The Lost Weekend (before sine die) blog



7:45 AM, Monday: The Senate is scheduled to vote on the tax package at 9 AM. I doubt it will happen because the Legislative Commission is slated to meet at 8 AM. (Who else thinks this is goofy?)

I expect 18-3 (when Debbie Smith and Tick Segerblom return) and then a signing ceremony later today (or maybe tomorrow), with "New Nevada" mentions aplenty.

The presidential; primary bill remains in limbo, and it may have problems if John Moore does not return. Even Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison was lobbying Democrats on it Sunday. Ryan Erwin, who works for Jeb Bush, is in Carson to help.

Will there be a special? Only if they can't get the bills printed, etc. Probably.

4:27 PM, Sunday: History, 30-10. Read my Twitter feed for details.

4:15 PM, Sunday: Ira Hansen and eight other NOs just had a brief presser to complain the leaders won't have a caucus, the governor's staff is too aggressive and they oppose gross receipts taxes. That is, nothing new. But entertaining, and I Periscoped it. (Look it up.)

Assembly supposed to start soon. "Soon" is a relative term.

This is fun, too: Victoria Seaman was there, and she is a NO. This may be her last session:

Survey Results

Assembly District 34

May 29-30, 2015

291 surveyed, 5.7 percent MOE



Q. Brian Sandoval

All Voters                    GOP     DEM    Other

Favorable                   61%                            77%    49%    59%

Unfavorable               26%                            16%    36%    22%



Q.  Victoria Seaman

All Voters                    GOP     DEM    Other

Favorable                   27%                            33%    24%    25%

Unfavorable               24%                            18%    28%    23%



Q.  Based on everything you have seen, read, or heard, do you believe Nevada's education system needs more funding?

All Voters                    GOP     DEM    Other

Needs More Funding                        75%                            57%    86%    80%

Doesn’t Need More               23%                            40%    14%    16%



Q.  Do you support Governor Sandoval's plan to increase Nevada's Modified Business Tax and to create a new Commerce Tax on businesses that have more than $3.5 million in revenue, which will raise $350 million for education investment?

All Voters                    GOP     DEM    Other

Support                                  64%                            50%    74%    64%

Not Support                           31%                            46%    19%    32%



Q.  Would you be more or less likely to support Governor Sandoval's education revenue plan if you knew that business groups, that would pay the tax, are supporting the proposal?

All Voters                    GOP     DEM    Other

More Likely                            65%                            62%    71%    56%

Less Likely                              24%                            27%    19%    30%





Q.  If your legislator supported education reforms, better controls on funding to more wisely spend your money, and also voted for Governor Sandoval's tax plan on businesses to raise $524 million over two years, would you be more or less likely to support that legislator in the upcoming election?

All Voters                    GOP     DEM    Other

More Likely                            62%                            55%    68%    62%

Less Likely                              28%                            35%    24%    25%



Q.  Would you prefer your legislator support Governor Sandoval's education revenue plan or oppose it?

All Voters                    GOP     DEM    Other

Support                                  60%                            51%    67%    59%

Oppose                                   27%                            39%    19%    28%




2:45 PM, Sunday: Assembly floor session, scheduled for 2 PM, pushed to 4 PM. Panic ensues.

History must wait.

12:30 PM, Sunday: I just posted my premium content in which a smart, connected group of legislative insiders (a dozen or so) chose Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson as the most influential lawmaker in a landslide while also bestowing kudos on Assembly Majority Leader Paul Anderson, Taxation Chair Derek Armstrong, and Commerce boss James Settelmeyer. John Ellison and Randy Kirner were lambatsed for their chairmanships. Some great comments on the end of session that should make you want to subscribe:

My heart wants to believe they can finish on time, but my head is saying that it just won’t happen. The only question is whether they have a long special session (no deal on taxes) or a short one (didn’t pass the necessary bills on time).

Think of the different ways in which Sandoval could have campaigned for votes on the taxes: fear, threats, populist pressure, marginalization, scorched earth, among others.  What he did was dignified negotiation with exactly the people he needed to negotiate with.  He was the perfect balance of aloofness and compassionate; of engagement and distance; of commitment and flexibility.  What couldn’t be done in 2003 is going to get done in 2015.  The difference: Sandoval was better at this than Guinn, that’s it. 

Clearly Roberson. Joke all you want about the crown and the ego, he set the agenda for the session, shepherded the Governor’s proposals through the Legislature and provided a backstop for the Governor for overzealous legislation from the lower House. I will be surprised if you get any other answers to this question, except, perhaps as second most influential.

