Thanks to your calls, emails, tweets, text messages, and in person visits with your legislators, Senate Joint Resolution 15 passed it’s first hurdle on the way to the ballot in 2014. After testimony from supporters and opponents (the opponents were mining industry lobbyists) the Senate Revenue committee voted to pass the SJR15 unanimously. The resolution now will go to the Assembly Taxation committee for approval before going to a vote of both houses.
Senators Roberson, Brower and Kieckhefer asked the most pointed questions, showing visible frustration that the mining industry could not, or perhaps just would not, provide the committee with straight answers. The mining industry refused to say if they were for or against the resolution, or if they would sue the state of SJR15 is passed. They indicated if the people of Nevada were successful in passing SJR15, they would stop paying the Net Proceeds on Minerals Tax, even though that tax is not only in the constitution, it is state law.
During testimony mining lobbyist Gary Wadhams attempted to pass around a six pound rock with 26 cents worth of gold, but the committee wasn’t in the mood for theatrics. Mr Wadhams was there to make mining’s case against (but not really against, at least not on record) SJR15, but Senator Roberson accused him of misleading the committee. Assemblyman Ira Hansen also provided animated testimony, going after members of the committee for what he claims was rude behavior toward mining lobbyists.
At the end of the day, SJR15 moves forward, even when everyone told us it would never even get a hearing. PLANistas take home a victory, and Gary Wadhams has his six pound rock.