Press Releases

[RELEASE] Statement of Senate Democratic Leader Aaron Ford on Senate Bill 483

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2015

STATEMENT OF SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER AARON FORD ON SENATE BILL 483

CARSON CITY - Today, Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford released the following statement on Senate Bill 483, which Democrats unanimously opposed in the Senate Revenue Committee yesterday. 

“For a decade, only one party in the Senate has cared enough for Nevada’s children to support raising revenue for schools, and that’s been the Democrats. The fact of the matter is that Senate Republicans have repeatedly failed this session to put together a revenue package that would adequately fund education and other essential services in Nevada. Every day we find a new hole in the Republican budget, and every day Republicans are forced to resort to some new gimmick to try to fill it. 

To date, no Republican revenue plan would raise enough to balance our state budget, let alone provide funds necessary to solve Nevada’s growing teacher shortage crisis. When Senate Democrats are presented with a comprehensive revenue package that we are confident will meet Nevada’s needs, we will be happy to support it. We hope that going forward our Republican colleagues will set aside their partisan bluster and remember their duty to govern responsibly. To not do so would be an embarrassment.”

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RELEASE: GOVERNOR SIGNS SENATOR PAT SPEARMAN’S DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PREVENTION BILL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 7, 2015

 

GOVERNOR SIGNS SENATOR PAT SPEARMAN’S DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PREVENTION BILL

 

CARSON CITY - Today, Senator Pat Spearman’s domestic violence prevention bill was signed into law by Governor Brian Sandoval at a ceremony at the Nevada State Capitol.

 

Senate Bill 362 authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to create educational programs surrounding domestic violence prevention. It also authorizes the department to educate the public about medical, mental health, and other social services available to abuse survivors.

 

The bill had overwhelming bipartisan support, passing the Senate unanimously and the Assembly by a vote of 39 to 3.

 

“Preventing domestic violence and supporting survivors are bipartisan values. With these programs in place, more Nevadans will get the tools they need to prevent and recover from abuse,” said Sen. Spearman. “I’m honored to see this bill become law with the overwhelming support of my colleagues and the Governor.”

 

SB 362 is one of several Democratic proposals to protect domestic violence survivors, including Sen. Debbie Smith’s SB 187.

 

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Statement on Senate Bill 252 by Senator Aaron Ford

April 21, 2015

"Nevada's families deserve a public education system that will allow our children to meet their full potential, and today's vote on SB 252 is an important step in that direction. We are one step closer to having a sustainable source of revenue that will properly fund our schools and other essential services," said Senate Minority Leader Aaron D. Ford. "On behalf of the Senate Democrats, I would like to thank all of my colleagues and Governor Sandoval for their contributions towards the debate on how to best fund our education system. We look forward to the discussions that will take place over the next 6 weeks on the budget and how to fund these priorities."

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RELEASE: SENATE UNANIMOUSLY PASSES WOODHOUSE BILL TO ASSIST SURVIVORS OF MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 15, 2015

SENATE UNANIMOUSLY PASSES WOODHOUSE BILL TO ASSIST SURVIVORS OF MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA

CARSON CITY - In a late night session yesterday, the Nevada Senate unanimously passed Sen. Joyce Woodhouse’s Senate Bill 268, which requires the Department of Veterans Services to create programs for military sexual assault survivors.

The bill was originally presented by Sen. Woodhouse and Sen. Pat Spearman to the Commerce, Labor, and Energy Committee on March 25th. The hearing included supporting testimony from veterans groups, domestic and sexual violence advocates, and military sexual assault survivors.

“Military sexual violence is an epidemic that affects thousands of service members, veterans, and their families every year,” said Sen. Woodhouse. “Creating these programs will put Nevada on the frontlines in working to address this issue and to help survivors heal.”

The bill creates in the State General Fund the Account to Assist Veterans Who Have Suffered Sexual Trauma to be administered by the Director of the Department of Veterans Services. The bill also authorizes the Department to apply for grants and accept gifts, grants, donations and any other source of money to fund additional programs. All money in the account will be required to be used for programs assisting veterans who have suffered sexual trauma while on active duty or during military training.

The bill is one of several pieces of legislation offered by Senate Democrats to assist military members and veterans, including a bill awaiting a final floor vote that would expand access to child care for military families.

