By Greg Haas, KLAS, September 7, 2023
Nevada Republicans are turning up the heat on Democrats who voted for a big funding package as the Legislature finished its business in June.
Assembly Democrats Tracy Brown-May, Cameron “C.H.” Miller and Venicia Considine are targets for their votes.
Brown-May and Miller voted for Assembly Bill 525 (AB525), legislation that funded a number of nonprofit groups. Brown-May serves on the board for Arc of Nevada, which received $250,000 in funding. Assemblywoman Michelle Gorelow has already announced she will not seek re-election after an ethics complaint cited her vote on AB525. Gorelow became director of Arc soon after the funding passed. Miller was hired as president and CEO of the Urban Chamber of Commerce before he voted for $100,000 in funding for the chamber.
Considine voted on Senate Bill 341 (SB341), an appropriations bill. She works for an organization that received $4.25 million in funding from SB341 and AB525.
Republican activist Chuck Muth filed the ethics complaint against Gorelow, and John Burke of Better Nevada PAC has spearheaded attacks on the other Democratic members of the Nevada Assembly.
A tweet Thursday afternoon by Muth: “Just like Gorelow, Miller, and Brown-May, Considine seems to think it’s okay to use Nevada’s state government as an ATM to help her employer. The culture of corruption in Carson City must end. – John Burke, Better Nevada PAC #YeagersFavorFactory”
A video of Miller posted on Twitter shows him saying before a committee vote, “Super excited about this, but I do have to disclose that I am employed by the sister organization to the Urban Chamber Community Development Corporation and so out of an abundance of caution, I want to abstain from making any votes on AB525, according to Assembly Standing Rule number 23. So I will abstain from voting for AB525.”
The record shows no abstentions for the final vote before the full Assembly.
The Legislative Counsel Bureau, the legal arm of the Nevada Legislature, said the public importance of the bill — along with the fact that it contained funding for 56 agencies — excused lawmakers from abstaining or making disclosures.
“I voted to pass AB525 and SB341 after receiving the Legislative Counsel Bureau’s opinion because it funded non-profit organizations doing critical work in all across the state of Nevada, including supporting food banks, supporting organizations that help with disabilities, and helping minority-owned business among others,” Considine said Thursday evening. “I had no part in advocating for this funding to be included in this legislation and I stand by my vote.”
AB525 passed 39-3 in the Assembly and 13-8 in the Senate and was signed by Lombardo. SB341 passed 13-8 in the Senate and 28-14 in the Assembly. It was also signed by Lombardo.