Frierson to Chaffetz: I have concerns

A month after the election, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, riding one of his longtime hobbyhorses, wrote to Assembly Speaker-in-Waiting Jason Frierson, asking him to expound on his experiences with unfunded mandates to the states from the federal government.

I don't think Frierson gave him the answer he was looking for.

In a forceful, detailed letter, Frierson went well beyond what Chaffetz had asked and listed "five critical federal issues that are cause for grave concern for Nevadans: the storage of nuclear watse at Yucca Mountain; the stalemate on Comprehensive Immigration Reform; Mandatory Minimums for nonviolent offenders and Marijuana's continued presence as a Scheduled (sic) 1 drug; and the disturbing comments by the President-elect's nominee for Attorney General." 

That is, the incoming speaker used Chaffetz's letter to catalogue a series (six, actually) of grievances that have little to do with unfunded mandates. Parts of it read like a political manifesto, referring to President-elect Trump's "hateful rhetoric" on immigration and attorney general-designate Jeff Sessions' record.

Frierson, who has a long history on and lobbied on criminal justice issues, argued that the pot classification and sentencing guidelines are "imposing financial, economic and social burdens on Nevada." And Frierson also asserted that Obamacare and the national monument at Gold Butte, two bitterly partisan issues, have helped Nevada and he wrote that Congress or Trump should not to be part of any efforts to "curtail or dismember them."

This is the second time this week that the new speaker stepped out on federal issues, the first being a letter with his state Senate counterpart, Aaron Ford, urging Sen. Dean Heller not to repeal Obamacare. I'm not sure I remember a time when state legislative leaders in Nevada were so outspoken on federal issues.

The Chaffetz letter The Frierson letter