a Republican for the same office, were also notified that the nicknames will not appear on the election ballot. According to Nevada Revised Statute 293.2565, “A nickname must not indicate any political, economic, social or religious view or affiliation.”

Both candidates were informed by telephone message. Hamilton has since acknowledged the action, and Price has yet to respond.

Richard “Old Rick” Riendeau, who filed as a candidate for the nonpartisan Board of Regents District 9 seat, apparently has not violated the statute. His nickname remains.

Gov. Sandoval Will Extend Sunsetting Taxes Into Next Two-Year Budget To Avoid Education Cuts

By Sean Whaley | 2:17 pm March 13th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Gov. Brian Sandoval said today he will propose to extend a package of taxes now set to expire in June 2013 into the next budget to avoid further cuts to education, which he said cannot withstand further reductions.

To maintain a basically flat spending plan for the two-year budget that will begin on July 1, 2013, Sandoval said the modified business tax that was maintained at a higher rate for large businesses in the 2011 legislative session, along with a small increase in the sales tax, must be continued.

Gov. Brian Sandoval. / Nevada News Bureau file photo.

The 2011 tax package also eliminated the business tax for 115,000 small Nevada businesses which would continue into the next budget as well.

“We’re going to keep them,” Sandoval said of the sunsetting taxes. “Again, my baseline is this: I’m not going to cut education, and that includes K-12 and higher ed. I am not going to reduce services for the most vulnerable people in our society.

“I’m not going to pit kindergartners against senior citizens,” he said. “I’m not going to pit higher ed students against people that need essential services.”

This preliminary recommendation for beginning the budget process for the 2013 legislative session could be modified as the state’s fiscal picture becomes clearer in the coming months, Sandoval said.

“We’re going to be having many conversations between now and when the final budget is presented to the Legislature,” he said. “I believe at this point in time, which is very early, it is the responsible thing to do for the future of the state of Nevada.”

Sandoval said an expanding Medicaid caseload, along with costs associated with the expansion of the program under the federal health care law, will consume any revenue increases. Because of this, failing to include the sunsetting taxes for budget planning purposes would mean cuts to education.

“In addition to avoiding further cuts to education, this decision means there will be no need for tax increases in the next session,” Sandoval said. “Nevadans will pay no more than they are in the current biennium. The budget building process remains ongoing, but we must begin today.”

Efforts are under way to circulate petitions to put possible tax increases before the voters, including measures that could lead to hikes in both mining and gaming taxes. A gross margin tax on business is also being considered by labor groups and teachers but no ballot measure has been filed yet.

Sandoval made the announcement to the capitol press corps after a meeting of the Board of Examiners. He said his intention with the announcement is to be transparent.

Sandoval strongly opposed continuing the tax increases approved by the 2009 legislature in the 2011 session, but ultimately agreed to do so after a Nevada Supreme Court ruling threw his proposed budget into financial disarray.

The 2013-15 budget planning process begins Thursday with a briefing by state Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp to state agencies and representatives of public and higher education.

Today’s announcement was immediately welcomed by some Republican lawmakers.

Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, who is expected to lead the Republican Senate caucus in the 2013 legislative session, said he supports Sandoval’s preliminary budget instructions.

“I support Gov. Sandoval and his budget instructions that will not impose new taxes on the people of Nevada,” Roberson said. “I will continue to lead the fight against new tax increases while working with Gov. Sandoval to improve public education. I will not support additional cuts to public education.”

Roberson opposed extending the sunsetting taxes in the 2011 session, arguing that the Nevada Supreme Court ruling did not create the huge financial hole in the budget that others had suggested.

“Gov. Sandoval has outlined a prudent and fiscally responsible preliminary budget framework,” Roberson said.  “I am grateful for his tremendous leadership. I will stand with him and support him.”

Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, announced his support for Sandoval’s proposal via Twitter.

“I applaud the decision by Gov. Sandoval to do what is necessary to protect education from cuts,” he said, adding that what that means in the 2013 session is yet to be determined.

Nevada Senate Democrats issued a statement saying they “applaud” the change of position by Sandoval and Republican lawmakers but that the proposal is an insufficient short-term fix.

