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!

Setting Nevadans Up For A Massive Tax Hike – again!

In preparation for the upcoming budget wars lets take a look at Nevada’s welfare rolls from the pre-recession levels, through the 2007-09 recession, and during the recovery from 2009 through FY 2015. The picture from below (from the Nevada Division of Welfare site tells the story:
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This is the TANF caseloads from 2006 through 2015. TANF is the new acronym for welfare (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). In 2007 the caseload was 17,712. At the end of the recession the caseload was 22,556 (a 27% increase). That’s a lot, but it was a tough recession – fine. But then look what happened after the recession ended. The Caseload in FY2015 skyrocketed to 35,576 – double the 2007 prerecession levels and 58% higher than the caseload at the end of the recession. Something has gone seriously awry. And it is not that the population has grown. The welfare recipients per 1,000 in NV population ballooned from 6.62 to 12.57. Simply astounding. Remember that when they want another billion in tax revenues to pay for it, including dozens of millions in advertising the welfare expansion to attract potential recipients. Some ad agency out there will do quite well!

The next data point is TANF Medicaid recipients. In 2007 there were 63,008 TANF Medicaid recipients, 23.56 per 1000 Nevada residents. In FY 2015 this number has exploded to 271,967, or 96.12 per 1,000 Nevada residents. The 2015 caseload is more than 4 times the 2007 caseload. Simply out of control.

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The next data point is CHAP (Child Health Assurance Program) recipients. In 2007 there were 28,674 recipients or 10.72 per 1000 Nevadans. In 2015 there is an astonishing 226,816 recipients or 80.26 per 1000 Nevadans. That is an nearly eight fold increase. Are we trying to build the dependency capital of the world?

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The next data point is Food Stamps. In 2007 there were 119,596 Nevadans on food stamps or 44.71 per 1000 Nevadans. In 2015 the caseload shot up to 375,506 or 133.46 per 1000 Nevadans. OMG what are we doing in Nevada. Here is the chart.

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And finally take a look at what they have done with Medicaid – by law, we can’t even institute a simple co-pay to promote responsible consumption. Simply outrageous!

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That is enough for now. It is quite sobering. Remember this when they demand that our taxes be raised by a billion dollars. This is the same crap they pulled in the lead up to the 2003 legislative session. That year was a record tax and spend hike, but set Nevada up to have the most difficult economic recovery of any state in the nation.

$12-million sewer project slated to slow traffic on Rampart

The city of Las Vegas will begin a sanitary sewer pipe installation project on Rampart Boulevard next week (starting Aug. 4).

Phase 1, planned from August to October 2014, will include a sewer bypass at Lake Mead and work along Rampart between Lake Mead and Hillpointe Road. Work hours will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Friday for the first few weeks to place the sewer bypass system and begin work on sewer pipe placement. Showers, dishwashers and toilets west of Rampart will drain into the water recovery facility at Ft. Apache & Cheyenne, where it will eventually water golf courses and landscaping along the western edge of the valley.

It’s an 11-month construction schedule, broken into phases that will each focus on one stretch of Rampart as follows:

During Phase 1, the contractor will close the east side of Rampart entirely between Lake Mead and Hillpointe, shifting all motor vehicle traffic to the west side of the median, with one lane open to traffic in each direction. Lane restrictions on Rampart north of Lake Mead, as well as on east- and westbound Lake Mead approaching the Rampart intersection will be in place during August. Message boards should be posted in the work area beginning today, warning of the coming work zone. Buffalo Drive is recommended as an alternate route for north/south travel, but Durango, many surface streets, and even the 215, may work for some people in different phases.

The remainder of the work on Rampart is planned in these phases:

Phase II – October-December 2014 – between Hillpointe and Vegas Drive.
Phase III – December 2014-February 2015 – between Vegas Drive and the north off-ramps from Summerlin Parkway.
Phase IV – February-March 2015 – between Summerlin Parkway north off-ramps and Canyon Run Drive.
Phase V – March-May 2015 – between Canyon Run Drive and Alta Drive.

The project to install new 24-inch sewer pipe extends from Alta Drive to Lake Mead Boulevard and is expected to take about 11 months to complete, requiring lane restrictions on Rampart. Full-width repaving of Rampart is planned between Lake Mead and Canyon Run Drive.

Here’s the project map online…

Happy 75th Anniversary

What fun to help celebrate (with Mayor Pro Tem Stavros Anthony and proud son/former Mayor Ron Lurie and his son) the 75th anniversary of Art and Ellie Lurie’s marriage at Atria Seville on the Ward 2 – Ward 4 border yesterday! I probably first set eyes on Art stopping into his bar near Paradise and Sahara 25 years ago. He still gives a great speech!20140529_142038