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Analysis: Democrats dominate the Nevada Legislature, so why are progressives unhappy?

Friday, April 19, 2019
James DeHaven | Reno Gazette Journal

Nearly 300 bills died last week in the Democrat-dominated Nevada Legislature. Outnumbered Republicans were far from the only ones left to mourn the casualties.

Progressive activists were flummoxed by a number of bills either heavily amended or scrapped ahead of the first major bill passage deadline.

From hiking the minimum wage to regulating “predatory” payday lenders to eliminating cash bail to immigration reform, many advocates have started to feel short-changed by the efforts of Democratic allies in the governor’s mansion and the statehouse.

Some blame legislative leadership. Others bemoan high-powered lobbyists. All fear the state is missing a rare opportunity to advance much-needed reforms.

But when it comes to the realities of politics in Carson City, observers say having a first-term governor — mixed with concerns about swinging too far toward progressive policy goals ahead of the 2020 election — is preventing a dramatic leftward lurch in Nevada's capital.