Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Finally, a Step Forward

About an hour ago, another bill passed to live another day. This time it was SB 49, the campaign finance reform bill pushed by Secretary of State Ross Miller (D). It had to endure some weakening alterations in committee, but ultimately much of what Miller wanted survived.

And just moments ago, the amended SB 49 passed the full Senate. The vote was 13-8 in favor. All Democrats voted for the bill, and Senators Joe Hardy (R-Boulder City) & Scott Hammond (R-Las Vegas) joined the Democrats to vote to approve. All the other Republicans voted against the bill.

But of course, the ones who voted against SB 49 are claiming it's actually the Democrats who oppose campaign finance reform. "Oh, Armani! Oh, the reporting requirement here isn't good enough!" To be fair, Senator Ben Kieckhefer (R-Reno) did offer an amendment. However, the others did not. So really, their excuses for voting against SB 49 sound all too familiar.

Is this bill a panacea for better transparency and ethics? Not quite. In fact, we've discussed what's really needed to clean up the hot mess that's Nevada government.

Yet with that being said, SB 49 is a good start. It finally sets real standards for campaign finance reporting. And remember, knowledge is power. So tonight, the Nevada Legislature finally took a major step in the direction of meaningful reform.

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