“What we need are long-term solutions to resolving our budget problems, not postponing them for another 2 years,” said Sen. Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas. “We must address tax fairness for middle class families, cut wasteful spending in our government, and provide Nevada business with an educated workforce that can help compete in the national and global marketplace.

“In order to diversify our economy and attract new businesses and industry to Nevada, we must show them we are serious about investing in a well educated workforce,” he said. “We can’t do that if education funding remains stagnant.”

Geoffrey Lawrence, deputy policy director at the Nevada Policy Research Institute, criticized Sandoval’s announcement in a statement:

“Taxpayers lose again with Gov. Brian Sandoval’s decision to propose extending the so-called ‘sunset’ taxes,” he said. “This demonstrates, once again, the danger behind the concept of a ‘temporary’ tax increase. Once bureaucracy becomes dependent on that additional revenue to sustain itself, the tax increase rarely goes away.

“In 2010, Gov. Sandoval stated that raising taxes is ‘the worst possible thing you can do’ after a recession,” Lawrence said. “His statement is as correct today as it was then – raising taxes on job creators is exactly the wrong thing to do in the aftermath of a recession.”

Sandoval said the spending will also be prepared using the new approach of performance-based budgeting.


Audio clips:

Gov. Brian Sandoval says he will keep the sunsetting taxes in his budget to avoid cuts to education:

031312Sandoval1 :14 in our society.”

Sandoval says he won’t pit kindergarteners against senior citizens:

031312Sandoval2 :12 need essential services.”

Sandoval says at this point in time it is the responsible thing to do:

031312Sandoval3 :12 state of Nevada.”


Gov. Sandoval Says Nevada Does Not Want Nuclear Waste, But New Poll Shows Support For Research Facility

By Sean Whaley | 3:15 pm March 12th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Gov. Brian Sandoval sent a letter to U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu today making it clear that he does not support any type of nuclear waste disposal or interim storage at Yucca Mountain.

“There should be no uncertainty or misunderstanding of my position with regard to an interim spent fuel storage site or repository site in Nevada; the state of Nevada does not support the location of any such site within the state and will oppose any attempt to either resurrect the defunct Yucca Mountain project or locate an interim storage facility at Yucca or elsewhere in Nevada,” Sandoval said.

Aerial view of the crest of Yucca Mountain / U.S. Department of Energy photo.

“While I am cognizant of the letter sent to you last week from Nye County expressing support for a Yucca Mountain repository, Nye County does not and cannot speak for the state of Nevada,” he said.

Sandoval’s letter is in response to DOE’s plan to conduct a review of the recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future released earlier this year. Those recommendations include a “consent-based” approach to addressing the country’s high level radioactive waste disposal challenge that would require agreement from a potential host state before a disposal facility could be built.

Sandoval’s letter comes just as a new poll commissioned by Nevadans 4 Carbon Free Energy shows support for Yucca Mountain as a research park for the study of reprocessing nuclear spent fuel.

The poll of 500 likely Nevada voters, taken in late February by Public Opinion Strategies, showed 62 percent in support of the research park versus 34 percent who said Yucca Mountain should be closed entirely.

The question posed was whether respondents would prefer to: “Open Yucca Mountain for the study and potential reprocessing of nuclear waste into usable energy because of the jobs and money such a project would bring to the state . . .”

Or: “Close Yucca Mountain altogether to help protect Nevada’s environment.”

“UNR, UNLV, and many national labs around the country are conducting research on how to utilize innovative technologies now available to reprocess spent fuel, so bringing them all together to develop the best technology for commercial reprocessing makes sense,” said Gene Humphrey, the head of Nevadans 4 Carbon Free Energy (NV4CFE), a non-profit organization that supports building the research park. “Since several national laboratories are already doing work at the Nevada Test Site, it seems like the logical location to continue the legacy of nuclear exploration. But this project could generate a new form of clean energy, establish new export industries and create thousands of jobs for Nevadans.”

Recently Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., said Yucca Mountain is not dead because members of Congress bring it up on a regular basis.

