Ballot questions up for debate

September 20, 2018

LAUGHLIN — Guest speakers focused their attention on ballot questions 3 and 6 at the Laughlin Republican Women’s Club meet and greet Sept. 13.

Marsy’s Law state director Will Batista and Tracy Skenadore, communications director for the Coalition to Defeat Question 3, spoke about their respective ballot questions, Question 1 and 3.

Question 1 is about Marsy’s Law, a victims’ rights bill requiring a constitutional amendment, that aims to protect victims of crime by preventing the disclosure of confidential information that could threaten their safety and also makes the victim’s safety a factor in deciding the bail amount or release conditions of a defendant or perpetrator.

“What Marsy’s Law would do is it would be constitutionally required for you to be notified of a change in status in your case or in that person’s retention,” Batista said.

Victim information would still be given to the court in order to keep the legal process moving along but information would be kept confidential from the accused, he explained.

Batista reiterated the law wouldn’t impact the accused’s rights in any way. Marsy’s Law isn’t meant to hinder due process but rather to help provide the same level of rights to victims, he said.

Question 3, if approved, would amend the state constitution to minimize regulations on the energy market and eliminate legal energy monopolies.

Skenadore warned against Questions 3, stressing the belief that it does not belong in the Nevada Constitution.

“It would dismantle our current electricity system,” Skenadore said. “The concern is locking something into our constitution. Electricity deregulation does not belong in our constitution.”

She explained that while NV Energy is a monopoly, electricity isn’t like usual goods and services. Some of the concerns are based on the impacts it would have to consumers such as higher utility rates, the lack of consumer protections and it’s negative impact on Question 6, she said.

Question 6 is a renewable energy standards initiative that if passed would require electric utilities to acquire 50 percent of their energy from a renewable energy source.

Skenadore said the potential for increased and prolonged power outages is another concern. The impact of those potential outages on elderly or those who have certain medical needs is an additional concern, she continued.

Laughlin Republican Women’s Club president Elizabeth Hunter spoke on Question 5.

The ballot question is an initiative to make voter registration automatic when receiving certain services from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

She is concerned that Question 5 could give immigrants who are in the country illegally the opportunity to vote and made clear she had no intentions of supporting the question.

While not discussed at length, Question 2 would make feminine hygiene products tax exempt. Question 4 would make medical equipment sales tax exempt.

The event included hearing from several Republican candidates. Danny Tarkanian, State Sen. Joe Hardy, Bob Beers, James Smack representing Ron Knecht and Glenn Leavitt took turns explaining why they are the candidate to support on election day and how they feel about the various ballot questions.

Tarkanian is running for the District 3 Congressional seat. Hardy is campaigning to retain his Senate seat.

Beers is a state treasurer candidate and Knecht is running for state controller. Knecht couldn’t be at the meet and greet so deputy controller James Smack spoke on his behalf.

Leavitt is running for the Dist. 23 State Assembly seat, being vacated by Assemblywoman Melissa Woodbury. Laughlin Town Constable Jordan Ross is running unopposed for his seat.

Each of the candidates had the chance to speak and give their thoughts on one or two ballot questions.

“(What’s) made this country such a great place is places like this, communities like this,” Tarkanian said.

“People who love America, hard working Americans that care about our country, care about our future.”

Tarkanian touched on a couple of the ballot questions, expressing particular concern for Question 3. He advocated for residents to register to vote and exercise that right on election day, for Republican candidates in particular.

Beers wasn’t shy of sharing his sense of humor, showing off his bumper sticker that says: “We like Beers. Vote Responsibly.” Beers provided some of his background and experience.

He spoke of the responsibilities of the state treasurer and how there is a relationship between that position and the state controller.

“Think about this – if you were going to give me your billfold, hypothetically, you don’t want me to be the guy who tells you how much of your money I’m holding,” Beers said. “You want to have a second person tell you how much of your money I’m holding.”

Having a good solid team is important, Beers said.

All the candidates spoke on how vital it is to get Republican candidates in seats in order to accomplish Republican goals.

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