Like crabgrass that invades each year, a couple of well-worn nuisance proposals have resurfaced in Carson City.
Legislative Democrats have long tried to impose annual sessions on state taxpayers. The effort rarely goes anywhere, but they never stop trying. Expanding government is in their DNA. On Monday, an honor roll of progressives trotted out Senate Joint Resolution 11, the latest push.
The state constitution limits lawmakers to 120-day sessions beginning in February of odd-numbered years. SJR11 would add a 30-day session in even-numbered years while trimming the odd-numbered gathering to 90 days. If lawmakers pass it this year and in 2019, it would go to voters in 2020.
Make no mistake, this is just a way station on the road to a full-time Legislature, a concept Nevada voters will not support. It’s also unnecessary. The governor is already empowered to call special sessions and interim legislative committees routinely conduct business during off years.
Democrats such as state Sen. Tick Segerblom, the Las Vegas Democratic who has been the most vocal supporter for annual sessions over the years, argue that the four-month biennial limitation handcuffs lawmakers trying to manage the state’s business. Yet despite the 120-day window, they somehow have the time to debate such vital issues as banning plastic bags at grocery stores.
Another really bad idea that has again resurfaced is articulated in Assembly Bill 486, which would allow state workers to collectively bargain. This monstrosity — which even Democratic governors have rejected in the past — would only exacerbate the incestuous cycle of government unions funneling a portion of their generous taxpayer-funded compensation and benefits to left-wing candidates who pledge to ensure that the tax money keeps coming in the form of ever-higher pay and pensions.
At a time when more and more municipalities — and even some states — are teetering on the abyss due to unsustainable promises made to public-sector unions at the expense of taxpayers, it’s astonishing that any rational thinker in Carson City would embrace this ridiculous and destructive proposal.