Updates

NEVADANS SHARE THEIR STORIES AS NEVADA DEMOCRATS TACKLE HIGH COST OF DIABETES MEDICATION

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April 20, 2017

 

NEVADANS SHARE THEIR STORIES AS NEVADA DEMOCRATS TACKLE HIGH COST OF DIABETES MEDICATION

 

CARSON CITY - Yesterday, people from across Nevada came to Carson City for Diabetes Day to share their stories with state lawmakers about living with diabetes and the high cost of insulin. Diabetes affects 12% of Nevada’s adult population. An estimated one million Nevadans suffer from diabetes or are pre-diabetic. The cost of insulin rose an estimated 387% between 2006 and 2013. 

 

State Senator Yvanna Cancela (D - Clark County) and Senate Democrats have introduced Senate Bill 265, which seeks to control the high cost of insulin for Nevadans suffering from diabetes. SB265 would make pricing for diabetes medications more transparent and would require manufacturers to reimburse patients if drug costs exceeded certain standards. 

 

“We can no longer ignore the fact that diabetes is a public health crisis that affects hundreds of thousands of Nevadans. The cost of life-saving medications continues to explode, putting more and more Nevadans at risk of serious complications or death," said Senator Yvanna Cancela. "Senate Bill 265 will finally give patients some relief by forcing transparency in diabetes drug pricing and protecting them from inexplicable price increases.” 

 

Coverage of yesterday’s Diabetes Day at the Nevada Legislature:

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Families who live with diabetes lament medication high costs

 

KOLO: Nevadans visit legislature to support SB265

 

KTVN: Concerns about SB265 discussed at Diabetes Day Press Conference

 

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SENATOR SPEARMAN: IT’S TIME TO CLOSE THE STALKING AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LOOPHOLE AND PROTECT VICTIMS FROM GUN VIOLENCE

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April 11, 2017

 

SENATOR SPEARMAN: IT’S TIME TO CLOSE THE STALKING AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LOOPHOLE AND PROTECT VICTIMS FROM GUN VIOLENCE

 

CARSON CITY - Today, Senator Pat Spearman released the following statement before the hearing on Senate Bill 124 in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senate Bill 124 closes a loophole that allows stalkers and alleged domestic abusers to possess and purchase firearms. 

 

“Survivors of domestic violence and stalking shouldn’t have to live in fear that their tormentors will return to harm them again with a gun. It’s time to close the domestic violence and stalking loopholes in Nevada’s gun laws that were created last session by Republican leadership. Lives are at stake.”

 

Senate Bill 124 corrects major flaws in Senate Bill 240, a Republican bill from the 2015 Legislative Session. The Republican leadership’s bill created a loophole that allowed for people convicted of stalking or those subject to an extended domestic violence protection order to continue to possess and purchase firearms. Democratic Senator Debbie Smith had legislation to close these loopholes, and Senate Democrats attempted to fix the loopholes via amendments. Republican leadership blocked those attempts. 

 

Nevada consistently ranks top in the nation for domestic violence fatalities. Research shows that women are five times more likely to be killed when a gun is present in a domestic violence situation, and people with a history of domestic violence are more likely to subsequently kill an intimate partner.

 

Senate Bill 124 will be heard today in the Senate Judiciary Committee at 1:00 pm. 

 

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STATEMENT OF SENATOR DAVID PARKS ON SENATE PASSAGE OF CONVERSION THERAPY BAN

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April 4, 2017

 

STATEMENT OF SENATOR DAVID PARKS ON SENATE PASSAGE OF CONVERSION THERAPY BAN

 

CARSON CITY - Today, Nevada State Senator David Parks released the following the passage of Senate Bill 201 out of the Nevada State Senate. SB201 bans the use of conversion therapy on minors. 

 

“I want to thank my colleagues for their support in passing this bill to protect the mental and physical well-being of Nevada’s LGBT kids. Conversion therapy is not therapy at all. It’s a dangerous practice that puts LGBT youth at greater risk of anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and suicide. That’s why it is opposed by nearly all mainstream medical organizations and why we should ban the practice permanently in Nevada. I urge the Assembly to quickly pass this bill.” 

