There’s a handy term floating around Carson City: Veto-bait.
Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, used the phrase earlier this session to describe a Democratic bill, and it’s the best fate possible for Democrats’ far-left proposals.
At the beginning of the session, there were hushed whispers that Gov. Brian Sandoval would veto any bill that didn’t receive at least one Republican vote. Sandoval’s veto promise has become such an open secret at this point, however, that Sandoval might as well raise a “Abandon all hope, Democrat-only bills who enter here” flag outside the governor’s office.
While that reality has led to an early death for bills like a proposed plastic-bag ban, Democratic leaders are still plugging away on some doozies.
Here are the seven Democrat bills most likely to get a veto.
AB154: Prevailing wage. Two years ago, Republicans voted to remove prevailing-wage requirements from school construction projects. At the close of session, as part of an endgame deal, legislators went back and required schools to pay 90 percent of prevailing-wage rates. It was a needless compromise that increased the cost of building new schools. There’s no way Sandoval undoes the plan he put in place.
SB356, SB486: Increase power of union bosses. Republicans could have saved local taxpayers a lot of money two years ago by undoing Nevada’s collective bargaining laws, which have produced the $100,000+ salaries highlighted last week by the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Michael Scott Davidson. Instead, Sandoval signed a bill that moderately limited union power in prolonging labor negotiations. Democrats want to go back to 2013 with SB356. Sandoval won’t go along.
Proponents may be going through the motions, but they know SB486, which would allow state workers to bargain collectively, is VOA — vetoed on arrival.
SB196: Sick-leave mandate. It’s easy to be the good idea fairy in Carson City and signal how much you care about people by putting mandates on others. It’s also a terrible way to make policy. Requiring that large employers provide sick leave fits into that category. Sandoval’s got his veto pen ready for SB196.
SB115, SB387: Restrict Second Amendment rights. Democrats have introduced two bills to incrementally limit gun rights. SB115 would prohibit guns in libraries, and SB387 would take away firearms, without requiring a conviction, from those issued certain protection orders. Strong Republican opposition will bring a veto. If Sandoval is angling for a court appointment, like I think he is, I bet he’s secretly eager for a chance to burnish his Second Amendment bona fides.
SB384: Records secrecy. Democrats want to prevent you from finding out the names of public retirees, including those double dipping and drawing pensions topping $250,000 a year. Fortunately, Senate Republicans unanimously opposed SB384 in the Senate, along with Sen. Nicole Cannizzaro, D-Las Vegas. Expect similar opposition in the Assembly. It’s headed for a much-needed veto.
Bring out the fishing poles. There’s still plenty of veto-bait in the Carson City swamp.