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JASON M. FRIERSON DISTRICT OFFICE: /ASSENMELYMAN 17526 Wo Rata Rod, No, 400187 Diet No.8 ins Vogue, Nove 6718-009, ‘car Gon anne [SPEAKER OFTHE ASSEMBLY LEGISLATIVE BUILDING: committees: 401 Sout Conan test vee Char canon chy. Nevse O97O%A747 ‘way and Means State of Nevada Ofc: (75) 6848867 Fachos (76) 9048609 Eat: Jaen fraeongeem eto ek Member Assembly pesmi state nv sisvemoy ‘Commarea Lebo Seventy-Ninth Session ‘The Honorable Jason Chaffetz Chairman U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform 2187 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 Dear Iason Chaffetz, | appreciated your December 16" letter on what the new Congress and your Committee ean do to help alleviate the burdens of unfunded federal mandates and prevent federal policies that harm Nevada's future. There are five critical federal issues that are cause for grave concern for Nevadans: the storage of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain: the stalemate on Comprehensive Immigration Reform; Mandatory Minimums for nonviolent offenders and Marijuana’s continued presence as a Scheduled I drug: and the disturbing comments by the Presidentelect’s nominee for Attomey General. In addition to your help on these critical issues, T want to take this opportunity 1o caution you against federal overreach that attempts to "undermine eur new National Monuments or strip Nevadans of their healthcare. ‘Storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, just 100 miles ffom Las Vegas-a metropolitan area of more than 2 milli people and an international tourist destination where we weleome more than 40 million visitors a year-would be an economic, ecological and national security disaster. Former Nevada Attomey General and current U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto’s office produced a report that laid out the compelling arguments against nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in a 2010 report’ 1 encourage you to read the report yourself, but to summarize: Yucca Mountain “is geologically incapable of isolating deadly nuclear waste forthe time required” and is prone to earthquakes, is a corrosive environment that would grade waste containers relatively quickly and would lead to the contamination of groundwater for communities for thousands of miles. Worse, transporting waste to Nevada across thousands of miles of our nation’s highways and railways provide terrorists a new target for potential attacks. Nevada doesn’t produce or use nuclear energy and we don’t want to be ‘the nation’s radioactive dumping ground. A Texas community has indicated that they would like to house America's nuclear waste — I encourage you to help them in their effort” Another critical problem we face in Nevada is addressing the harmful federal immigration laws that threaten our families and harm our economic future. Passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform would not only help our economy by up to $210 billion in new economic activity over the next ten years’, but it would remove the terrifying experience too many Nevadans have of being ripped apart from their families and the country they love—a county that for many is the only home they 've ever known. The President-elect campaigned on divisiveness, but these ate our families and our future, and his hateful rhetoric is not how you make “America Great Again.” We can protect our borders, while giving these Nevada amilies the pathvvay to citizenship they deserve. + Marta Adams, YUCCA MOUNTAIN-NEVADA'S PERSPECTIVE, (Office of the Attorney General, 4/12/10), http://ag.nv.gov /uploadedFiles/agnvgov/Content/Hot Topics/{ssue/nvagi00412perspective.pdf 2 Marisa Endicott, West Texas Site Applies for Nuke Waste License, (Texas Tribune, 4/28/16), hitps:/ /www.texastribune,org/2016/04/28/west-texas-waste-site-applies-nuke-waste-license/ 3 FACT SHEET: The Economic Benefits of Fixing Our Broken Immigration System, (The White House, 11/21/14), hutps://www.whitehouse gov/the-press-office/2014/11/21 /fact-sheet-economic-benefits-fixing-our-broken- immigration-system In addition to those two areas, the related issues of mandatory minimums for non-violent drug offenders and the continued presence of marijuana as a schedule one drug are imposing financial, economic and social burdens on Nevada Mandatory minimums create overcrowded prisons that not only inerease criminal activity, but also place a financial burden fn taxpayers to house, feed and protect people who should never be in prison inthe frst place. Criminalizing people ~ humans ~ who have made mistakes, but weren’t violent, does nothing but eliminate their economic and social future and put them on a path of criminal recidivism. Recently, Nevada’s First Lady, Kathleen Sandoval, worked on a comprehensive review of our juvenile justice system and I have also spent my eareer working ta help people recover from our broken justice system and it has become clear that we need criminal justice reform on the state and federal level. Speaker Ryan has signaled he would like to move