Assembly Minority Leader O’Neill: ‘Cops don’t bluff what they can’t back up’
By Megan Barth, The Nevada Globe, May 25, 2023
As the Globe reported, Nevada State Democrats have fast-tracked their budgets through both chambers at the expense of Governor Lombardo’s legislative priorities and proposals. In response to the latest, partisan passage of the their record-breaking budgets, Governor Lombardo, the former Sheriff of Clark County, reminded the Democratic majority that he is prepared to “protect the interests” of Nevadans and issued another, yet veiled, veto threat.
Lombardo issued a warning to the Democratic majority in a released statement:
As the five budget bills are being fast-tracked by legislative Democrats, I will repeat what I have previously stated. I will not sign any budget bills until my priorities are addressed. Period. So, before the Senate and Assembly take final action on these five bills today, tomorrow, or the next day, I suggest they reconsider their decision and delay final passage until the policy priorities that I spelled out on day one are on my desk. If they choose to test my resolve, I’ll make it easy for them. The people of Nevada hired me to protect their interests and that is what I intend to do.
Lombardo then listed his “Day One Priorities” as:
- Fiscally Responsible Budget
- School Safety
- School Choice and Accountability
- Government Efficiency
- Crime Reduction
Democratic leadership was quick to fire back in a statement of their own:
Strong response, however, the Democratic majority cannot pick and choose what to consider during a special session. When, not if, the Governor veto’s their budget bills, the Governor would call a special session and set the agenda.
In a conversation with Assembly Minority Leader P.K. O’Neill (AD-40) this week, O’Neill told The Globe:
“We will sine die one way or the other. If we come back, and that possibility changes hour to hour and minute to minute, I would rather be prepared for a special session. I have told my caucus to have a plan instead of being caught flat-footed.
The big issue is the budget–the serious parts of it. In terms of the budget, ‘Is it sustainable?’ is always the biggest question.
A good part of that funding the Democrats put forth in their budget isn’t sustainable–a good part of it isn’t sustainable, and that is why every Assembly Republican voted against it. So, when we come back in two years, we would have to make reductions or raise taxes to maintain that level of funding. The Economic Forum gave their projections and the Governor has put forth a budget based on that. It’s a budget that he can support and it is sustainable and provides stability. We have some one-shot money that we can use for one shot events, but the additional hundreds of millions that the Democrat’s are proposing adds up and isn’t one shot money. That is not sustainable.
The Governor is due the respect as the governor, whether they are a Democrat or a Republican. You sit down. You negotiate. But, that doesn’t seem to be happening. This is purely politics. I understand some of it, but it’s a political game. The Democrats are being extremely disrespectful and getting into early campaign mode by making some bills unnecessarily political.
But, cops don’t bluff what they can’t back up. You don’t do it on the street. You don’t make a statement you can’t back up, because otherwise people aren’t going to respect you the next time. When the Governor says he is serious about something and serious about vetoing, especially when the Democrats haven’t given him the proper respect he is due, I expect some lines to be drawn.”