Press Releases

RELEASE: STATE SENATOR JOYCE WOODHOUSE CALLS FOR REVIEW OF TEACHER LICENSING TO EASE TEACHER SHORTAGE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 11, 2015

 

STATE SENATOR JOYCE WOODHOUSE CALLS FOR REVIEW OF TEACHER LICENSING TO EASE TEACHER SHORTAGE

 

LAS VEGAS -  Today, State Senator Joyce Woodhouse called for a review of teacher licensing in Nevada. Specifically, Senator Woodhouse called for the Legislative Committee on Education to begin a study of potential legislative changes that could be implemented during the 2017 Legislative Session in order to expand flexibility for local school districts, attract more qualified teachers to Nevada, and better equip teachers to provide a high quality education to students.

Senator Woodhouse made the following statement regarding her proposal:

“The teacher shortage in Clark County is a crisis that is putting students and their long-term educational success at risk. Modernizing our approach to licensing teachers could help us put more teachers in classrooms, reduce class sizes, and improve educational outcomes.”

“However, we should also be mindful of the fact that teacher licensing is a complex issue that deserves a thorough review. It will require us to draw on the expertise of our teachers, school administrators, and local communities, while also taking a look at the experiences of other states. That’s why I’m calling on the Legislative Committee on Education to begin this process now so that we will have at least a year to complete this important work.”

 

As part of its review of Nevada’s teacher licensing practices, Senator Woodhouse proposed that the committee should consider the following areas:

 

1. Exploring potential options for reciprocity in teacher licensing so that qualified teachers who are currently licensed in other states can more easily move to Nevada. This would include a review of the experiences of other states that already grant reciprocity.

2. Examining the process for out-of-state licensure applications to look for possible areas of improvement that would expedite the review and reduce the burden on applicants. The current process has been criticized for being too tedious and for taking too long to complete.

3. Reviewing possible regulatory adjustments that would be required at the Department of Education in order to implement any changes to existing licensure requirements.

4. Ensuring that any changes are made in a way that preserves Nevada’s ability to ensure that only qualified teachers are licensed in the state.

Joyce Woodhouse has served on the Senate Education Committee during four legislative sessions, including as the committee chair in 2013. She also chaired the Legislative Committee on Education during the 2013-2015 interim. Woodhouse spent 40 years working for the Clark County School District as a first grade teacher and an elementary school principal. Throughout her career, she also held leadership positions with the Nevada State Education Association.

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RELEASE: SENATE DEMOCRATS ENDORSE NICOLE CANNIZZARO FOR SENATE DISTRICT 6

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 28, 2015

 

SENATE DEMOCRATS ENDORSE NICOLE CANNIZZARO FOR SENATE DISTRICT 6

LAS VEGAS - Today, Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford and the Nevada Senate Democrats announced their endorsement of Clark County Deputy District Attorney Nicole Cannizzaro for Senate District 6 in Las Vegas. Senate District 6 covers parts of northwest Las Vegas, including the Summerlin area.

“Nicole is tough, fair, and a dedicated public servant. In the courtroom, she has proven time and time again that she fights for those who need it most,” said Sen. Ford. “No other candidate in this race can match her record of service to our community, and we are proud to endorse her for State Senate.”

“Growing up, I attended Clark County Schools, went to college on a Guinn Millennium Scholarship, and earned my law degree here at UNLV,” Cannizzaro said. “I’m living proof that when Nevada invests in Nevadans, we give people a fair shot to make their own lives better. In the State Senate, I’ll fight to make sure we give even more Nevadans that same opportunity to succeed.”  

Cannizzaro is a lifelong Nevadan. Her parents were Culinary Local 226 members who worked in the Las Vegas hospitality industry. Cannizzaro attended Chaparral High School and earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Nevada, Reno. Following college, she earned her juris doctor from UNLV Boyd School of Law and was admitted to the Nevada State Bar.

Cannizzaro began her legal practice in civil litigation before moving to the Clark County District Attorney’s Office in 2011. As a prosecutor, Cannizzaro has had an active and varied case-load, ranging from overseeing juvenile matters to handling cases of child abuse, sexual assault, homicide, and other violent crimes.  

She and her husband reside in Summerlin.