 

Conversion therapy is a discredited practice that falsely claims to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. It is opposed by mainstream mental health practitioners and organizations. If SB201 is passed by the Assembly and signed by Governor Sandoval, Nevada will become the sixth state to pass a law banning the practice.  

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STATEMENT OF MAJORITY LEADER FORD ON REPUBLICAN FAILURE TO STAND UP FOR NEVADANS’ ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 3, 2017

STATEMENT OF MAJORITY LEADER FORD ON REPUBLICAN FAILURE TO STAND UP FOR NEVADANS’ ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE

CARSON CITY - Today, Nevada Senate Majority Leader Aaron D. Ford released the following statement after state Senate Republicans unanimously voted against protecting Nevadans’ access to vital health care.  Republicans voted against Senate Joint Resolution 8, which calls on Congress not to repeal the Affordable Care Act, to protect the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, and to preserve funding for Planned Parenthood. 

“Washington Republicans have made it clear that they will not give up their crusade to take health care away from millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans. Today, state Senate Republicans joined with President Trump, Speaker Ryan and D.C. radicals in furthering that goal. Opposition to repealing the Affordable Care Act and cutting Planned Parenthood funding is bipartisan in Nevada. I am disappointed that our Republican colleagues sided with the most extreme elements of their party and against the best interests of hardworking Nevada families.”

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STATE SENATOR RATTI STATEMENT ON HELLER’S DECIDING VOTE TO SLASH PLANNED PARENTHOOD FUNDING

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 30, 2017

STATE SENATOR RATTI STATEMENT ON HELLER’S DECIDING VOTE TO SLASH PLANNED PARENTHOOD FUNDING

CARSON CITY - Today, State Senator Julia Ratti (D-Sparks) released the following statement after Senator Dean Heller’s deciding vote to overturn an Obama-era rule that prevents states from barring Planned Parenthood from receiving Title X funds allocated to states for family planning. 

“I am extremely disappointed that Senator Heller cast the deciding vote that puts access to family planning services for millions of women at risk. Here in Nevada, Title X provides family planning funding in all corners of the state, from Las Vegas, to Reno, to our rural communities. Investments in family planning and affordable birth control lead to better health outcomes for women, fewer unintended pregnancies, and save taxpayers money. We should be ensuring that more funds go to groups, like Planned Parenthood, that provide such services, not less.” 

According to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services August 2016 report, the Southern Nevada Health District, Carson City Health and Human Services, Washoe County Health District, and the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health are all recipients of Title X grants. 

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NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCE CHILDREN’S ADVOCACY AND EDUCATION WEEK

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March 13, 2017

NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCE CHILDREN’S ADVOCACY AND EDUCATION WEEK

CARSON CITY - Today, the Nevada Senate Democrats announced that the week of March 13th would be Children’s Advocacy and Education Week in the Nevada State Senate. Bills relating to the health and wellbeing of children and improving K-12 public education will be introduced, heard, and voted on this week. 

“We’ve made important investments in public education, but we have more work to do to keep our promise to hardworking families that we will put their children’s education first,” said Senator Joyce Woodhouse. “It’s time for the Legislature to take steps to cut back on high-stakes testing, update our curriculum to face new challenges for a new Nevada, and move towards a more equitable funding formula that ensures dollars flow directly to areas with the greatest need.”

“The safety and security of children in Nevada is one of our top priorities this session,” said Senator Patricia Farley. “Whether it’s making sure our drug and alcohol prevention programs work more efficiently, protecting LGBTQ and other at-risk youth, or ensuring that our social safety net is adequately caring for kids in need, we will take important steps to protect the wellbeing of Nevada children.” 

Education and children’s issues are major points of the Nevada Blueprint. Announced on February 16th, the Nevada Blueprint is the Senate and Assembly Democrats’ joint agenda to empower hardworking Nevada families. 

