Conflicted lawmakers won’t address issue

To the editor:

Your editorial of May 12 regarding Nevada’s public employee benefits program mentioned several good suggestions needed to keep the plan alive in future years.

You also noted that the Legislature again failed to treat the subject with any substantive effort. But you did not mention two of the key reasons why the Legislature took no serious steps toward altering the program.

First, the Legislature is dominated by legislators who are also government employees and/or are currently receiving public employee benefits in their households.

Second, many lobbyists who work the Legislature are employed by government entities.

To have executive branch employees sitting in the Legislature and voting on their own incomes violates the constitutional principle of separation of powers. This principle is a foundation of America’s freedom in that it places a check in the way of unbridled government.

Retired and working public employees will object to having their benefits altered, of course. Yet the majority of Americans who have been forced into the Social Security system for their retirement are seeing their supposed “guaranteed” current and future benefits evaporating already.

Nevada’s public employees will inevitably face a similar unfunded gap in their retirement program, also. It will take some serious legislation and forthright efforts from all parties involved to solve this. Sooner is better.

MARK ANDREWS

LAS VEGAS

Wynn bill

To the editor:

Your Tuesday story, ?Wynn to deal with dealers,” says that a hearing on a bill addressing the tip-sharing issue was canceled last week and that the measure likely won’t be revived.

If the legislation has merit, why not proceed with it? Is Mr. Wynn now determining the fate of certain bills? Perhaps it was his influence that led to the bill initially dying in committee, then having the hearing canceled.

Now, they await his “permission” to continue the process?

Linda Dahlquist

HENDERSON

Awesome column

To the editor:

The Review-Journal has become even greater thanks to the presence and wisdom of columnist Steven Kalas (Human Matters). He’s truly a gem worth reading on Sunday. I just wish he were published every day. His knowledge, candor, insight and coolness are just awesome.

Thank you for hiring him.

CATHERINE GRETLEIN

HENDERSON

DMV plan

To the editor:

Here we go again: DMV spokesman Tom Jacobs feeding more baloney to the public (letter, Tuesday).

I agree that some of the members of the Assembly Transportation Committee might have oversimplified the notion that some canned software, available for a few hundred dollars, might allow the agency to deal with the donations specified by Senate Bill 180. Mr. Jacobs, however, also exaggerates about the implementation of legislative mandates.

Even though there are several hundred collection accounts for handling the distribution of revenues collected by the DMV, it is a simple matter to assign one more account code to another transaction. Don’t blow smoke with big numbers and mislead the public about the complexity of making this kind of change to the DMV system.

The DMV has already said that it would take 385 hours to implement this change. In my experiences with implementing many changes to the system, 385 hours seems kind of high for this kind of transaction.

“The DMV does not have programmers standing idle, just waiting to make programming changes when bills are passed,” according to Mr. Jacobs. But when I was heading up the Driver’s License Team at the DMV, we were well aware of new legislation that would affect the DMV, and we adjusted our priorities to accommodate any new laws.

As for those more than 800 (more smoke) projects and changes waiting to be completed, most are problem tickets for resolving the bug-infested system.

George Seminara

NORTH LAS VEGAS

THE WRITER RETIRED FROM THE DMV IN 2003.

Judge review

To the editor:

As a physician in his 50th year since graduation from medical school, I’ve continuously been disappointed with the self-policing policies and activities of my profession. I’ve come to the conclusion, though, that medical doctors have certainly done a better job of quality control than the legal profession.

The voters were obviously out to lunch when they elected District Judge Elizabeth Halverson, and the legal system is in denial and disarray. Judge Halverson has displayed enough dysfunctional behavior to require a formal psychiatric evaluation.

Giving her any type of case to adjudicate does not serve the public.

Leonard Kreisler

LAS VEGAS

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