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RELEASE: SENATE REPUBLICANS PLAY POLITICAL GAMES WITH MILITARY CHILD CARE BILL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 14, 2015

 

SENATE REPUBLICANS PLAY POLITICAL GAMES WITH MILITARY CHILD CARE BILL

CARSON CITY - Today, Senate Republicans refused to give Senate Bill 359 an up or down vote on the Senate Floor. The bill creates a preference in child care placement for military families and previously passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee unanimously. Republicans voted down a Democratic motion to bring the bill up for a floor vote.

Sen. Pat Spearman, the bill’s sponsor and a 29 year veteran of the United States Army, made the following statement:

 

“As a veteran, I’m extremely offended that my Republican colleagues would play political games with the welfare of military families. Military families pay a high emotional and financial price while their loved ones are on active duty. The strain only gets worse if a family member goes missing or is killed. The least we can do is take basic steps to ease those families’ burden by giving them preferential access to child care.”

Senate Bill 359 requires that child care facilities give a preference for admission to children who have a parent or guardian that is 1. currently serving on active duty, 2. was killed or died as a direct result of injuries received while serving honorably on active duty, or 3. is a prisoner of war or reported missing in action while on active duty.

The Department of Defense reported to the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission that, as of September 2014, more than 11,000 military children were on waiting lists for child care across the country. The lack of access to child care can lead to our troops and their families forgoing opportunities for spouse employment or education. It can also lead to difficulty in meeting demanding military work schedules.

According to the Department of Defense, April is the Month of the Military Child.

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RELEASE: UPDATE FROM SENATOR DEBBIE SMITH UPON HER RETURN TO THE SENATE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 8, 2015

 

UPDATE FROM SENATOR DEBBIE SMITH UPON HER RETURN TO THE SENATE

CARSON CITY - Today, Sen. Debbie Smith made the following statement upon her return to the Nevada State Senate:

“I’ve been feeling better every day since my surgery, and I’m excited to be back to work today after several weeks of treatment and rest. I want to thank my family, friends, colleagues, and supporters from across Nevada and the country who have been a source of strength throughout this process.”

Senator Smith had surgery to remove a malignant brain tumor in February. She has recently returned to Nevada after completing several weeks of post-surgery treatment at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Her first day back at the Nevada State Senate is today.

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[RELEASE] STATEMENT OF SENATORS SMITH, WOODHOUSE, & SPEARMAN ON FAILURE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AMENDMENTS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 2, 2015

 

STATEMENT OF SENATORS SMITH, WOODHOUSE, & SPEARMAN ON FAILURE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AMENDMENTS

CARSON CITY - Today, Senator Debbie Smith, Senator Joyce Woodhouse, and Senator Pat Spearman made the following joint statement on the failure of two amendments to Senate Bill 240 that would have expanded legal protections for survivors of domestic violence.

“Expanding legal protections for domestic abuse survivors is common-sense, and it shouldn’t be a partisan issue. We are disappointed that our Republican colleagues failed to support these proposals. Nevada’s women deserve better.”

The amendments had the unanimous support of Democratic senators while Republicans voted unanimously against them. The first amendment would have required anyone subject to an order of protection for domestic violence to surrender firearms in his or her possession while the order is in effect. The second amendment added stalking to the list of convictions after which an individual is banned from possessing a firearm.

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[RELEASE]: NV Democrats Work to Provide Early Childhood Help for Middle Class Families

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 2, 2015

NEVADA DEMOCRATS WORK TO PROVIDE EARLY CHILDHOOD HELP FOR MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES

CARSON CITY -  Today, the Assembly Taxation Committee will hear Assembly Bill 350, which would provide low income and middle class families a credit to send their children to daycare and early childhood education facilities. AB 350 will be presented by Assemblyman Nelson Araujo.

“Low income and middle class Nevadans deserve a break when it comes to the exorbitant cost of childcare and early childhood education,” said Assembly Democratic Leader Marilyn Kirkpatrick. “One of the easiest ways to give Nevada families a head start is to help them send their child to a daycare facility that not only is safe for the child, but also provides an educational backbone to get them on the right path to learning from an early age.” 

“The high cost of early childhood education and care in our state forces parents to make a difficult decision: stay at home with their child to save money that would be spent on care, or go to work and be forced to see half of their paycheck go toward that care,” said Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford. “Passing AB 350 will give parents the ability to send their child to a reputable child care facility, while remaining at work so they can build their American dream.”

A reduced burden of childcare is one of the priorities articulated by Assembly and Senate Democrats in the Nevada Blueprint, a legislative agenda designed to grow Nevada’s middle class. The Blueprint was released in early March. 