Monday, March 13th:

AB99 - Establishes protections for LGBTQ youth in foster care - Health and Human Services

SB2 - Revises provisions relating to Nevada’s Safe Haven Law - Health and Human Services

SB201 - Bans the use of conversion therapy on minors - Commerce, Labor, and Energy

Tuesday, March 14th:

SB241 - Establishes a state graduation seal for STEM and STEAM education - Education

SB249 - Requires a financial literacy curriculum in public schools - Education

Wednesday, March 15th:

SB159 - Regulates the sale of certain medications to minors - Health and Human Services

Thursday, March 16th:

SB49 - Removes limits on funding for students with disabilities - Education

SB178 - Implements a weighted funding formula for public education - Education

Friday, March 17th:

SB90 - Creates a student loan refinancing program - Government Affairs

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AS WASHINGTON REPUBLICANS PLOT TO GUT WOMEN’S HEALTH, NEVADA DEMOCRATS WORK TO PRESERVE ACCESS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 7, 2017

 

AS WASHINGTON REPUBLICANS PLOT TO GUT WOMEN’S HEALTH CARE, NEVADA DEMOCRATS WORK TO PRESERVE ACCESS

 

CARSON CITY, NV - Yesterday, Republicans in Washington, D.C. announced their health care plan, which would gut funding for women’s health services. On the very same day, Nevada’s state Assembly and Senate Democrats held hearings on two bills that would preserve women’s access to basic preventative health care

 

“It’s time for Nevada law to reflect the realities of everyday life for Nevada’s women,” said Assembly Majority Leader Teresa Benitez-Thompson. “Women need ways to make their hectic lives easier. That's why we must do everything we can in the Nevada Legislature to ensure Nevadans have continued access to vital services such as access to birth control and family planning services."

 

“When it comes to health care, Nevada women can’t afford to allow reckless Washington politicians to roll back the gains we’ve made,” said Senator Julia Ratti. ”Cancer screenings, prenatal care, and birth control aren’t luxuries, they’re necessities. If the federal government won’t commit to preserving this care for women, then Nevada will.”

 

Assembly Bill 249 would bar insurance plans sold in Nevada from charging a copy to cover the cost of contraception. The bill also allows for women to receive a 12-month supply of birth control at one time, potentially reducing the need to visit a pharmacy as frequently. 

 

Senate Bill 233 incorporates those same contraception provisions. SB 233 also requires insurance plans to continue to cover cervical and breast cancer screenings, prenatal care, certain vaccinations, and other services. 

 

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STATEMENT OF SENATE MAJORITY LEADER FORD ON FEDERAL MARIJUANA CRACKDOWN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 23, 2017

STATEMENT OF SENATE MAJORITY LEADER FORD ON FEDERAL MARIJUANA CRACKDOWN

CARSON CITY - Today, Nevada Senate Majority Leader Aaron D. Ford made the following statement in response comments made by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer that the federal government would begin cracking down on states that had legalized recreational marijuana use. Senator Ford called on Attorney General Adam Laxalt to make it clear that his office will vigorously defend Nevada’s marijuana laws.  

“The Attorney General must make it immediately clear that he will vigorously defend Nevada’s recreational marijuana laws from federal overreach. Not only did voters overwhelmingly vote to approve the legalization of recreational marijuana, the Governor’s proposed education budget depends on tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales. Any action by the Trump administration would be an insult to Nevada voters and would pick the pockets of Nevada’s students. Mr. Laxalt was never shy about taking action against the federal government under the previous administration. He must show that same consistency in taking on President Trump’s overzealous attack on the will of Nevada voters.”

Last year, Nevada voters passed Question 2 by a margin of 54% - 46%. Nevada is one of seven states that have legalized the use of recreational marijuana. 

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STATEMENT OF SENATE MAJORITY LEADER FORD ON NPRI LAWSUIT

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February 22, 2017

 STATEMENT OF SENATE MAJORITY LEADER FORD ON NPRI LAWSUIT

CARSON CITY - Nevada State Senate Majority Leader Aaron D. Ford released the following statement with regard to a baseless constitutional separation of powers lawsuit filed by Nevada Policy Research Institute against Senator Heidi Gansert. 

“Like NPRI’s unsuccessful attack on Senator Mo Denis a few years back, the lawsuit against my colleague, Senator Gansert, is entirely misguided. 

