State Treasurer Posts Alternate Nevada State Budget

Disclosure note: From time to time, I serve as treasurer for various political campaigns. I served as campaign treasurer for Dan Schwartz last year.

Nevada Treasurer Dan Schwartz has proposed a budget plan for the state that increases spending 4.6% over the next two years. This stands directly opposed to Governor Brian Sandoval’s proposed state budget that increases spending over 12%, and would require over a billion in tax hikes on Nevadans instead of tourists. This comes on the heels of major state tax hikes, mostly on residents, in 2003 and 2009.

You can read about it in today’s Review Journal, though you have to tolerate the biased reporting, in which the 4.6% spending hike is “conservative” and the 12%+ spending hike is “moderate”. It makes you wonder what the reporter would label an attempt to reduce the size and scope of government!

Court Date Set – This Wednesday

Photo by Jacob Orth

Our Writ of Mandamus will be heard by Judge Jerry A. Wiese on Wednesday morning in Courtroom 14A of the Regional Justice Center, 200 Lewis Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89155. The docket starts at 8:30am. Here’s a map.

The City states that it will not follow the law regarding the number of signatures required to get the tax-funded soccer stadium in Symphony Park on the ballot at the next city election. The Writ of Mandamus requires the City to tell the court why, and explain the details.

The law (NRS 295.205(2)) says that the number is equal to fifteen percent of the people who voted at the last city election. That is the 2013 election where Steve Ross, Stavros Anthony and me were all elected. Fifteen percent of the turnout is 2,306.

The City said in its letter sent about half-way through the petition drive that it finds that law unconstitutional, and therefore must use the city election that has the highest historical voter turnout. Fifteen percent of that turnout is 8,258.

This is an important point because although we gathered more than three times the number required under the law, even that number (6,966 valid signatures) is short of the City’s requirement, and the City has ruled that the petition failed.

The courtroom is open to the public if you want to attend to hear the arguments for yourself.

City Says Petition Fails

The Clark County Election Department says 71% of the signatures are viable. That makes the total number of signatures gathered 6,966, more than three times the number required by law (2,306). However, the City says it is not going to follow the law because it finds it unconstitutional. Under the City’s interpretation of the Constitution, which has been explicitly rejected by the Legislature, the City says we need 8,258 signatures; thus, the City says the petition has failed.

Petition update

The first three District Court Judges to be assigned our Writ of Mandamus recused themselves, but today Judge Jessie Walsh agreed to hear the case. The City will have to appear to explain why they are breaking the law by requiring more than 8,000 signatures to qualify the iniative. A hearing is scheduled for February 10.

Here are the details about the legal arguments.

Meanwhile, the signatures are expected to be returned soon to the City Clerk after the County election department determines through a sample of 500 signatures what percentage of the signers are actually registered to vote inside City of Las Vegas limits.

Deadline Shorter

We’ve just learned that even though –

The City told us in in the first letter from the City Clerk that the due date is this Saturday…

And repeated in the second letter that increased the number of signatures required from 2,306 to 8,258 that the due date is this Saturday…

That the due dates is actually tomorrow. I don’t know for sure that they deliberately gave us a deadline for the day after the legal deadline, but it doesn’t matter now. We’ll be out in front of City Hall with notary public services all day tomorrow, and aim for a turn-in tomorrow night.