Press Releases

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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Feb. 26, 2014


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, a website in partnership the Assembly Democratic Caucus that highlights our joint agenda."

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