Press Releases

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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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MAJORITY LEADER FORD ANNOUNCES COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS FOR 2017 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 16, 2016

MAJORITY LEADER FORD ANNOUNCES COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS FOR 2017 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

LAS VEGAS - Today, Nevada Senate Majority Leader Aaron D. Ford announced committee assignments for the 2017 Legislative Session. A full committee membership list and meeting schedule will be posted on the legislative website. 

Commerce, Labor, and Energy*:

Senators Atkinson, Spearman, Cannizzaro, Settelmeyer, Hardy, and Gansert

Education:

Senators Denis, Woodhouse, Spearman, Segerblom, Hammond, Gustavson, and Harris

Finance:

Senators Woodhouse, Parks, Denis, Ford, Kieckhefer, Goicoechea, and Harris

Government Affairs:

Senators Parks, Manendo, Ratti, Goicoechea, and Hardy

Health and Human Services:

Senators Spearman, Ratti, Woodhouse, Hardy, and Hammond

Judiciary:

Senators Segerblom, Cannizzaro, Ford, Denis, Roberson, Harris, and Gustavson

Legislative Operations and Elections:

Senators Cannizzaro, Segerblom, Atkinson, Settelmeyer, and Gansert

Natural Resources*:

Senators Manendo, Ratti, Settelmeyer, and Goicoechea

Revenue and Economic Development:

Senators Ratti, Ford, Parks, Farley, Roberson, Kieckhefer, Gansert

Transportation:

Senators Manendo, Atkinson, Farley, Hammond, and Gustavson

*Indicates a vacancy to be filled at a later date

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MAJORITY LEADER FORD ANNOUNCES SENATOR FARLEY WILL CAUCUS WITH DEMOCRATS IN 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 14, 2016

MAJORITY LEADER FORD ANNOUNCES SENATOR FARLEY WILL CAUCUS WITH DEMOCRATS IN 2017

Las Vegas - Today, Senate Majority Leader Aaron D. Ford announced that Senator Patricia Farley (Dist. 8 - Summerlin) has changed her party affiliation to non-partisan and will caucus with the Senate Democrats during the 2017 Legislative Session. 

“As senators, our first obligation is to ensure that we’re creating jobs and providing quality educational opportunities to Nevadans, and Senator Farley is committed to collaboration and cooperation to make that happen.” said Senator Ford. “In the past, Senator Farley has demonstrated a desire to work across party lines to accomplish our shared goals. We are excited that she will now work directly with our caucus for the betterment of the state of Nevada.” 

“Nevada has a long tradition of legislators working across party lines to make positive change for our state, “ said Senator Farley. “I am choosing to serve as an independent in the 2017 session because my constituents come before party labels, and I believe this is the best way to represent them. I look forward to a productive session working together with Senator Ford and Senate Democrats.”

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NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCE COMMITTEE CHAIRS FOR 2017 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 11, 2017

 

NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCE COMMITTEE CHAIRS FOR 2017 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

 

LAS VEGAS - Today, Senate Majority Leader Aaron D. Ford announced committee chairs for the 2017 legislative session. 

 

Commerce, Labor, and Energy:

Senator Kelvin Atkinson, Chair

Senator Pat Spearman, Vice Chair

 

Finance:

Senator Joyce Woodhouse, Chair

Senator David Parks, Vice Chair

 

Judiciary: 

Senator Tick Segerblom, Chair

Senator Nicole Cannizzaro, Vice Chair

 

Education:

Senator Mo Denis, Chair

Senator Joyce Woodhouse, Vice Chair

 

Revenue and Economic Development:

Senator Julia Ratti, Chair

Senator Aaron Ford, Vice Chair

 

Transportation:

Senator Mark Manendo, Chair

Senator Kelvin Atkinson, Vice Chair

 

Government Affairs:

Senator David Parks, Chair

Senator Mark Manendo, Vice Chair

 

Legislative Operations and Elections: 

Senator Nicole Cannizzaro, Chair

Senator Tick Segerblom, Vice Chair

 

Health and Human Services:

Senator Pat Spearman, Chair

Senator Julia Ratti, Vice Chair

 

Parliamentary Rules and Procedures:

Senator Kelvin Atkinson, Chair

 

The chair and vice chair of the Committee on Natural Resources will be announced at a later date. 

