Earlier this year, Nevada held an emergency session to deal with a budget gap related to COVID-19. By imposing a tricky tax hike, accelerating the collection of mining taxes, and moving money around, Governor Sisolak and the legislature supposedly addressed this gap.
This is unlikely to hold, and Nevada, like many states, will have tough decisions to make on the budget. Democrat leaders continue to refuse to make government sacrifice, even as millions of private sector workers lose their jobs. Some Democrat governors are awaiting a federal bailout, others have already increased taxes and borrowing.
To stop Nevada’s Governor from passing the bill to taxpayers for an expensive state government, Assembly candidate, and Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signer, Annie Black is proposing an “Anti-Appropriations Committee to methodically sort through the states expenditures, bring them fully into the light, and cut waste.
In writing about her proposal, Black slammed Sisolak for refusing to make government workers sacrifice: “What he DIDN’T do was cut non-essential government programs, agencies and departments or lay off non-essential government workers. And by refusing to inflict on the government the same agonizing pain he’s inflicted on the rest of us, the ongoing situation is far worse than it should be.”
The committee would be based off the federal Joint Committee on Reduction of Nonessential Federal Expenditures, which “cost less than $20 for every million dollars saved,” and a private committee that offered savings recommendations in Nevada previously, called the SAGE Committee.
The SAGE commission recommendations were never adopted. An anti-appropriations committee would have real teeth to advance savings recommendations, providing ready-made options for cuts whenever someone starts pining for tax hikes and pretending there are no other options available.
Black’s “Cut Out Non-Essential Spending Act” is a great policy, and example to other state legislators who will have to face down demands for tax hikes and bailouts from politicians who are fighting tooth and nail to protect their money-hungry constituencies.