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ICYMI: Nevada Republicans Propose Legislation Targeting Low-Income & Minority Voters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 30, 2015

 

ICYMI: NEVADA REPUBLICANS PROPOSE LEGISLATION TARGETING LOW-INCOME & MINORITY VOTERS

CARSON CITY - On Friday, the Las Vegas Sun and the Huffington Post detailed legislation introduced by Nevada Senate and Assembly Republicans that would have a disparate impact on middle and lower income voters, particularly African-Americans and Latinos.

 Nevada is currently one of the most accessible voting states in the country. Senate Bills 433, 437, and Assembly Bill 459 target Sunday and early voting hours utilized by minority voters and shift workers, particularly Nevadans working in the tourism and hospitality industries. The bills also open the door to racial profiling against Latinos and other groups by allowing a voter’s registration to be terminated based on arbitrary suspicion regarding that voter’s citizenship.

From the Huffington Post:

A Nevada state Senate committee has introduced legislation that would eliminate early voting on Sundays and restrict counties' abilities to set their own voting hours, in the latest move to reshape how elections are held in the state.

Senate Bill 433 was introduced on Monday by the Nevada Senate Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections. Under the terms of the bill, voting on Sundays during the early voting period ahead of next year's elections would no longer be allowed, and counties would no longer be able to keep their polls open beyond 7 p.m. Previously, polling sites in areas like Clark County, which contains Las Vegas, had kept polls open until 9 p.m.

...

Yvanna Cancela, the political director of the Culinary Union 226, which represents more than 55,000 employees on the Las Vegas strip and at the city's airport, called Senate Bill 433 an intentional effort to suppress the votes of the union's members.

“This is a deliberate attempt to make it harder for people to vote, and specifically in Nevada, in Las Vegas, where there is a 24-hour economy, it is not like in other cities where most people work 9-to-5 jobs," Cancela told HuffPost. "If you look at our people, like the gaming industry workers, this would dramatically affect their ability to vote based on their work schedule."

From the Las Vegas Sun:

Rebuked by election experts and Democrats as discriminatory legislation, a recent wave of GOP-backed voter reform bills will add more fuel to an ongoing debate about voter fraud, turnout and disenfranchisement in the Nevada Legislature.

The legislation follows a Republican trend nationwide to hash stricter voting laws in the name of election integrity and accessibility, fueling a partisan issue that’s landed in federal courts across the country.

The new bills eliminate early voting on Sundays and grant state officials authority to terminate registrations of voters who “may not be citizens” while providing a myriad of safeguards to ensure noncitizens don’t vote.

...

Nevada is currently known as one of the most accessible places to vote in the country, and the bills perpetuate a myth that there’s rampant voter fraud in Nevada, said David Damore, a political science professor at UNLV.

That mindset is a “slap in the face” to Nevada elections and the officials who run them, he said.

 

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[RELEASE] Sen. Debbie Smith to Present "Safe-to-Tell" Bill to Education Committee Today

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2015

SENATOR DEBBIE SMITH TO PRESENT “SAFE-TO-TELL” BILL TO EDUCATION COMMITTEE TODAY

CARSON CITY - Today, Senator Debbie Smith will present Senate Bill 338 to the Senate Education Committee. The bill requires the Attorney General’s Office to create a Safe-to-Tell program that would allow for anonymous reporting of dangerous, violent or unlawful activity in public schools. Information reported to the program would be referred to the appropriate public safety agency or school administrators for further action. 

Sen. Smith released the following statement about her bill:

“I’m looking forward to presenting the Safe-to-Tell bill later this afternoon because we can’t do enough to create safe learning environments for kids, particularly when it comes to school violence and suicide prevention. The Safe-to-Tell program will continue to improve school safety by providing a secure, anonymous means for students, teachers, and community members to report dangerous activity at public schools.” 

The Senate Education Committee will convene at 3:30pm on Friday. Sen. Smith will testify via phone. 

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[RELEASE] STATEMENT OF SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER AARON FORD ON SENATOR REID’S RETIREMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2015

STATEMENT OF SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER AARON FORD ON SENATOR REID’S RETIREMENT

CARSON CITY - Today, Nevada Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford released the following statement on behalf of the Senate Democratic Caucus: 

“Senator Reid has been a tireless fighter for Nevada for decades, from his time in the Nevada Legislature through his 30 years of leadership in the United States Senate. On behalf of the Nevada Senate Democrats, I want to thank him for his advocacy, his mentorship, and his dedication to the people of our state.”