 

 

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NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCE LEADERSHIP TEAM FOR 2017 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 10, 2016

 

NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCE LEADERSHIP TEAM FOR 2017 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

 

LAS VEGAS - Today, Senate Majority Leader Aaron D. Ford announced the Nevada State Senate Democratic leadership team for the 2017 Legislative Session. Senator Ford was unanimously elected to serve as Majority Leader by the Senate Democratic Caucus yesterday. 

 

“Our leadership team brings a wealth of experience and a deep knowledge of the legislative process to their positions,” said Senator Ford. “This team also reflects the diversity of the state of Nevada, and Nevadans will be well-served by these leaders.”  

 

The following senators will serve in leadership positions:

 

Senator Kelvin Atkinson - Assistant Majority Leader

 

Senator Joyce Woodhouse - Co-Majority Whip

 

Senator Pat Spearman - Co-Majority Whip

 

Senator Mo Denis - President Pro Tempore

 

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LEGISLATIVE DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCE COMMUNITY BENEFITS AGREEMENT FOR LAS VEGAS STADIUM PROJECT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 27, 2016

LEGISLATIVE DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCE COMMUNITY BENEFITS AGREEMENT FOR LAS VEGAS STADIUM PROJECT

LAS VEGAS - Today, Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford, Assembly Democratic Leaders, and Democratic legislators joined representatives of the Adelson Family to announce a Community Benefits Agreement for the Las Vegas Stadium Project. The agreement, which will be formalized at a later date, will ensure that the benefits of the stadium are felt by a diverse population. It will also lead to a more than substantial additional investment in community programs.

“This Community Benefits Agreement is the best of its kind anywhere in the country, and it will be a model for future public-private partnerships nationwide,” said Senator Ford. “The principles that the stadium operators have agreed on are a bold step to ensure that the entire community benefits from the significant public investment in the stadium project. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to making this agreement possible.”

Senator Kelvin Atkinson, who was instrumental in the process, added: "I am pleased to be able to ensure that all Nevadans will benefit from the opportunities arising out of the stadium development. I look forward to final consummation of the CBA."

Highlights of the Community Benefit Agreement include:

  • Youth recreation facility and programs targeted towards at-risk youth
  • Community impact grants providing substantial financial investments in traditionally underserved communities for the life of the stadium
  • An agreement that jobs created through stadium operations will pay a living wage and a project labor agreement for the construction of the stadium and related infrastructure improvements
  • Investments in workforce development and job training to help Nevadans learn the skills needed for jobs created at the new stadium
  • Hiring goals for diverse populations, including low-income Nevadans, minorities, individuals with disabilities, veterans, the LGBT community, and ex-offenders
  • Opportunities for minority, women, and veteran-owned certified business enterprises

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STATE SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER AARON FORD DEMANDS APOLOGY FROM HECK, NEVADA GOP FOR RACIST TWEET

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 22, 2016

STATE SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER AARON FORD DEMANDS APOLOGY FROM HECK, NEVADA GOP FOR RACIST TWEET

LAS VEGAS - Today, State Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford demanded an apology from Congressman Joe Heck and the Nevada Republican Party for a staffer’s racist tweet. In the tweet, Nevada GOP Rapid Response Director John Burke attacked State Senator Kelvin Atkinson, who is African-American, with false allegations, mistaking him for another African-American politician. Within minutes KTNV reporter Riley Snyder immediately fact-checked Burke, and Burke’s tweet was quickly deleted.

“In a year in which Donald Trump has used outright racism as a tool for political gain, I am disappointed to see that Nevada Republicans think so little of African-American leaders that they can’t even tell us apart. Congressman Heck and the Nevada Republican Party should immediately publicly condemn their staffer’s reckless behavior and issue an apology to Senator Atkinson. It is imperative that Congressman Heck and the Nevada GOP make it clear that this type of racism has no place in Nevada.”

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NEW AD: DEVON REESE CAMPAIGN LAUNCHES FIRST TV AD IN COMPETITIVE STATE SENATE RACE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 7, 2016

 

NEW AD: DEVON REESE CAMPAIGN LAUNCHES FIRST TV AD IN COMPETITIVE STATE SENATE RACE

RENO - Today, Devon Reese, Democratic candidate for Nevada Senate District 15, launched his first television ad of the fall campaign. The ad, entitled “Not Easy,” features Reese and his mother Virginia discussing their Reno family values and Reese’s priorities as a legislator. In the ad, Reese details plans to expand health services and job training for veterans and protect seniors from fraud and abuse. The ad, which first aired this morning, is running on Reno broadcast stations.

