Sisolak signals he’ll sign minimum wage, paid leave bills

punch in, punch out, repeat
"Art Lab punch clock" by Bernard Polet is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
punch in, punch out, repeat
“Art Lab punch clock” by Bernard Polet is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In a statement issued minutes after legislators adjourned midnight Monday, Gov. Steve Sisolak touted legislation he’s already signed, and promised that in coming days he will sign bills to raise the state minimum wage and mandate that some private sector employees provide employees with paid sick leave.

Along with the education budget and the new education formula measure that occupied much of legislators’ time near the end of the session, Sisolak said he also will sign the bill allowing state employees to bargain collectively, a bill allowing same-day voter registration, and several other measures.

“From making our schools and communities safer, to passing the largest education budget in Nevada history, to securing protections for Nevadans with pre-existing conditions and combating the devastating practice of surprise billing, we have taken bold steps that will create better opportunities for all Nevadans,” Sisolak said.

“It’s been an honor serving alongside the nation’s first female-majority legislature, which has broken barriers and positioned our state as a leader in courageous policies that will make life better for working families,” Sisolak said.

Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson has been writing about Nevada policy and politics for more than 20 years. He was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and wrote the then-groundbreaking Las Vegas Gleaner, which among other things was the only independent political blog from Nevada that was credentialed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He spent a few years as a senior energy and environmental policy analyst for Public Citizen, and has occasionally worked as a consultant on mining, taxation, education and other issues for Nevada labor and public interest organizations. His freelance work has been published in outlets ranging from the Guardian to Desert Companion to In These Times to the Oil & Gas Journal. For several years he also taught U.S. History courses at UNLV. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and then assistant managing editor at the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming’s largest newspaper.


  1. What would be better than raising the minimum wage by $X/week? A broad-based punitive “vacancy tax” on vacant land and unoccupied buildings, which property owners are so keen to avoid that it *reduces rents* by $X/week. Why would this be better? Because:
    (1) When you allow for income tax and withdrawal of welfare, a dollar *saved* is worth much more than a dollar *earned*.
    (2) By themselves, higher wages would be competed away in higher rents. Landlords might even try to raise rents by the *gross* increase in wages, not allowing for the Effective Marginal Tax Rate.
    (3) Nobody says lower rents would price workers out of a job! Indeed, the scramble to avoid the vacancy tax would *create* jobs. And the lower rents would create more jobs, because jobs can’t exist unless (a) the employers can afford business accommodation, and (b) the employees can afford housing within reach of their jobs, on wages that the employers can pay. (Implication: The tax should apply to both commercial & residential property.)
    (4) Why should employers pay for a problem caused by deadbeat landowners?
    (5) The economic activity driven by a vacancy tax would broaden the bases of other taxes, allowing their rates to be reduced, so that the rest of us would pay LESS tax!


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