A simple reading of the exact language of Article 3, Section 1 makes clear Senator Gansert’s employment with the University of Nevada in no way violates the Nevada Constitution. She is not exercising the powers or functions “appertaining” exclusively to the executive branch in her job. She is doing outreach work for one of our fine public universities, and she should be commended and encouraged in that work.

 

Filing meritless, political lawsuits targeting the livelihoods of our citizen legislators is not useful or constructive, and I am confident that Nevada courts will deal with this issue properly and in short order.”

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STATEMENTS FROM SENATE MAJORITY LEADER FORD AND SENATOR CANCELA REGARDING PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT IN RED ROCK CANYON

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 21, 2017

 

STATEMENTS FROM SENATE MAJORITY LEADER FORD AND SENATOR CANCELA REGARDING PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT IN RED ROCK CANYON

 

CARSON CITY - Today, State Senate Majority Leader Aaron D. Ford released the following statement regarding proposed development in Red Rock Canyon: 

 

"We are fortunate in Southern Nevada to have a world-renowned natural wonder like Red Rock Canyon so close to the Las Vegas Strip, with more than 2.5 million visitors to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area each year. The Outdoor Industry Association estimates that outdoor recreation is responsible for more than 148,000 direct jobs in Nevada and more than $1 billion in state and local tax revenue. Attracting new business and top talent to Nevada requires robust access to pristine recreation areas like Red Rock Canyon.

 

A proposal to build more than 5,000 homes in Red Rock Canyon would increase traffic and pollution around the Canyon and take away from the experience of both residents and tourists. I stand with the tens of thousands of Nevada residents who have signed a petition in opposition to the proposed development and in support of maintaining Red Rock's rural character."

 

Senator Yvanna Cancela, Chair of the Senate Natural Resources Committee, released the following statement:

 

"The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is known as the 'crown jewel' of the BLM's conservation areas. Millions of residents and tourists each come to see our beauty in the desert, just minutes from the Las Vegas Strip. There are few things more rewarding than the views from a hike in Red Rock, or a Sunday picnic with friends and family at Spring Mountain Ranch.

 

Obstructing those amazing views by building more than 5,000 homes in Red Rock Canyon is the wrong move. The Clark County Planning Commission courageously voted unanimously to recommend denial of the proposed development. The County Commission should show the same courage by standing against this unwise sprawl development proposal in Red Rock Canyon."

 

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SPEAKER FRIERSON AND MAJORITY LEADER FORD STATEMENT ON SESSIONS CONFIRMATION VOTE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 8, 2017

SPEAKER FRIERSON AND MAJORITY LEADER FORD STATEMENT ON SESSIONS CONFIRMATION VOTE

CARSON CITY - Today, Nevada State Senate Majority Leader Aaron D. Ford and State Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson released the following statement on U.S. Senator Dean Heller’s vote to confirm Jeff Sessions: 

“We are disheartened and thoroughly disappointed that Senator Dean Heller voted to confirm Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General. As the top law enforcement officer in the country, it is the responsibility of the Attorney General to enforce federal laws and defend the constitutional rights of all Americans, regardless of background. Based on Mr. Sessions long track record of hostility towards civil rights, LGBTQ rights, women's rights, and voting rights, we believe wholeheartedly that he should not serve.” 

Jason Frierson is the first African-American Speaker of the Nevada State Assembly. Aaron Ford is the second African-American to serve as Majority Leader of the Nevada State Senate. 

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MAJORITY LEADER AARON FORD STATEMENT ON LAS VEGAS STADIUM PROJECT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 31, 2017

 

MAJORITY LEADER AARON FORD STATEMENT ON LAS VEGAS STADIUM PROJECT

 

CARSON CITY - Today, Nevada State Senate Majority Leader Aaron D. Ford released the following statement regarding news that Goldman Sachs is no longer committed to financing the Las Vegas stadium project:

"Many of us supported bringing the Raiders to Las Vegas because we were guaranteed that our community would benefit in the form of new jobs and investments in neighborhoods that need it most. We expect that the community benefits plan announced in October will be honored in any new financing negotiations. If we do not receive adequate guarantees that the stadium project will hire local residents -- including low-income residents, minority communities, people with disabilities, veterans, ex-offenders, and those within the LGBTQ community -- we will act legislatively to ensure those provisions are enforced."