A statement on Amodei’s congressional website says in part: “Let me be clear, I do not believe Yucca Mountain should become a simple dumping site for the nation’s nuclear waste. I believe the Administration and Department of Energy (DOE) should keep funding for the project, while Congress works with the DOE to make the location a bastion of nuclear research and reprocessing.”

Gov. Brian Sandoval Names James Guthrie Of The George W. Bush Institute As New State School Chief

By Sean Whaley | 1:57 pm March 12th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Gov. Brian Sandoval today named James Guthrie, currently the senior fellow and director of education policy studies at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, Texas, as Nevada’s new public schools chief.

Guthrie, who will be based in Las Vegas, will begin his job as state superintendent of public instruction on April. 2. He succeeds current Superintendent Keith Rheault, who is retiring.

Sandoval selected Guthrie from three names forwarded to him by the state Board of Education. The board interviewed five candidates last month. Guthrie received unanimous support from the board.

James Guthrie.

Sandoval’s appointment of Guthrie is a first for a Nevada governor. The state board had made the superintendent appointments until the law was changed by the 2011 Legislature as part of an education reform package sought by Sandoval.

“After the passage of education reform in the last legislative session, for Nevada to have access to a figure with a national reputation is the perfect next step,” Sandoval said. “I am honored and thrilled Dr. Guthrie has agreed to help lead Nevada as we continue strengthening education in our great state.”

In a phone interview today, Guthrie said he decided to seek the position in part because of a belief that Nevada is on the brink of significant success in the public education arena.

“There are many hopeful signs in the state, not least of which is . . .  we have two of the nation’s best superintendents and we may have more than that,” he said. “I just only know Heath Morrison in Washoe and Dwight Jones in Clark, I don’t know the other 15. But in those two, virtually any big district in the nation would be delighted to have either one of them and we have both.”

Morrison was recently named superintendent of the year.

The 2011 legislative session also made a number of positive moves in education reform that Guthrie said he is impressed with. Guthrie said he is also impressed with Sandoval and is looking forward to working with him on education reform efforts.

Guthrie said his first task will be to familiarize himself with Nevada and its public education system, although he has worked in the past for the Nevada Legislature and has made extensive visits to the state.

Guthrie said he also has experience in the political realm, which will be important as he works with the governor and state lawmakers in the 2013 legislative session.

“I’ve worked for a number of legislatures, I’ve worked in the White House, I’ve testified before Congress,” he said. “I can’t say that I know all that I need to know but I have done it before.”

Prior to his position with the George W. Bush Presidential Center, Guthrie served as a professor of education policy and leadership at the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education at Southern Methodist University.

Guthrie has a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in physical anthropology, a master’s degree from Stanford in educational administration and earned his Ph.D. in educational administration from Stanford.

Guthrie has completed two postdoctoral fellowships, one at Harvard University in economics and education and one at Oxford Brooks College in Oxford, UK.

From 1999 to 2009, Guthrie served as the director of the Peabody Center for Education Policy at Vanderbilt University and as editor of the Peabody Journal of Education as well as the Peabody Education Leadership Series. From 1982 to 1983, Guthrie was the dean of the School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. After serving as a professor in the graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley, Guthrie was an education specialist in the U.S. Senate.

A published author, Guthrie has served at least 25 state governments and worked with international organizations such as The World Bank and the Organization of American States (OAS).

The state superintendent position pays about $121,785 a year plus benefits.


Audio clips:

James Guthrie says there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about Nevada’s public education system:

031212Guthrie1 :28 we have both.”

Guthrie says he has experience in dealing with legislators:

031212Guthrie2 :13 done it before.”


Nevada’s Unemployment Rate Falls To 12.7 Percent In January But Jobs Picture Remains Mixed

By Sean Whaley | 12:28 pm March 12th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s jobless rate fell from a revised 13 percent in December to 12.7 percent in January, down from 13.8 percent a year ago and a peak of 14 percent in October 2010. The number of unemployed Nevadans remained relatively flat at 174,700, but is down 16,300 from the same month last year.

“Nevada continues to show signs of economic recovery, with slow but steady growth in many important areas” Gov. Brian Sandoval said in commenting on the report released by the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR). “I continue to be encouraged by the job creation in key sectors as we work to meet the challenge of creating 50,000 jobs by the end of 2014.”

