Mary Lau: The Art of The Compromise

In politics, compromise is a dirty word. In the legislature compromise is not just important, it’s critical to passing good legislation. Legislation unilaterally supported by one party or the other is often plagued with unintended consequences, which all seem to fall on the backs of Nevada’s businesses. The job of your RAN team is to work with legislators on both sides of the aisle to strike a deal that protects Nevada’s pro-business reputation while working to make our government more effective and efficient for its citizens.

Compromise doesn’t have to be bad, and your RAN team is working to build consensus for good public policy on several issues this session:

  • Public Health: Pharmacy is one of the many faces of retail in Nevada, and RAN is supporting several bills to help Nevadans get access to the prescription drugs they need. RAN is supporting Assembly Bill 178 that would help Nevadans access their prescription refills during emergencies, and Senate Bill 190 to allow pharmacies to dispense hormonal contraceptives without a prescription. Liz MacMenamin has included more information about SB190 and other bills related to the practice of pharmacy in her April newsletter article.
  • Business: Senator Ohrenschall’s Senate Bill 107 will review and update Nevada’s business laws, and Assembly Bill 184 will create an Office of Small Business Advocacy to help support Nevada businesses.
  • Taxation: RAN is working with legislators on Senate Bill 25 to modernize the sales and use taxes on food for human consumption, bringing Nevada’s laws more in line with federal and other states. RAN is also supporting Senate Bill 167 to lower the cost to employers that need to appeal their sales tax bills.

In addition to these bills, RAN is also working with legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle to modernize Nevada’s sales taxes by acknowledging that consumers are increasingly turning to digital versions of products, like music, movies, and books. Because of the makeup of the legislature, this bill only passes if legislators from both political parties work together. Nevada’s sales tax laws were written long before the internet, but today, more and more consumers are purchasing products online for convenience, and even Nevada consumers agree that our state’s sales tax laws aren’t keeping up.

The one similarity of all of these bills are sponsors open to hearing feedback to ensure good public policy without unintended consequences. Compromise is an art; it requires mutual respect and a commitment to the process to pass good legislation. This is not our final list of legislation that we are supporting because your RAN team is working hard in Carson City to open doors and dialogue with bill sponsors to ensure your voices are heard and your needs and concerns understood. The legislators who understand the art of the compromise, regardless of party, are the legislators we need to support and keep in Carson City doing good work for the people and businesses of Nevada.