“If progress is not made towards financing the stadium project in a timely fashion, we will introduce legislation in the Senate to create the jobs that we were promised and contemplated by stadium construction. Our legislation will not affect the LVCVA expansion or UNLV's ability to pursue its own stadium project. It will, however, allocate the remaining revenue to create an infrastructure bank to fund construction projects in Southern Nevada. Nevadans should get the benefits they were promised from this deal.”

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SENATOR PARKS COMMENTS ON GOVERNOR’S PLAN TO REDUCE PRISON OVERCROWDING

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January 26, 2017

SENATOR PARKS COMMENTS ON GOVERNOR’S PLAN TO REDUCE PRISON OVERCROWDING

CARSON CITY - Today, State Senator David Parks (D-Clark County) released the following statement commenting on Governor Sandoval’s plan to reduce prison overcrowding and modernize some facilities. Senator Parks welcomed proposals to make the parole and supervision process more efficient, but he cautioned against relying on private prisons that have little accountability or oversight. 

“I welcome the Governor’s proposal to speed up our parole process for eligible prisoners and to invest more money into programs to reduce recidivism. In 2007, we took similar steps and saved Nevada taxpayers more than $1.2 billion in operating and construction costs,” said Senator Parks. “At the same time, I would caution against relying heavily on out-of-state private prisons to reduce overcrowding. The private prison system is plagued with poor oversight and unsafe conditions for both staff and inmates. We should instead look to community control, addiction and mental health treatment, and other services to take more of the burden off our prison system.”

The Governor’s proposed budget calls for new investments in parole and post-release supervision. These include six new staff positions to help speed up the parole process and eight new positions to help supervise parolees after they’re released. The budget also calls for sending some inmates to private, out-of-state prisons.  

In 2007, Senator Parks, then a member of the Assembly, oversaw a reform effort to reduce the prison population when he served as chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Corrections, Parole, and Probation. According to the Pew Center, those reforms saved Nevada an estimated $38 million in operating costs and $1.2 billion in new prison construction costs. 

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NEVADA SENATE MAJORITY LEADER AARON FORD DELIVERS DEMOCRATIC STATE OF THE STATE RESPONSE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 17, 2017

NEVADA SENATE MAJORITY LEADER AARON FORD DELIVERS DEMOCRATIC STATE OF THE STATE RESPONSE

CARSON CITY - Tonight, Nevada State Senate Majority Leader Aaron D. Ford delivered the Democratic response to Governor Sandoval’s State of the State address. For the first time, the response was also delivered in Spanish by Senator Mo Denis. 

“In 2016, Nevada voters sent a clear message, giving Democrats the majority of seats in the Nevada legislature, and the ability to shape the legislative agenda on behalf of Nevada families,” said Senator Ford. “Our agenda -- the Nevada Blueprint -- will expand and protect the middle class and build a Nevada that works for everyone.”  

In the response, Senator Ford outlined Democratic legislative priorities for the upcoming session. Democrats will focus on economic fairness and job creation, continuing to improve Nevada’s K-12 education system, investing in higher education and technical education programs while keeping costs low, and protecting Nevadans’ basic rights from federal overreach. 

A full transcript of the remarks as written is attached. 

Click here for video of Senator Ford’s response. 

Click here for video of the response in Spanish. 

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MAJORITY LEADER FORD, SPEAKER FRIERSON REQUEST ANSWERS FROM SENATOR HELLER ON ACA REPEAL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 10, 2017

 

MAJORITY LEADER FORD, SPEAKER FRIERSON REQUEST ANSWERS FROM SENATOR HELLER ON ACA REPEAL

 

LAS VEGAS - Today, Nevada state Senate Majority Leader Aaron D. Ford and Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson sent the attached letter to Senator Dean Heller outlining their concerns with Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 

 

Specifically, they outlined questions they hope Senator Heller will answer with regards to how a repeal of the Affordable Care Act will affect hundreds of thousands of Nevadans who now have health care thanks to the law. 

 

According to recent reporting by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, nearly 400,000 Nevadans could lose their health care if the Affordable Care Act is repealed without passing adequate replacement legislation. 

 

Senator_Heller_letter.pdf

 

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