The improvement in January is based on a revised unemployment rate of 13 percent in December. The rate was initially reported as 12.6 percent when the December rate was announced in January. The rate is seasonally adjusted.

The construction industry remains sluggish in Nevada. / Photo from the National Archives and Records Administration via Wikimedia Commons.

The report shows that changes in the unemployment rates in the state’s urban areas were mixed in January. In Las Vegas, the unemployment rate declined from 13.3 percent in December to 13.1 percent. Over-the-year, the rate is down by 1.3 percentage points.

In the state’s northern metro areas, the unemployment rate increased by six-tenths to 13 percent in the Reno-Sparks area and by seven-tenths to 13.5 percent in Carson City. Reno’s unemployment rate is down by 1.2 percentage points from the previous year and Carson City’s is down by one percentage point. The unemployment rate in the Elko area increased from 6.4 percent to 7.3 in January and is down three-tenths from the previous year.

“Employers added a seasonally adjusted 1,800 payroll jobs,” said Bill Anderson, chief economist for DETR. “It marks the 12th time in the past 13 months that employment has grown on a year-over-year basis. Nevada’s labor markets continued on a path of moderate improvement in January, but Nevada’s unemployment rate is 4.4 percentage points higher than the nation’s 8.3 percent.”

A broader measure of unemployment, which includes partially unemployed and discouraged workers, declined to 22.7 percent on average in 2011, down six-tenths of a percentage point from its previous reading.

“With the addition of 1,800 jobs in January, employment levels are up by 9,000 compared to a year ago, a 0.8 percent increase,” Anderson said. “Private sector employment continues to lead the way. Non-government employers added over 2,000 jobs in January, with the largest employment gains occurring in construction (+1,400), professional and business services (+1,000), and leisure and hospitality (+400).

“Although construction gained employment in January, year-over-year employment has been consistently negative for the past 63 months, or since November 2006,” he said. “On an over the year basis, construction is down 4,800 jobs or 8.1 percent.”

Anderson said many of Nevada’s important economic indicators continue to move into positive territory, hitting levels not seen since the start of the recession in December 2007.

He noted that taxable sales are up seven percent, marking its largest gain since 2005. Gaming win is up 3.7 percent, for its best showing since 2006. Las Vegas visitor volume is up 4.3 percent for all of 2011, marking its strongest gain in seven years.


Audio clips:

Bill Anderson with DETR says Nevada’s economic indicators are improving:

031212Anderson1 :31 trend right now.”

Anderson says signs of modest improvement began in late 2011:

031212Anderson2 :24 the jobless rate.”




Democrat State Sen. John Lee Calls For Legislative Commission Vote On Laughlin Incorporation

By Sean Whaley | 3:46 pm March 9th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Nevada state Sen. John Lee, D-North Las Vegas, has added his voice to the chorus asking the Legislative Commission to take up the issue of whether the residents of Laughlin should have a chance to vote on incorporation.

In his letter sent to the Legislative Commission this week, Lee also said he supports the right of Laughlin residents to vote on the question in June.

In the letter, Lee said the panel is legally obligated to make a determination as to whether the incorporation of Laughlin is fiscally feasible.

State Sen. John Lee, D-North Las Vegas.

“As you undertake your statutory mandate I urge you to respect the will of the people of Laughlin and give them the right to vote on incorporation, he said. “Smaller communities than Laughlin has become thriving cities and Laughlin should be given the right to decide their own future.”

Lee said today Laughlin is much larger in population than Mesquite, the last city to incorporate in Nevada in 1984. Mesquite had about 1,200 residents when it incorporated, while Laughlin’s population is about 7,500.

“I feel they have every right to pick up their flag and charge forward,” he said. “They’ve jumped through all the hurdles, and even if they get a vote to incorporate, if they financially cannot do it they just won’t be able to. But at least this moves it forward to give these patriots down there a chance to build their own community.”

Lee’s letter comes a few days after the three Republican state senators who serve on the Legislative Commission sent a letter to commission Chairman Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, asking that the panel take up the issue.

