2011 NFIB/Nevada Legislative Victories
Helped cut the size of government
NFIB lobbied for the successful passage of Senate Bill 251 out of that chamber. As of this writing it is also expected to pass the House, but even if it should falter, Gov. Brian Sandoval has promised to implement the important parts of it by executive order. The bill would create a Sunset Commission to evaluate government and services with an eye toward opportunities to eliminate redundant rules and agencies and consolidate the tasks of others. The Commission is one of the top recommendations of the Spending and Government Efficiency Commission (SAGE).
Killed three bills aimed at punishing independent contractors
NFIB made defeat of Senate Bills 147, 148, and 242 its top priority of the 2011 session. All three would have made it effectively illegal to be self-employed by substantially narrowing the definition of who an independent contractor could be and what an independent contractor could do. During this recession many people are frustrated at not finding a job, so some are starting their own small business, but these bills would have made that virtually impossible. Additionally, the measures aimed to limit a company’s ability to use independent contractors at a time when many businesses can not afford to hire full-time staff and rely on contractors for needed extra help.
Blocked attempts to increase health-insurance premiums
Every time lawmakers come up with a new medical procedure to saddle health insurers before they allow them to sell policies, the immediate effect is to drive up insurance premiums and push medical coverage farther and farther out of the financial reach of small business owners. Assembly Bill 89, adding acupuncture treatment, was another such mandate that NFIB worked to defeat, and succeeded. NFIB also continued its push to allow insurers the ability to tailor health-care plans to fit their customers’ needs rather than the edicts of state government. This is the only way to broaden coverage to the uninsured.
Defeated a proposed gas tax increase
NFIB opposed a proposal to raise the state’s tax on a gallon of gas. Supporters floated a trial balloon for boosting the gas tax, Assembly Bill 507, by two cents to a total of 19.65 cents. NFIB help popped that balloon.
Killed measures to apply the state sales tax to bottled water and snack foods
Assembly Bill 218 would have applied the state sales tax to include bottled water, which is currently exempt as it considered a food item. Assembly Bill 399 would add a five-cent tax onto snack foods. NFIB helped persuade legislators that taxing snack foods, often called sin taxes, would not bring enough revenue to recoup the cost to the state of keeping records on this income, and that taxing bottled water was an unfair levy on people who need it as much as food.