Press Releases

SENATE DEMOCRATS VOTE AGAINST LOCKING PUBLIC OUT OF REDISTRICTING PROCESS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 2, 2015

SENATE DEMOCRATS VOTE AGAINST LOCKING PUBLIC OUT OF REDISTRICTING PROCESS 

CARSON CITY – Today, Senate Democrats voted unanimously against the Joint Standing Rules of the Senate and Assembly. Democratic senators voted against rules changes that would have made it more difficult for members of the public to exercise their right to participate in any redistricting process. Senate Democrats were not given proposed rules to review until a few minutes before the Senate was gaveled to order.

“It’s unfortunate that our Republican colleagues felt the need to exclude the public from participating in the redistricting process,” said Democratic Leader Sen. Aaron D. Ford. “Any redistricting effort in Nevada should be an open, public process, and not a product of backroom deals by Carson City insiders.”

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How the Legislature could affect your kids

Reno Gazette-Journal
By Trevon Milliard
Jan. 29, 2015

Lawmakers have their eyes on changing public schools this year.

The attention began with Governor Brian Sandoval's State of the State address. He advocated for sweeping changes: Take away voters' right to choose local school boards, create a state-run district of the lowest-performing public schools and put millions of dollars into improving what's commonly rated as one of the nation's worst school systems.

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SEN. DEBBIE SMITH: Legislature Must Protect Women from Gun-Related Domestic Violence, Murders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 29, 2015

SEN. DEBBIE SMITH: LEGISLATURE MUST PROTECT WOMEN FROM GUN-RELATED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, MURDERS

CARSON CITY - Today, Sen. Debbie Smith (D-Sparks) announced that she will introduce legislation this session to help prevent gun-related intimate partner violence. Recent studies have found that women in Nevada are murdered with guns at a significantly higher rate than the national average.

The legislation would prohibit persons convicted of domestic violence and stalking crimes or subject to an extended protection order for domestic violence from possessing a firearm. Persons prohibited from owning or possessing guns would be required to turn them over to law enforcement or a licensed gun dealer. Under the proposed legislation, failure to comply would constitute a category B felony. 

“The sad fact is that we have not done nearly enough to protect Nevada women from intimate partner violence,” Sen. Smith said. “By toughening penalties and taking guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, we can protect women, particularly those who have faced abuse. I hope my colleagues will join me in acting to prevent more tragic deaths.”

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SENATE DEMOCRATS RENEW PUSH FOR SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION, CALL FOR BIPARTISAN LEGISLATIVE ACTION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 12, 2015

SENATE DEMOCRATS RENEW PUSH FOR SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION, CALL FOR BIPARTISAN LEGISLATIVE ACTION

LAS VEGAS– At the Las Vegas NewsFeed today, Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford called on legislative leaders to commit to making funding for school construction the first priority for the upcoming session.  Specifically, Senate Democrats are pushing for a bipartisan bill expanding rollover bond authority for local school districts to be the first piece of legislation sent to the governor’s desk.  

“On the heels of last week’s Southern Nevada Forum and this morning’s Las Vegas NewsFeed breakfast, it is clear that there is bipartisan support for Senator Debbie Smith’s proposed school construction legislation,” said Senate Democratic Leader Aaron Ford. “We invite our Republican colleagues and Governor Sandoval to join us in pledging to make school construction the first thing we accomplish this session.”

In the special legislative session last year, Senate Democrats proposed adding the rollover of bonding authority to the proclamation. Had this been passed, it was projected that school construction would have begun within 6 months. 

Sen. Joyce Woodhouse, a member of the Senate Education Committee and 40 year educator, made the following statement:

“When we invest in safe, modern school facilities, we’re investing in the long-term success of Nevada students. Nevada’s children can’t reach their full potential in overcrowded schools that lack basic amenities, like air conditioning and heat. Leaders of both parties must come together and commit to immediately passing this school construction bill.”

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NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS HIRE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR LEGISLATIVE SESSION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 8, 2015

NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS HIRE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR LEGISLATIVE SESSION

CARSON CITY – Today, the Nevada Senate Democratic Caucus announced that it has hired Peter Koltak to serve as Communications Director for the 2015 legislative session. This marks the first time that the caucus has hired dedicated communications staff for a legislative session. 

