Despite our serious Nevada budget shortfall, including not being able to adequately fund our school systems and the teachers who develop young minds, the 2009 Nevada Legislature apparently won’t be taking up the proposal of legalizing prostitution and creating legal brothels.
“It’s the only major industry in the state that doesn’t pay anything,” says George Flint, president of the Nevada Brothel Owners Association.
The Nevada legislative staff had been drafting a bill to allow the mayor of Las Vegas to issue up to three brothel licenses as a pilot program until a brothel licensing board could be established.
In exchange for the opportunity to expand into the Nevada’s urban counties, the industry volunteered to be taxed.
Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman has always called for a public discussion of legalizing prostitution as a way to redevelop downtown Las Vegas and help provide budget revenues.
Year after year the measure has been brought up. Each time the legislative initative has failed.
Nevada Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley’s opposition this year was pivotal to the death of the bill, saying the bill would not be heard because “I do not support legalizing prostitution.” Buckley runs a disciplined caucus and her strong opposition to a bill virtually guarantees its failure.
Although the battle may be lost, the war wages on. Now, with state budget shortfalls taking center news stage, more groups are joining in to closely scrutinize the impact of such legislative decisions including ABC’s “Nightline” that is delving into the concept of taxing prostitution in Nevada.