“Since the Legislative Commission failed to take action on this matter at the last meeting this would mean that the citizens of the city of Laughlin will not be able to weigh in on this matter in the upcoming election. A meeting should be scheduled as soon as possible so the citizens are not denied that right,” said the letter from Sens. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, Don Gustavson, R-Sparks, and James Settelmeyer, R-Gardnerville.

The Laughlin incorporation question was on a Feb. 15 agenda of the commission but Horsford did not allow a vote to be held.

The question then went to the Clark County Commission, which found in a unanimous vote that incorporation was not financially feasible for the community.

The Legislative Commission now needs to act within the next couple of weeks on the issue or Laughlin residents will not have a chance to vote on the matter in June.

Senate Bill 262 sponsored by Sen. Joe Hardy, R-Boulder City, was heard by the Senate Government Affairs Committee in the 2011 session. Lee is chairman of the committee and said he has an obligation to follow up on legislation passed by his committee.

There was a suggestion by Hardy that the Laughlin question was tied to getting GOP support for a completely separate issue involving a regulation sought by Secretary of State Ross Miller to allow him to assess a $200 annual fee on many home-based businesses that was also in front of the Legislative Commission on Feb. 15.

An official close to Senate Democrats denied there was any link.

But the issue is moot with Thursday’s approval of the Miller regulation by the Legislative Commission’s Subcommittee to Review Regulations. The panel voted 4-2 on party lines to approve the regulation, which will now take effect.

Dave Floodman, president of the nonprofit Laughlin Economic Development Corporation, said in an interview earlier this week that there was bipartisan support in the Nevada Legislature in 2011 to allow consideration of the incorporation question. SB262 passed unanimously in the Assembly and by a 16-5 vote in the Senate.

While a feasibility study of the incorporation prepared by the Nevada Department of Taxation found incorporation was not feasible, a separate study by a reputable California company and commissioned by his group found that it would be feasible, he said.

The two reviews differed on the cost of providing police and fire protection, Floodman said.

“Our position is that the two different scenarios should be decided by the people in Laughlin,” he said.


Audio clips:

Sen. John Lee says Laughlin residents should have the chance to vote on incorporation:

030912Lee1 :16 when it incorporated.”

Lee says a vote will give residents a chance to build their own community:

030912Lee2 :18 their own community.”


Regulation Requiring Many Home-Based Businesses To Pay Business License Fee Approved By Legislative Panel

By Sean Whaley | 5:47 pm March 8th, 2012

CARSON CITY – A regulation requiring thousands of home-based businesses to pay a $200 annual fee won approval today from a legislative panel.

Secretary of State Ross Miller has been trying to get the regulation approved for several months, but has seen the regulation stymied by strong opposition from some Nevada residents and Republican lawmakers who argued the regulation exceeded his authority.

The regulation affects home-based businesses operating as limited liability companies and corporations that earn less than $27,000. It does not apply to individuals operating businesses out of their homes.

Secretary of State Ross Miller.

The Legislative Commission’s Subcommittee to Review Regulations, made up of four Democrats and two Republicans, approved the regulation on a party-line vote. The same subcommittee deferred action on the regulation in December, sending it to the full 12-member Legislative Commission for action.

That panel, made up of an equal number of Republicans and Democrats, failed to act on the proposed rule at a meeting on Feb. 15.

The subcommittee took up the regulation again today. The approval means the regulation can now take effect.

Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, a member of the subcommittee, asked how Miller could be given the authority to collect the fee from a new class of businesses since there is no clear legislative authority to do so.

State Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas.

“That’s been my argument, that we are now forcing home-based businesses, including people who sell Tupperware or whatever product or service, even though they don’t open their home up to the public; they now have to make the difficult choice of waiving the legal protection of our LLC statute or facing this tax increase,” Roberson said. “And I do not think this is the time in our economy in this state to be doing that, and putting those smallest home-based businesses in that difficult position.”

Roberson said the panel should request an official written opinion from Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto on the issue before taking a vote.

But Assemblywoman Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, said lawmakers rely on their own legal counsel and that she was comfortable with the advice from Legislative Counsel Brenda Erdoes that the approval of the regulation on a simple majority vote was proper.