Watch the ad here: https://youtu.be/rqnsbBd2eBw

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 1.37.18 PM

“Growing up in a family with eight kids, our parents taught us that we could only succeed if everyone pitched in,” said Devon Reese. “As a community, we do better when we all pitch in to support our veterans, protect seniors, and take steps to improve our neighborhood schools. Those are the values that I learned growing up right here in Reno, and those are the values I’ll take to Carson City next year.”

Devon was born in Northern Nevada and grew up in the heart of Senate District 15. After college and law school, Devon returned to Reno to start a family and raise his three children in the same neighborhoods where he grew up. He has continued to stay involved with his community as a youth pastor, a debate coach at McQueen High School, and as a commissioner for the Sierra Youth Football League. As an attorney, Devon has fought on behalf of police officers, firefighters, educators, nurses, and other working Nevadans. He's also a businessman, having helped run a large contracting and construction firm that employed hundreds of people locally.

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RELEASE: SENATE DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCE PLANS FOR ENERGY SUBCOMMITTEE AT LEGISLATURE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 30, 2016

SENATE DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCE PLANS FOR ENERGY SUBCOMMITTEE AT LEGISLATURE

 

LAS VEGAS - Today, Senate Democratic Leadership announced plans to form a Subcommittee on Energy if Democrats regain the majority in the Nevada State Senate for the next legislative session. Housed within the Senate Commerce, Labor, and Energy Committee, the subcommittee will be the starting point for all energy policy legislation before consideration by the full committee and the Senate as a whole. 

“We recognize the depth and complexity of energy issues that will face the Legislature in 2017 which is why we are announcing that we will form a new subcommittee to help direct energy policy,” said Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford. “Energy policy is about more than just whether or not the lights come on. It’s about jobs, it’s about our environment, it’s about price stability for consumers, and it’s about whether Nevada can secure its long-term future as the country’s clean energy leader. ” 

The 79th session of the Nevada Legislature will begin on February 6, 2017. 

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RELEASE: SENATOR FORD CALLS ON REPUBLICAN LEADERS TO DISAVOW VICTORIA SEAMAN CLAIM THAT EDUCATION FUNDING ONE OF THE “WORST THINGS” IN NEVADA HISTORY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 10, 2016

SENATOR FORD CALLS ON REPUBLICAN LEADERS TO DISAVOW VICTORIA SEAMAN CLAIM THAT EDUCATION FUNDING ONE OF THE “WORST THINGS” IN NEVADA HISTORY

LAS VEGAS - Today, Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford called on Senate Republican leaders Michael Roberson and Ben Kieckhefer to disavow comments by right-wing Assemblywoman Victoria Seaman, the Republican candidate for State Senate District 6 in Las Vegas. Political columnist Jon Ralston reported Seaman’s comments that a bipartisan education funding package championed by Governor Brian Sandoval was “one of the worst things that ever happened in Nevada history.”

“Senator Roberson and Senator Kieckhefer claim to be champions of education, but they’ve been actively encouraging voters to support someone who thinks that the work the Legislature did to fund our public education system is one of the worst things to happen in Nevada history,” said Senator Ford. “Senate Democrats were proud to work with Governor Sandoval last session to unanimously support a bipartisan education funding package. We will not stand by and allow right-wing extremists like Victoria Seaman to undo that work. Senator Roberson and Senator Kieckhefer should immediately disavow these ridiculous comments and apologize for supporting someone whose priorities are so clearly wrong for Nevada families.” 

The bipartisan legislation that passed during the 2015 legislative session will bolster education funding in the state by $600 million, providing funding for both existing and new programs. Seaman was one of only handful of legislators to oppose the education funding package. 

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RELEASE: WOODHOUSE ANNOUNCES “TIME TO TEACH, NOT TEST” INITIATIVE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 8, 2016

WOODHOUSE ANNOUNCES “TIME TO TEACH, NOT TEST” INITIATIVE

LAS VEGAS - Today, State Senator Joyce Woodhouse (D - Henderson) announced her “Time to Teach, Not Test” initiative. Senator Woodhouse filed a bill draft request requiring that the Nevada Department of Education conduct a full audit of student assessments at every grade level. The goal of the audit will be to identify and eliminate unnecessary and redundant student assessments while improving remaining assessments.

