Because the 2023 Legislature winds down, I’m reminded of the 1997 session, which I coated as a reporter for the Reno Gazette-Journal.
It was a 12 months of belt-tightening. Lawmakers spent quite a lot of time lamenting the onerous selections they needed to make as they decimated state budgets. Schooling, well being care, social providers and different issues important to Nevada’s well-being had been on the chopping block. Some witnesses in hearings wept as they described the results of such frugality.
Assemblymen and senators felt their ache, however gosh, they needed to be fiscally accountable.
Then, within the closing days of the session, Las Vegas on line casino mogul Steve Wynn got here to Carson Metropolis to clarify his plan to purchase advantageous artwork to be displayed at his new Bellagio hotel-casino. Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin, Vincent Van Gogh, Pierre Renoir and Claude Monet had been talked about. There was speak of a tax break. Magically, a invoice handed to make that occur.
Lawmakers who had been swift to chop mental-health care, rural hospitals and schooling budgets lined up on each side of the aisle to help the measure. It was a matter of tourism and tradition, in any case.
Since then, proposals for a stadium, company welfare for tech corporations and different shiny objects have materialized through the waning days of the Legislature, repeatedly mesmerizing lawmakers. This session, Hollywood has its hand out, as columnist Shelia Leslie stories.
This 12 months, although, the politicians haven’t been completely sidetracked by such last-minute giveaways. The governor and legislators continued to work on a measure geared toward growing educators’ pay because the session approached its closing gavel.
Which may be an indication vital points are lastly getting the identical Eleventh-hour consideration lawmakers up to now have showered on Monet and film stars.