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Nevada Democrats: Lowering Car Registration Fees Puts Money in Nevadans' Pockets

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2015

NEVADA DEMOCRATS: LOWERING CAR REGISTRATION FEES PUTS MONEY
IN NEVADANS’ POCKETS

CARSON CITY -  Today, the Assembly Transportation Committee will hear Assembly Bill 326, which would lower annual car registration fees. The bill increases the rate of annual depreciation used to calculate the fee. AB 326 will be presented by Assemblyman Richard Carrillo. 

“Nevada has some of the highest, car registration fees in the country,” said Assembly Democratic Leader Marilyn Kirkpatrick. “One of the easiest ways to give Nevada families a break is to cut those fees, and do what we can to make sure that more money ends up in the pockets of middle class families.” 

“Lowering these fees has been a bipartisan priority in past sessions, and we see no reason why that can’t be the case again,” said Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford. “Passing AB 326 sends the message that we won’t balance our state’s budget on the backs of middle and lower income Nevadans.” 

Lower car registration fees is one of the priorities articulated by Assembly and Senate Democrats in the Nevada Blueprint, a legislative agenda designed to grow Nevada’s middle class. The Blueprint was released in early March. 

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[RELEASE] Sen. Woodhouse Introduces Bill to Strengthen Background Checks, Training for Child Care Workers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2015

SENATOR WOODHOUSE INTRODUCES BILL TO STRENGTHEN BACKGROUND CHECKS, TRAINING FOR CHILD CARE WORKERS

CARSON CITY - Today, Sen. Joyce Woodhouse introduced Senate Bill 257, a bill that changes training requirements and increases the frequency of background checks for child care workers. 

Existing law requires 15 hours of annual training for employees at a facility with 12 or fewer children or 24 hours of training for employees at a facility with more than 12 children. SB 257 requires at least 12 training hours be in state approved programs specific to the age group served by the facility. The bill further requires an additional three hours of annual training in recognition and reporting of child abuse and neglect. 

SB 257 also increases the frequency of required background checks for child care workers from every five to every two years. 

“For many families with working parents, child care isn’t a choice, it’s a necessity,” said Sen. Woodhouse. “As a 40 year educator, I believe we should take every step we can to give parents extra peace of mind that their children are in safe hands.” 

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[RELEASE] Legislative Democrats Announce "Nevada Blueprint" for Middle Class Growth

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 9, 2015

LEGISLATIVE DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCE “NEVADA BLUEPRINT” FOR MIDDLE CLASS GROWTH

unnamedCARSON CITY - At a press conference today in front of the Nevada Legislative Building, Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford and Assembly Democratic Leader Marilyn Kirkpatrick announced the Nevada Blueprint, an agenda to expand and protect Nevada’s middle class. They were joined by the members of the Assembly and Senate Democratic Caucuses at the announcement. 

The Blueprint reflects Democratic principles and priorities for the Legislative Session. Recognizing that success and stability at every stage of life is connected, the Blueprint includes proposals to strengthen Nevadans from the early years of pre-K to 12th grade education all the way through a secure retirement.  

“We knew before coming to Carson City that the Legislative Democrats would have to be the ones to make strengthening and growing our middle class the priority. Our Blueprint does just that,” said Sen. Aaron D. Ford. “Growing the middle class means creating opportunities for educational success, attracting new jobs in 21st century industries, and providing for the long-term economic stability of Nevada families.” 

“In order to make this Blueprint a reality, Democrats are introducing dozens of bills ranging from expanding affordable childcare to protecting seniors’ retirement savings,” said Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick. “Every bill we introduce will be an opportunity for legislators to say that they stand with Nevada’s middle class families, and not special interests.” 

To see the entire document, click here: www.NevadaBluePrint.com

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[RELEASE] Republicans Pass Bill to Slash Middle Class Salaries, Drive Workers Out of State

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 5, 2015

REPUBLICANS PASS BILL TO SLASH MIDDLE CLASS SALARIES, DRIVE WORKERS OUT OF STATE

CARSON CITY - Today, Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford released the following statement in response to the Assembly passing Senate Bill 119. The bill slashes fair pay requirements for school-construction projects and allows out-of-state contractors to take jobs that would otherwise go to Nevada businesses. 

“Senate and Assembly Republicans have sent a disturbing message by passing Senate Bill 119: If you’re in the middle class, you don’t matter this Session. This bill is an unnecessary assault on our construction industry that will slash pay and drive skilled construction workers and their families out of Nevada. Further, SB 119 will result in a massive giveaway of taxpayer dollars to cut-rate, out-of-state contractors who can’t do the work as well as Nevada-owned businesses.”

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