“Putting so much of our focus on testing creates a more stressful learning environment for students and takes away valuable classroom hours from teachers,” said Senator Woodhouse. “Teachers should be teaching, not just administering tests. Students should be focused on mastering their coursework, not solely on preparing for the next test on the horizon. With a full audit of our current assessment structure, we can come closer to achieving those goals while still maintaining accountability within our schools.” 

“The Nevada State Education Association (NSEA) applauds Senator Woodhouse’s initiative to reduce the focus on high-stakes standardized tests, so students have more time to learn and teachers have more time to teach,” said Brian Rippet, NSEA Vice-President. “NSEA is committed to a quality public education for every Nevada student and initiatives like this one proposed by the senator and the Every Student Succeeds Act puts education decision making back where it belongs – in the hands of local educators, parents, and communities.”

"Analyzing instruction is an important piece of my training as a national board certified teacher. Spending critical instruction time watching students become frustrated with an assessment, does not assist me with analyzing and adjusting instruction appropriate for my students,” said Amy Horonzy, National Board Certified teacher and NSEA member from Douglas County. “The Every Student Succeeds Act provides a way to allow teachers with more instruction time and less testing time. Teachers need more time to teach, especially now with "Read by 3."

With the passage of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015, many federal requirements for student assessment have been eliminated. The ESSA has also made federal funding available for states to audit and streamline assessments. As part of the Time to Teach initiative, Senator Woodhouse also sent a letter to the Nevada Department of Education urging that Nevada begin the process of applying for that funding immediately. 

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RELEASE: SENATOR FORD, LABORERS LOCAL 872, SHERIFF LOMBARDO ANNOUNCE MAJOR DONATION TO LVMPD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 19, 2016

 

SENATOR FORD, LABORERS LOCAL 872, SHERIFF LOMBARDO ANNOUNCE MAJOR DONATION TO LVMPD

Local Union’s Donation Will Help Fund Body Cameras for Metro Officers

LAS VEGAS - Today, Senate Democratic Leader Aaron Ford and Tommy White, Business Manager for Laborers Local 872, joined Sheriff Joseph Lombardo for a special announcement regarding expanding the use of body cameras by Metro officers. Local 872 announced that it will donate $10,000 to the Las Vegas Metro Police Department to assist in purchasing body cameras for use by Metro officers. 

“Our communities are stronger when their relationships with law enforcement are built on trust and respect,” said Sen. Ford. “The tragic loss of too many officers and civilians in the past few weeks has been an urgent reminder that we must continue to work together towards those goals. Expanded use of body cameras is one tool to help build that trust, and I am proud to stand with Local 872 as they make this generous donation to the Las Vegas Metro Police Department.”

“This generous donation is an example of the community taking ownership of their police department and helping to effect change,” said Sheriff Lombardo. “We often talk about the collaborative partnership with our community and this exemplifies this relationship. The LVMPD has been on the forefront of implementing body worn cameras, and this donation helps the department in its efforts to be more accountable to those it serves.”

“Local 872’s members represent the diversity that makes Las Vegas strong, and it’s important to us that our families live in communities where they feel safe and protected,” said Tommy White. “We’re proud to make this donation to support our police officers because we want to be a part of making positive changes in our neighborhoods. We challenge others in this community to do the same.”  

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RELEASE: NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS STATEMENT ON SENATORS KIHUEN AND SPEARMAN’S DNC SPEECHES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 21, 2016

NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS STATEMENT ON SENATORS KIHUEN AND SPEARMAN’S DNC SPEECHES

Las Vegas - Today, Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford released the following statement on the announcement that Senator Ruben Kihuen and Senator Pat Spearman will speak at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. 

“The selection of two of our caucus members to address the Democratic National Convention will again highlight Nevada’s importance on the national political scene,” said Senator Ford. “Senator Kihuen and Senator Spearman are rising leaders in the party, and their speeches will show the country that Democrats up and down the ticket are fighting for America’s middle class. We are extremely proud that they have been selected.” 

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