Erdoes said the panel did not have the authority to request such an opinion from the attorney general.

Roberson then asked Miller to request the legal opinion, saying there appeared to be confusion as to what the attorney general’s office position is on the issue.

The regulation will require home-based businesses that are on file with Miller’s office as limited liability companies and corporations to pay the business license fee. The companies had previously paid the fee, but an interpretation provided to Miller’s office by a deputy attorney general in 2009 had exempted them from paying the fee. Miller said that interpretation was a mistake.

The action by the legislative subcommittee was condemned by the group Nevada Families/Eagle Forum.

“This regulation is taxation by regulation,” said Janine Hansen, in a statement on behalf of the organizations. “The process violates the Nevada Constitution which requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to impose a tax, and it violates the separation of powers.”

“It is appalling that Ross Miller would seek to impose, by regulation, what he could not get through the Legislature,” Hansen said.

She was referring to Assembly Bill 78, which was approved by the Legislature in the 2011 session but never made it to Gov. Brian Sandoval for his signature.

Erdoes told the subcommittee that there was no two-thirds vote requirement to approve the regulation. The two-thirds requirement applies to the Legislature, not the subcommittee, she said.

Erdoes said a bill passed in the 2009 session, approved with a two-thirds majority, gave Miller’s office the authority to adopt regulations needed to collect the fee. The failure of AB78 to win approval in 2011 has no effect on the regulation, she said.

Following the vote, Miller said: “My office will be enforcing the home-based business exemption in accordance with the original intent of the Legislature, which will level the playing field for the many businesses that have been compliant and paying the appropriate fees.”

The regulation clarifies that the home-based business exemption applies only to natural persons, i.e. sole proprietors or general partnerships who meet the requirements of the exemption.


Audio clip:

Sen. Michael Roberson says it is the wrong time for Nevada’s economy to impose the $200 annual fee on a new class of businesses:

030812Roberson1 :29 that difficult position.”


Chinese New Year Brings Huge Win To Nevada Gaming Industry In January

By Sean Whaley | 1:53 pm March 8th, 2012

CARSON CITY – It was the month the Nevada gaming industry and state political leaders were waiting for: the casino industry won more than $1 billion from gamblers in January, a double-digit rise fueled by a nearly 30 percent increase on the Las Vegas Strip.

The reason:  The Chinese New Year came in January instead of February this year. The celebration, which brings high rollers into Nevada’s casinos, ran from Jan. 23 to 29.

Photo by Mai-Linh Đoàn via Wikimedia Commons.

Nevada casinos brought in $1.04 billion in January compared to January 2011, an 18.4 percent increase even though much of the northern part of the state posted negative numbers, the state Gaming Control Board reported today.

“This is the first time the state has recorded $1 billion in win since September of 2008,” said Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for the control board. “That’s four consecutive increases the state has experienced, that’s the first time since April through July of 2007. Also, the Southern Nevada markets, every market was in positive territory. That hasn’t happened since September of 2007.”

A big part of the reason was a huge win from baccarat play on the Las Vegas Strip. The card game played by high rollers brought in nearly $195 million for an impressive 199 percent increase over January 2011. The baccarat win was the second largest ever recorded in the state.

The total gaming win on the Strip was $623.5 million, a 29.2 percent increase over January 2011.

Downtown Las Vegas saw a 13.7 percent increase, North Las Vegas was up 15.6 percent and Laughlin saw a 6.3 percent jump in January.

The big driver in the statewide increase was in game and table win, which brought in $435 million, an increase of 50.1 percent, Lawton said. That is the third largest statewide win from games and tables, which includes baccarat, for any month, he said.

“The bottom line the state won $1 billion in gaming revenue and that hasn’t happened since September 2008 so it was a very, very good month,” Lawton said.

The expectation is that the February gaming numbers will be strong as well and may show an increase over February 2011 even without the Chinese New Year celebration, he said. The February numbers will be driven in large part by the Super Bowl.

The story was different in Washoe County, which saw an overall gaming win of $53.7 million for a 6.2 percent decline over January 2011. Reno was down by 8.6 percent and Sparks was off by 0.4 percent. The Carson Valley area, which includes the capital, was down 3.7 percent.

