It’s like they live on another planet. Republican legislators in Carson City appear to be marching to the same off beat drum kit as their Washington, D.C. counterparts. Have problems with infrastructure? Education? Revenue? Income inequality? Unemployment? The solution is (staccato drum roll) Pass more laws on abortion! Allow more guns everywhere!
The Single Song Sallies of the Nevada GOP are absorbed by these two. Assemblyman Ira Hansen (R-NV backwater) proposes the following:
“AN ACT relating to abortions; revising provisions regulating an abortion performed on a pregnant woman who is a minor or a ward; requiring notification of a parent or guardian under certain circumstances before a physician performs such an abortion; providing expedited procedures for petitioning a court for judicial authorization to proceed without such notification; providing civil liabilities and criminal penalties; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.”
How this bit of anti-choice legislation addresses employment, economic diversification, educational funding, transportation, infrastructure, local government resources, provisions for mental health services, or any other major issue facing the state is pure conjecture. The nationwide abortion rate among those under 15 years of age is negligible for the period 1990 to 2007, and abortions for those aged 15 to 18 years has declined from 21,800 in 1990 to 16,200 as of 2007. [CensusCDC] This decline mirrors the overall decline in teen pregnancies, which in turn is linked to economic considerations, more contraceptives, and more information (read: sex education). [Pew] However, Big Daddy Government Types exemplified by Assemblyman Hansen, won’t be satisfied until every woman has to carry every man’s fetus to term. And for this, time is being taken from taxation and budget consideration in the Assembled Wisdom.
Meanwhile, Assemblywoman Michele “Take Baking Soda for your Cancer” Fiore (R-NRA) would be happy to attach her Guns Galore amendment to any bit of legislation she can find. [LVRJ] She lost the vote, 24-18 in the Assembly, but she’ll be back before the end of the session on June 1. [LTN]
What makes coping with single issue ideologues like Hansen and Fiore so frustrating is that Nevada does have some serious issues which need to be addressed. Education, which was supposed to be the central feature of this legislative session, has some problems. For instance, Nevada schools ranked 50th in “overall state grades,” and 36th in K-12 achievement, 45th in standards and assessments, and 46th in school finance. [leg.state.nv] The American Society of Civil Engineering grades Nevada a C- in infrastructure. We “earned” a D+ in dams, and we have 36 bridges which are deemed “structurally deficient.” The Mental Health Association reports the following in regard to Nevada’s mental health services: “The five states with the highest prevalence of mental illness and the lowest rates of access to care were Louisiana (47), Washington (48), Nevada (49), Mississippi (50) and Arizona (51).”
Speaking to the income inequality issue, Nevada’s not in a very good position in that regard either: “The states in which all income growth between 2009 and 2012 accrued to the top 1 percent include Delaware, Florida, Missouri, South Carolina, North Carolina, Connecticut, Washington, Louisiana, California, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Massachusetts, Colorado, New York, Rhode Island, and Nevada.”
Now, can we please talk about something other than government so small it can fit inside every vagina, and guns galore?