Assemblyman Richard Daly:
We put the state on life support for another two years
Reno Gazette-Journal Guest Editorial / 7-17-2011


When asked about the 2011 session, I say it was my honor to serve the people of Assembly District 31. Significant progress was made to solve many of our problems, but to me, we didn't accomplish enough meaningful progress concerning the budget.

We have known for decades that our tax base is too narrow, creating a structurally unstable revenue system.

The budget agreement, made with the aid of a Nevada Supreme Court decision, broke a deadlock, allowing both sides to kick the can down the road.

I reluctantly supported what amounts to a Band-Aid-on-a-bullet-wound budget solution bringing Nevada no closer to a stable broad-based tax structure than before the session began. We put the state on life support for another two years.

This budget did nothing to ensure students can read at their grade level by third grade, improve our state's high school graduation rate, help our universities produce more high-quality workers to diversify our economy, nothing that will help Nevada attract and retain good teachers, nothing to safeguard the quality of life for our most vulnerable citizens and nothing to maintain public safety and public infrastructure needed for expansion in Nevada.

I feel disgusted when I hear my colleagues say with glee, we cut spending by $500 million.

This was not excess or wasteful spending. Those cuts lowered wages for state workers, increased class sizes, causing the layoff of hundreds of teachers, reduced public safety, mental health, infrastructure and raised tuition so thousands of Nevada students will be unable to afford college, essentially lowering our quality of life, taking Nevada even lower than before.

A friend asked about taxes: "What are you supposed to do if you can't get the votes?"

"You stand your ground."

"What does that mean?" they asked.

If diplomacy fails, you must be prepared for battle. Prepared to make the sacrifices necessary to win what you know in your heart is in the best interests of the people. Yes, many will suffer when the battle begins. Many more will suffer for longer if we continue to lose to our fear of inaction.

Others are already talking about more concessions, cuts and reforms, saying we are in the red zone ready to score.

Translation: They are willing to hold kids, seniors, social services, college students, wage earners, virtually everyone and everything hostage so they can union-bash, attack public workers and dismantle wage, safety and consumer protections.

To get Nevada off life support, we might need to kick the plug out of the wall in 2013. That might cause the voter outrage needed to shift the focus back to helping Nevada; at least we will see if the people want to die of a thousand (or 500 million) cuts or start down the path to recovery.

There is a place for compromise. However, when compromise yields the same result as deadlock, you just get there slower, the choice of deadlock vs. compromise becomes a personal test of character and resolve.

Richard "Skip" Daly is a Democratic member of the Nevada Assembly representing Sparks District 31. He is the longtime business manager of Laborers International Union Local 169.

LIUNA Local 169 News / Legislature toughens road constuction workzone penalty law

LIUNA Local 169's website

The Flagger Moms of Orange Cone Hell

Labor Links About the Editor Letters
Annual Nevada Cesar Chavez Celebration
Español PoliticsNevada Labor History | U-News | Bulletins + Almanac
Casinos Out of Politics (COP) | Sen. Joe Neal
Guinn Watch | Deciding Factors
| BallotBoxing.US | Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive
Barbwire Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive
War Rooms: Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's, Cable TV/Telecom, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy,

Health Care
Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
Search this site | In Search Of...

Site composed & maintained by Deciding Factors
Click here to request inclusion news bulletin list