2015 Session: Week 10 Update

We’ve now finished the first ten weeks of the 2015 Legislative Session! On Friday, we had an important deadline for bills to pass out of committee before being voted on by the full Senate. Here’s an update on where some important bills stand:

Promoting minority and women owned businesses - On Friday, the Senate Revenue Committee passed a bill sponsored by the Senate Democrats to help minority and women owned businesses get off the ground. The bill requires the Office of Economic Development to create a program that will provide loans to these businesses so that they more easily get started, expand, and help put more Nevadans to work.

Creating new job opportunities - Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Kelvin Atkinson, also passed SB 371 out of the Commerce, Labor, and Energy Committee. This bill requires projects funded by taxpayer dollars to include a certain amount of labor done by apprentices. Apprenticeship programs are particularly important means for training construction workers, and this program will help expand the base of skilled laborers in Nevada.

Voting rights under attack: Senate Republicans did pass Senate Bill 433, which cuts back on your access to the polls by cutting early voting hours. Although Democrats were able to get some amendments to the bill to restore early voting hours on Sundays, Republicans insisted on cutting back early vote hours on week nights. The bill now goes to the floor, and Democrats will keep fighting to restore those hours and to ensure that everyone across the state has plenty of opportunity to vote.

The bills and issues above are just a few that Senate Democrats will continue fighting for throughout the 2015 Legislative Session. At this important halfway mark, we want to thank all of you for paying attention and lending your voice to the process. Government works best when we all work together -- that’s why your input is critical to our success.

Here are a few ways you can help make a difference.