Lawton said operators indicated that the weather was almost too nice in January, allowing people who might come to the casinos to play golf or pursue other activities instead.

Gaming  tax collections, which the state relies heavily on to fund services, did not track with the overall gaming win but Lawton said that is due to credit extended to gamblers in January.

Gaming taxes collected from the win amount actually declined in January 2012 over the prior year by 16.5 percent, bringing in $57.4 million. For Fiscal Year 2012 through January, tax collections are 2 percent below the prior year.

But Lawton said the low tax collection numbers will improve significantly in February, when the credit extended by casinos to high rollers is collected.


Audio clips:

Gaming control board analyst Michael Lawton says January is the first $1 billion win since September of 2008:

030812Lawton1 :23 September of 2007.”

Lawton says the bottom line is January was a very good month:

030812Lawton2 :09 very good month.”

Lawton says game and table win, with baccarat, drove the numbers:

030812Lawton3 :12 or $129.7 million.”

Lawton says February 2012 could show an increase even without the Chinese New Year festivities:

030812Lawton4 :19 to last February.”


Trio Of GOP Lawmakers Ask Democrat Sen. Steven Horsford To Allow Vote On Laughlin Incorporation

By Sean Whaley | 6:14 pm March 7th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Three Republican state senators, all members of the Legislative Commission, have asked Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, to call a meeting of the panel as soon as possible to vote on the feasibility of the incorporation of Laughlin.

In a letter dated Feb. 28, Sens. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, Don Gustavson, R-Sparks, and James Settelmeyer, R-Gardnerville, asked Horsford to allow a vote of the commission on whether the residents of Laughlin should be able to vote in June on whether to become Nevada’s newest city.

Consideration of the determination of feasibility of incorporation for Laughlin had been scheduled for a Feb. 15 meeting of the commission, but Horsford, who is also serving as chairman of the 12-member panel, tabled the issue. The commission is comprised of six state senators, three of each party, and six members of the Assembly, again divided equally between Republicans and Democrats.

A favorable vote from the commission would pave the way for a vote by Laughlin residents on their future.

Laughlin. / Photo by Stan Shebs via Wikimedia Commons.

“The Senate Republicans on the Legislative Commission request a meeting of the Legislative Commission be scheduled, to vote on the City of Laughlin issue,” the letter said. “Recently the Clark County commissioners voted to not put the city of Laughlin incorporation on the ballot.

“Since the Legislative Commission failed to take action on this matter at the last meeting this would mean that the citizens of the city of Laughlin will not be able to weigh in on this matter in the upcoming election. A meeting should be scheduled as soon as possible so the citizens are not denied that right.

“Furthermore section 4 of Senate Bill 262 (Chapter 481, Statutes of Nevada 2011) states that the Legislative Commission shall review the report and make a determination. The commission has failed in that respect and is in violation of the Statutes of Nevada,” the brief letter said in conclusion.

The vote needs to come within about two weeks or Laughlin residents will not have the chance to vote on the incorporation question this year.

The Legislative Commission is scheduled to meet March 15 but an agenda has not yet been finalized for the meeting.

Concerns have been raised by at least one Republican lawmaker that the Laughlin incorporation issue has been held up by Democrats as part of a deal to get a separate regulation sought by Secretary of State Ross Miller approved. Miller, a Democrat, has been thwarted in his efforts to get a regulation approved that would allow his office to collect a $200 business license fee from companies that claim they are exempt from the assessment.

Republicans have opposed the regulation, arguing the issue should  be considered by the full Legislature in 2013.

The Legislative Commission’s Subcommittee to Review Regulations is scheduled to meet Thursday to consider the business license fee collection regulation. The subcommittee is comprised of four Democrats and only two Republicans. If the regulation is approved at the subcommittee meeting, it will take effect without needing a vote from the full commission.

Sen. Joe Hardy, R-Boulder City, who sought the bill in the 2011 legislative session allowing for Laughlin to vote on incorporation, suggested a link between the two distinct issues in a story published Feb. 26 in the Mohave Daily News. Hardy was quoted as saying Democrats wanted GOP support for Miller’s regulation in exchange for a vote on the Laughlin incorporation issue.