forward on this issue and I-welcome his leadership and offer my help in anyway to get this done. I encourage you to work with your colleagues to repeal mandatory minimums for non-violent offenders and overhaul a criminal justice system that squashes the future of so many of our children before they even havea chance to graduate high school. (On arelated note, the comments and actions of Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions II are extremely disturbing for anyone, but especially for someone who wants tobe this nation’s top law enforcement officer. Senator Sessions” comments that the NAACP, the SCLC and the National Conference of Churehes are “un-American” are beyond offer ‘The allegations from a senior Aftican-American attomey in the U.S. Attorney’s Office that Sen, Sessions called him “boy” and said the KKK was “O.K." are the musings of a racist from America’s darkest era of Iynching’s and Jim Crow. Every Nevadan depends on the U.S. Department of Justice to uphold their civil rights and Congress needs to hold the Justice Department to the highest ethical and legal standards. Every American should be able to have an equal shot atthe American Dream without fear of racial prejudice and injustice. hope your Committee holds the Department and whoever the Attorney General isto the standards that befit our top law enforcement agency. Finally, 1 wanted to highlight two federal actions that have really helped Nevada and discourage any attempt by the new Congress of President-elect to curtail ar dismember them: our new National Monuments and the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. Outdoor tourism is a comerstone of the economy of Western States ~ especially Nevada and Utah, Jointly, Nevada and Utah have benefited from nearly $27 billion in economic activity, 280,000 jobs, $8.5 billion in salaries and nearly $2 billion in state tax revenue because of outdoor recreation in just the last year The driver of this activity is our amazing public lands. These lands are atthe heart of our Western way of life and attract millions of visitors a year, and we need to do everything we can to protect them. Our public lands do not belong to an individual party fora finite period of time, but to every American, and every future generation. | encourage your Committee to do everything it ean fo prevent any attempt to attack public lands and the ability ofthe federal government to protect them from privatization or exploitation so we maintain the bedrock promise and beauty of “America's Best Idea.” ‘The Affordable Care Act has been a vital part of Nevada's economic recovery and repealing it would be nothing shor of disastrous. Over the course ofthe last six years, 294,000 Nevadans gained health insurance, the growth rate in insurance premium has slowed, insurance plans have improved remarkably and Nevadans have received over $16 million in rebates from insurance companies.’ While the new Congress and President-elect look at all ofthese wonderful benefits to our constituents and every state, I encourage you to look at way’ to improve the law: however, any attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act would throw hundreds of thousands of Nevadans off their healthcare plans and destabilize the insurance market across the country. Equally disturbing are reports that the Majority in Congress intends to defund essential women’s healthcare services, like Planned Parenthood, on which tens of thousands of Nevada women rely. Our families depend on the # Scott Zamost, Sessions Dogged By Old Allegations of Racism, (CNN, 11/17/16), http://www.cnn.com/2016/ 11/17 politics/jef-sessions-racism-allegations/ # Matt Apuzzo, Specter of Race Shadows Jeff Sessions, Potential Trump Nominee for Cabinet, (New York Times, 11/16/16), http://www nytimes.com/2016/11/17 /as/politics/specter-of-race-shadows-eff-sessions-potential- trump-nominee-for-cabinet.ntml © OUTDOOR RECREATION ECONOMY, (Outdoor Industry Association, 1/3/17), https://outdoorindustry.org/research- tools/outdoor-recreation-economy/ ? Impact of the Affordable Care Act in Nevada, (Department of Health and Human Services, 12/13/16), inttps:/ /www.hhs.gov /healthcare /facts-and-features state-by-state /how-aca-is-working-for-nevada/indexhtm] basic benefits ensconced in the Affordable Care Act and a move by Congress to enact talking points instead of sound public policy would devastate millions of Nevadans, appreciate the opportunity to give you my perspective on the priorities of Nevada families and what they expect their elected officials to represent. The federal government can be our partner for a brighter future. I look forward to ‘continuing this conversation as the new Congress goes forward and encourage you to separate the iresponsible and divisive thetoric on the campaign trail trom the sobering necessities of governing, Nevada and every American’s future depend on ‘your Committee the Congress and the President-elect recognizing that your actions have real-world consequences on the \orking-familics and communities we represent. Sincerely, . ‘y A a oe talon Friersdn Speaker