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Senator Aaron D. Ford Joins DLCC 2015 Board of Directors

Nevada Democratic Senate Leader joins board that will continue efforts to grow number of Democratic chambers and cut into Republican majorities

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 11, 2014) – At their annual winter meeting today, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) Board of Directors elected seven new Board Members and its national Executive Board officers for 2015.  Drawn from legislative leaders in every region of the country, the DLCC's Board of Directors is the national governing body of the organization. Its leaders are deeply involved in legislative campaigns in their states and drive Democrats' nationwide strategy to win elections in state legislatures.

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Nevada Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford Announces Leadership Team

Las Vegas, NV—Today, Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford announced his decision to re-appoint Senator Debbie Smith as Assistant Leader of the Nevada Senate Democratic Caucus. Senator Aaron Ford also announced today that Senator Kelvin Atkinson and Senator Ruben Kihuen will be appointed as Co-Democratic Whips. In announcing this team, Senator Ford noted that "our Nevada constituency is diverse in several respects, and our Leadership Team reflects this diversity."

“I am proud to re-appoint Senator Debbie Smith as the Assistant Democratic Leader of the Nevada Senate Democratic Caucus for a second term," said Senator Aaron Ford. "Senator Smith has consistently proven her commitment to working in a collaborative manner with members of the Caucus and other public officials. I look forward to working alongside her, as well as all members of the Senate Democratic Caucus, to continue fighting for Nevada's working families and improving education for Nevada's future generation.”

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Nevada Senate Democrats elect Aaron D. Ford as Minority Leader post-2014 General Election

Las Vegas, NV—Today, Senator Moises Denis announced his decision not to seek re-election as the leader of the Nevada Senate Democratic Caucus. In light of his decision, the Caucus members elected Senator Aaron D. Ford to lead their 10-member minority. While the shift in majority and leadership may have changed, our priorities as Democrats have not. We will continue to focus on fighting for Nevada’s working families and improving our education system so all of Nevada’s kids have an equal opportunity to succeed.

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Nevada State Senator Tapped to Lead NCSL

smithMinneapolis– State Senator Debbie Smith became the 42nd President of the National Conference of State Legislatures at the group's annual legislative summit.

Senator Smith, a Democrat, succeeds Republican Bruce Starr of the Oregon State Senate. NCSL, a bipartisan organization that serves the nation's 7,383 state lawmakers and more than 20,000 legislative staff throughout the country, alternates its leadership between the two parties annually.

"This organization has built such an impressive reputation over forty years and I am honored to serve as president," Smith says, "Having been involved with NCSL for many years, I know firsthand the important role NCSL plays in providing legislators, just like myself, with support, ideas and connections to help us lead in our own states. I appreciate the trust my peers from around the country have placed in me to lead this organization.

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NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS STATEMENT ON SENATE BILL 192

Feb. 26, 2014

NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS STATEMENT ON SENATE BILL 192

The Nevada Senate Democratic Caucus is made up of one of the most diverse group of legislators in the nation. It was because of our majority in the State Senate that SJR13, the marriage equality bill, passed last session – paving the way for all Nevadans to be treated fairly and equally under the law. It was our Caucus member, Senator Pat Spearman, who introduced Senate Bill 139, which extends hate crime protections to include crimes motivated by a victim’s gender identity or expression. Our entire Caucus joined Senator Spearman in pushing for this landmark legislation and voted in full support of this bill.  

The vote in favor of Senate Bill 192 by some of our Caucus members was not intended to put into law the same discriminatory measures as outlined in the Arizona legislation. In fact, SB192 contained specific language not included in the AZ legislation making clear that it did not trump federal or state civil rights. SB192 was the consequence of trying to find a balance between protecting religious rights in our State, while also making sure we expand equal rights under the law for all Nevadans.

Looking at the landscape since Senate Bill 192 was passed in the Senate last year and some of the consequences seen in other states with similar laws, we want to make clear that our members who voted in favor did not do so with the intention to discriminate against any group of people. If similar legislation were to be introduced in future legislative sessions, the Nevada Senate Democrats would stand together to unanimously oppose it. 

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Senate Democrats Statement on NV Legislature Opening Day

Carson City-Nevada Senate Democrats released the following statement on the first day of the 2013 legislative session.  Senate Majority Leader Mo Denis stated:

“Today marks the beginning of months of work by our legislators and staff.   Opening Day is special for all of us, particularly our newest members-Senators Atkinson, Segerblom, Spearman, Woodhouse, Jones, Ford and Smith. We have said since the November election that this session will be different than years past.  As a first step to opening a dialogue and articulating a clear agenda, we’re proud to release www.BuildingABetterNevada.com, a website in partnership the Assembly Democratic Caucus that highlights our joint agenda."

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