Roberson is off to CD 3, who will lead the Republican Senate Caucus forward?  Who will Kirkpatrick turn the reins over to?  Two biggest developments to watch over the next six months.

11:00 AM, Sunday:  The Senate is about to go in; the Assembly not scheduled until this afternoon. (Ways and Means is in, moving budget bills.)

As the tax votes seem to be holding, and Democrats are holding out for changes to an election bill that would cut voting opportunities in Clark County (and I hear a prevailing wage trailer bill is almost done), I have a simple question: After decades of Democrats waiting and pleading and arguing, shouldn't the chance to expand the tax base to create a stable revenue stream for education trump everything?

Because the governor has been so skillful at creating momentum for this achievement, its monumental import might be lost. It would be a watershed and come after a historic Democratic wipeout at the polls.

If not now....

8:30 AM, Sunday:  The penultimate day begins with head-shaking from many veterans (premium subscribers will see details) about how dangerous it was for the Assembly not to vote Saturday when they had the votes. As one put it, "If you got the votes, vote 'em."

The explanation, such as it is: The bill was not ready (process), and the Democrats were still trying to extract concessions before committing to push the governor's plan over the top (politics).

If all goes as planned today, none of this will mean much. But if the Just Say No to Gross Receipts Caucus manges to turn two or three YES votes into NOs, this will have been a blunder of massive proportions. Assembly Majority Leader Paul Anderson, who has been the most or second-most influential lawmaker this session (behind, perhaps, only Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson) has had a plan and he is sticking to it. I'm sure Roberson was apoplectic at the delay and wanted to pull out redistricting maps.

I don't blame the Democrats so much. This is their last moment for leverage before sine die. But I am sure they don't want to wear this if it goes to hell, which, of course, has happened at the end in more than one or two sessions of yore.

Will it get done today? Will it get done tomorrow? Will it get done at all? Will we be here next weekend?

Once again: Fasten your setabelts.

3 PM, Saturday: No surprises as Assembly Committee of the Whole enters its third hour. Nothing much has been illuminated. The votes are still there. But time is not the advocates' friend. Can they get a vote tonight?

If you want a blow by blow, check out my Twitter feed.

Adjourned at 3:45 until Sunday at 2. Sign of no vote today? Seems so.

10:40 AM, Saturday: Three amendments were key to getting between 12 and 14 Republican assemblymen on board:

----Increasing Commerce Tax exemption from $3.5 million to $4 million.

----Decreasing BLF from $300 to $200. (Hello, Derek Armstrong.)

----Jettisoning Government Services Tax candy-for-lawmakers gimmick.

I've also learned Gov. Brian Sandoval had breakfast with the converted to thank them and solidify them.

It's now about care and feeding of Dems to get the vote done. The advocates for the governor's plan know time is their enemy. And I see the Just Say No to Gross Receipts Caucus in the hallways still working it.....

Also, looks as if if Dems get diminished hours early voting bill killed, they will let presidential primary measure go through for GOP.


8:30 AM, Saturday:  Right after the post below went up, Assemblyman Erv Nelson went public with his support. (He clearly agonized over it.) Another domino that fell last night.

8 AM, Saturday:

One hour before the Assembly is slated to convene (On time? I don't think so.), the votes appear to be there for the governor's tax plan (with some amendments that will tweak the revenue and components), according to multiple sources. But the best laid plans of GOP governors trying for history often go awry....

Here's what I know: After Tax Chair and Commerce Tax foe Derek Armstrong turned statesman, the dominoes appeared to have fallen. Ira Hansen, the would-be arsonist who had been fulminating for awhile to the Gazette-Journal's Ray Hagar that he and the MFers could stop the tax increase (not to menton stage a coup and cause a special session), raised the white flag.

I fully believe, though, that he has not given up and will use the other end of the surrender flag he is holding to try to stab the deal in the heart.

But is it too late? We will know soon. (I am told the votes are solid, but, but, but.... )

I ran into auto dealers' lobbyist Wayne Frediani, a key member of the Just Say No to Gross Receipts Caucus, at Starbucks and he was dressed for a golf outing. When I wondered why, he told me: "I'm done. It is what it is."

At the Legislature? Almost never.

And I doubt the rest of the JSNGRC is prostrate just yet.

Bombs could still go off. Meltdowns could occur. People are exhausted.

For instance, can Gov. Brian Sandoval make sure the Assembly and Senate Democrats are fine with the deal? That is, can Minority Leaders Marilyn Kirkpatrick and Aaron Ford get the pieces they want --  a prevaling wage trailer bill, election stuff -- so the minority party stays supportive? That'a a delicate dance -- giving some but not too much so votes go away on the other side.

Will the center hold this morning?

It ain't over....