Posts Tagged ‘Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick’

Nevada Lawmaker Seeks Bill To Implement ‘Buy American’ Preference For Public Works Projects

By Sean Whaley | 2:39 pm August 27th, 2012

CARSON CITY – A state lawmaker has requested a bill be drafted to implement a “Buy American Act” in Nevada for public works projects.

Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas, said today that details will have to be worked out in the 2013 legislative session, but the idea is to create some level of preference for bidders on state government construction projects who use American made products and materials.

“There is some model legislation out there and it’s worth having the conversation,” she said. “There are two or three different ways of doing it and our legal staff is looking at the best option.”

Courtesy of the United States Commercial Service.

Carlton said she heard a brief presentation on the concept at a recent National Conference of State Legislatures meeting in Chicago.

If creating a Buy American law in Nevada helps grow jobs around the country, then the state’s tourism-dependent economy will benefit, she said.

Any such proposal will have to be evaluated in light of other laws relating to bidder preferences already on the books in Nevada, including Assembly Bill 144 of the 2011 session providing a preference for companies hiring Nevadans and purchasing materials in Nevada, among other provisions. The “Nevada Jobs First,” bill was sought by Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas, and took effect in April last year.

At least two other states have considered but rejected Buy American measures.

The Colorado Legislature earlier this year considered a measure which would have provided a 1 percent bidding preference to state contractors that bought materials for their projects domestically.

The Denver Business Journal reported in April that the measure was opposed by business groups and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade out of concerns it would add to the cost of state projects and could hurt relations with foreign countries that might consider laws that would hurt Colorado’s exports.

The Nebraska Legislature also considered but did not pass a Buy American measure. The proposal included exceptions if the materials were not produced in the U.S. in sufficient quantities or quality; if the use of American products increased the cost of a contract by more than 10 percent; or if application of the requirement was found not to be in the public interest.

The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), a partnership formed in 2007 by some of America’s leading manufacturers and the United Steelworkers, testified in support of the Nebraska proposal.

“AAM supports the passage of a strong Buy America provision into state law to ensure that Nebraska tax dollars create jobs in the United States and are not needlessly directed to support production in China and other foreign factories,” said AAM Deputy Director Scott Boos in testimony in October 2011.

At the federal level, the Buy American Act dates to 1933. The provisions were expanded in the 1940s to apply to defense spending. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan signed into law an expansion of Buy America provisions for highway and transit projects that are funded by federal grants.


Legislative Commission OKs Laughlin Incorporation Vote But Lawmakers Could Reject Cityhood In 2013

By Sean Whaley | 3:42 pm March 29th, 2012

CARSON CITY – The Legislative Commission voted today to let the residents of Laughlin decide in June on whether they will become Nevada’s next incorporated city.

The 10-2 vote by the panel imposed several conditions, however, including a review by the 2013 Legislature that could delay any incorporation from the July 1, 2013 target date or overrule a favorable vote entirely if it determines it is not financially feasible. Two studies have presented conflicting data on whether it would be financially feasible for the town of about 7,500 on the Colorado River to become a city.

Laughlin. / Photo by Stan Shebs via Wikimedia Commons.

Laughlin is much larger in population than Mesquite, the last city to incorporate in Southern Nevada, in 1984. Mesquite had about 1,200 residents when it incorporated.

The last city to incorporate in Nevada was Fernley, east of Reno, in 2001.

The vote for moving the process forward was 10-2, with Assemblyman Marcus Conklin, D-Las Vegas, and Assemblywoman Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, voting no.

The additional conditions were included to ensure there would be enough votes on the 12-member commission, comprised of six Republicans and six Democrats, to support moving the incorporation process forward.

Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas, said during a discussion of the issue that it was the only way she would support a vote in Laughlin on incorporation.

“I don’t know why for once we can’t do something in a bipartisan manner to help the process move along but yet have a fallback so that we can put that horse back in the gate,” she said.

Sen. John Lee, D-North Las Vegas, who heard the Laughlin incorporation bill in his Government Affairs Committee in the 2011 session and supports giving residents the chance to vote on the issue, said the additional protections would allow the vote to go forward. He presented them to the commission as a way to gain support for a vote by Laughlin residents.

“I think it’s going to be one of the more remarkable pieces of legislation for the whole state of Nevada,” he said in testifying before the panel. “But if it doesn’t work this will fall under its own weight, and it’s just the way it’s going to be. And you and I will decertify this community.”

The commission also wants voters to know that there is the potential for their taxes to rise if incorporation moves forward, and so sought to have the pro and con arguments that will be published with the ballot language include that information. The ballot information would also be published in the newspaper to ensure transparency.

Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, said Laughlin residents are likely already aware of the potential tax implications of incorporation.

“I get the idea, although I don’t necessarily agree with it; I understand the concerns that we need to publish so that the folks in Laughlin understand this may require a tax increase,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, who also serves as chairman of the commission, said the panel has a fiduciary duty to ensure incorporation is feasible because if a city fails, the financial consequences could be borne by the state as a whole.

The conditions will tighten the process and provide greater guarantees to the public and the state, he said.


Audio clips:

Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick said the additional requirements would ensure transparency and gain lawmaker support for a Laughlin vote:

032912Kirkpatrick :12 in the gate.”

Sen. John Lee said the 2013 Legislature will decertify a Laughlin incorporation if necessary:

032912Lee :15 decertify this community.”

Sen. Michael Roberson said Laughlin residents already know their taxes could go up under incorporation:

032912Roberson :15 aware of that.”

Sen. Steven Horsford said lawmakers have a fiduciary responsibility to make sure Laughlin can succeed as a city:

032912Horsford :21 those local governments.”