Read More About It:
Sen. Neal's Legislative Accomplishments
Sen. Neal's Biography
Democrat 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 other
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 gaming.
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.
Senator Neal's Legislative
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 rights pioneer.
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.
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.