Hardy said today there is a perception by some lawmakers that the two issues are linked.

“I think they were emotionally linked, if nothing else,” he said. “And the legislative process is certainly not a bland process.”

An individual close to the Senate Democrat Caucus rejected the notion that the two issues are linked, saying Hardy’s comments are conjecture only. The individual, who spoke on background, said the claim is “absolutely false.”

When the Legislative Commission did not vote on the incorporation issue, it went to the Clark County Commission, comprised of all Democrats, who voted unanimously Feb. 21 that incorporation was not feasible for the community 100 miles south of Las Vegas.

Dave Floodman, president of the nonprofit Laughlin Economic Development Corporation, said today that there was bipartisan support in the Nevada Legislature in 2011 to allow consideration of the incorporation question. SB262 passed unanimously in the Assembly and by a 16-5 vote in the Senate.

While a feasibility study of the incorporation prepared by the Nevada Department of Taxation found incorporation was not feasible, a separate study by a reputable California company and commissioned by his group found that it would be feasible, he said.

The two reviews differed on the cost of providing police and fire protection, Floodman said.

“Our position is that the two different scenarios should be decided by the people in Laughlin,” he said.

Hardy said he believes incorporation is viable and that Laughlin residents should have the chance to vote on their future.

“Myself, I think it is fiscally feasible and I think that the citizens of Laughlin deserve to have the right to have that presented to them in such a way that they say, ‘we want to have this level of service and pay this much money in taxes’ and present it that way and say, OK, we want it or we don’t,” he said. “And that is what this is about.”


Audio clips:

Sen. Joe Hardy says the proposed Ross Miller regulation and the Laughlin incorporation issue are emotionally linked at a minimum:

030712Hardy3 :16 a bland process.”

Hardy says he believes incorporation is viable and that Laughlin residents should have the right to vote on the issue:

030712Hardy2 :34 this is about.”


National Pro-Life PAC Endorses GOP State Sen. Barbara Cegavske In 4th Congressional District Race

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 1:38 pm March 7th, 2012

CARSON CITY – The Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund, a national pro-life political action committee, announced today it is endorsing GOP state Sen. Barbara Cegavske, R-Las Vegas, in Nevada’s 4th Congressional District race.

“In the inaugural election as a new U.S. Congressional District, the people of Nevada’s 4th District deserve the leadership of a strong pro-life woman, and Barbara Cegavske is that leader,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “We are seeing a trend of women who are eager to stand up against the radical pro-abortion views of President Obama in Washington.

“Nevada and all Americans deserve the feminine pro-life leadership that Nevada State Senator Barbara Cegavske will bring in 2012, and we are proud to endorse her,” she said.

A number of Republicans are expected to file to run for the new seat, created as a result of Nevada’s population growth as determined by the 2010 U.S. census. The district covers portions of Clark County and rural Nevada.

Republican Danny Tarkanian filed for the seat on Monday.

Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, is expected to be the Democrat candidate in the race.

The district has 266,552 active voters, including 118,509 Democrats, 92,391 Republicans and 41,227 nonpartisans.

Cegavske began her political career by successfully running for a seat in the Nevada Assembly in 1996. Six years later, Cegavske was elected as a state Senator where she has served for three terms. She is in the middle of her final four-year term in the Senate.

She was endorsed by the leading state pro-life group, Nevada Concerned Citizens, during her 2002, 2006 and 2010 state Senate races. The Republican primary will be held on June 12 and the nominee is expected to face Horsford in the general election in November.

During the 2010 election cycle, SBA List spent $11 million and was involved in 90 races, 62 of which resulted in victories. Successes included: defeating 15 of 20 so-called “pro-life” Democrats who voted for abortion funding in the health care reform bill, increasing the number of pro-life women in the House of Representatives by 70 percent, filling the void of pro-life women in the U.S. Senate, and increasing the number of pro-life women governors from one to four.

The Susan B. Anthony List is a nationwide network of more than 365,000 Americans dedicated to mobilizing, advancing, and representing pro-life women in politics.  Its connected Candidate Fund increases the percentage of pro-life women in the political process.