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Sen. Neal's Legislative Accomplishments
More about Sen. Neal
Sen. Neal's Biography
Q & A
Las Vegas Review Journal
Sen. Neal's Casino Tax Proposal
Sen. Neal's Nuclear Waste Position
- People have to control gaming. Gaming cannot control the
people. I advocate a two percent increase on gross gaming taxes
for companies grossing more than $134,000 per month, but
would leave smaller establishments alone. Casinos in other states
pay as much as 34 percent of their gross proceeds in taxes for
the privilege of participating in a lucrative, growing business.
Nevada's low taxes subsidize the industry's ability to pay higher
taxes elsewhere, in effect sending dollars out of state to support
- Linked to my gaming tax increase, I propose the repeal of
the business activity tax (BAT), which I voted against in the
legislature. Based on the number of people employed, it prevents
small businesses from adding new workers. The BAT is a very unfair
and regressive levy forcing small firms to pay more per worker
than large companies. Shooting down the BAT would stimulate diverse
job growth while cutting taxes for all businesses, including
- I want Nevada ratepayers protected from subsidizing the costs
of proposed utility deregulation. I sit on the legislative interim
committee charged with reviewing this issue which affects everyone.
- I want to control Nevada's always-high health care costs; I
oppose privatizing the University Medical Center in Las Vegas.
- I favor making banks more responsive to Nevada consumer needs,
despite a recent spate of mergers. i supported establishment
of the state bond bank enabling local governments to take advantage
of the state's better credit rating to save on interest costs.
The bond bank can be used as a model to keep Nevadans' money
working for Nevadans. (South Dakota did this decades ago. Their
state bank enjoys a 98% repayment rate on student loans, far
better than other educational lending programs.)
- A NEAL ADMINISTRATION
- My administration would not be dominated by one particular
interest group, allowing others nothing. I would run a hands-on
government responsive to the needs of the citizens of this state.
- Our public records must be thrown open and become available
to the taxpayers at a reasonable price. Despite efforts at reform,
too many pockets of state and local government use public records
as profit centers.
NEV. 1998 Sen. Joe Neal shares a laugh with a treasured colleague,
former State Sen. Jean Ford, D-Las Vegas, Nevada historian and women's
EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT:
In 1977, Sen. Neal accomplished what everyone viewed as impossible.
The legislature's acknowledged master of parliamentary procedure, he engineered
the passage of women's rights in an ultra-right Nevada State Senate. A
political payoff later killed it in the assembly.
NATION'S TOUGHEST FIRE SPRINKLER LAW: After the 1980 Las
Vegas MGM Grand high rise fire killed 87 people, Sen. Neal introduced
a bill calling for retrofitting buildings and other safety measures. The
gambling industry opposed it because of the cost. Only one other senator
signed on - until an arsonist set fire to the Las Vegas Hilton, resulting
in more death and damage. Sen. Neal's proposal remains the law today,
a model studied and emulated worldwide.
Former Nevada State Fire Marshal Tom Huddleston wrote to Sen.
Neal upon leaving state service in 1987: "In large part
because of your courage, the State of Nevada enjoys the most
comprehensive fire prevention laws in the world. We are a leader
in the fire service and accordingly, many countries, states and
cities have copied all or part of what we have done in Nevada.
The steady downward trend in life and property loss from fire
in Nevada reflects our accomplishments. The yearly life loss
in our state has been more than cut in half during the last few
years even though our population continues to grow. This is due
to your efforts. Many people owe you their lives and health.
The fire service in Nevada is in your debt. Thank you."
TOUGHER REGULATION OF EXPLOSIVES MANUFACTURING: After
a massive explosion at the Pacific Engineering rocket fuelplant
in Henderson killed two people in 1988, Sen. Neal sponsored legislation
imposing strict controls on the industry. The law has not been
enforced. The recent Sierra Chemical plant explosion east of
Sparks revealed lax or non-existent oversight.
MONEY FOR LIBRARIES: Sen. Neal ramrodded legislation
allowing small communities to sell bonds to build libraries and
establishing the Southern Nevada Library District to do the same
in the Las Vegas area.