Las Vegas Review-Journal

Posted February 16, 2017 – 9:00pm

Job creation tends to be at the top of the agenda for most politicians. As Bill Clinton’s campaign famously emphasized way back in 1992, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

In Carson City, however, The  have apparently embraced an alternative strategy. Rather than stress policies intended to expand employment opportunities, they have chosen instead to play to their progressive base by advocating for proposals that will retard state job growth.

On Wednesday, lawmakers debated Assembly Bill 175, which would raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next few years in a sop to the Culinary union, a cash cow for Democrats. Forget that the Nevada constitution already allows for regular increases in the pay floor. Ignore that several small business cite California’s looming minimum wage hikes as reason for escaping to the Silver State. Never mind that the measure would price thousands of low-skilled and entry level workers — including many teenagers — out of the job market and drive up prices for consumers.

The hearing on AB 175 came just a few days after Justin Watkins, D-Las Vegas, proposed a statewide ban on fracking. The prohibition would sacrifice hundreds of high-paying jobs in rural Nevada at the altar of environmental extremism.

And then we have Assembly Bill 106 from Las Vegas Democrat Ellen Spiegel. Under the guise of promoting gender pay equity, it would mandate a blizzard of paperwork for companies seeking government contracts. The measure would force such businesses to receive a “certificate of pay equity” from the state labor commissioner and leave them no recourse in the courts. AB 106 represents precisely the kind of regulatory overkill that could erode Nevada’s business-friendly reputation and ultimately limit opportunity for state residents.

Fewer than two weeks into the 2017 session, legislative Democrats have made it abundantly clear that they place kowtowing to liberal special-interest groups above fostering an atmosphere designed to promote economic expansion and entrepreneurship.