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STATEMENT OF SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER AARON D. FORD ON CLEAN POWER PLAN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 3, 2015

 

STATEMENT OF SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER AARON D. FORD ON CLEAN POWER PLAN

LAS VEGAS - Today, Nevada Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford released the following statement on President Obama’s Clean Power Plan:

“I am proud to say that Nevada is ahead of the EPA on curbing carbon pollution from our electricity generation infrastructure. Through development of an aggressive state plan addressing the EPA’s carbon pollution restrictions on existing power plants, Nevada continues to lead the nation in renewable energy development and use.

Due to Nevada’s foresight, we are in a good position not only to comply with the rule, but also to prosper from it. Nevada has been on the forefront of clean energy through a rigorous Renewable Portfolio Standard, an aggressive tax abatement program, and the 2013 passage of Senate Bill 123, which schedules the closure of most in-state coal-fired power plants. This leadership has helped place Nevada among the top states in clean and solar job creation, attracted more than $5.5 billion in renewable energy investment and positioned our renewable energy industry to take advantage of the Clean Power Plan by supplying clean energy to neighboring states.”


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SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER AARON D. FORD STATEMENT ON 3RD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 8, 2015

 

SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER AARON D. FORD STATEMENT ON 3RD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

LAS VEGAS - Today, Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford released the following statement regarding the race for the 3rd Congressional District.

“I would like to thank the many people who encouraged me to run for the U.S. House of Representatives. While I deeply appreciate the support, I can best serve my friends, neighbors, and fellow Nevadans by running for reelection in Senate District 11. Raising four boys, I know how important it is that Nevada’s state senators focus on the kitchen-table economic issues that families all across the state deal with every day.

Unfortunately, Republican leadership killed important bills in the 2015 Session that would have guaranteed a parent time off work to care for a sick child, helped our graduates refinance their student loans, and ensured that women earned equal pay for equal work. I’m committed to helping my party retake the State Senate majority in 2016 so that we can renew our focus on the issues that will help grow Nevada’s middle class.”

Sen. Ford was elected to represent Nevada Senate District 11 in 2012. He has served as Senate Democratic Leader since December 2014.

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STATEMENT OF SENATORS PARKS, SPEARMAN, AND ATKINSON ON SUPREME COURT MARRIAGE RULING

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 26, 2015

 

STATEMENT OF SENATORS PARKS, SPEARMAN, AND ATKINSON ON SUPREME COURT MARRIAGE RULING

 LAS VEGAS - Today, Sen. David Parks, Sen. Pat Spearman, and Sen. Kelvin Atkinson released the following statement with regard to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. The Court ruled that under the 14th amendment states may not deny marriage rights to same-gender couples.  

“As members of Nevada’s LGBT community, we are overjoyed that all of our fellow citizens across the country will finally enjoy the same marriage rights that we recently won in Nevada. The road to marriage equality has been long, but through the courage of so many activists from diverse and faith-based communities, civic leaders, and ordinary citizens, we have achieved this historic victory. We hope that all Nevadans and all Americans will join us today in celebrating equality.”

 

In 2013, the Nevada Senate Democrats voted unanimously in favor of SJR13, a resolution that would have put marriage equality on the ballot. In 2014, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals legalized same-gender marriage in Nevada.

 

Senate Democrats continued fighting for LGBT Nevadans in the 2015 Legislative Session, including with legislation introduced by Sen. Parks to expand Nevada’s anti-discrimination protections and to ban conversion therapy for minors.

 

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RELEASE: Nevada Senate Democrats Announce Executive Director Transition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 2, 2015

NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TRANSITION

CARSON CITY - Today, the Nevada Senate Democrats announced changes in caucus staff for the 2016 election cycle. Effective June 15, 2015 Executive Director Michelle White will transition to her new role as State Political Director for the Hillary Clinton for Nevada campaign. Peter Koltak, who currently serves as the Communications Director for the Nevada Senate Democrats, will serve as Executive Director. 

Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford made the following statement:

“Michelle is one of the finest political operatives in Nevada. While we are sad that she will no longer be with our caucus, we are excited to support her in her new role with Hillary Clinton’s campaign. I am confident that Peter’s extensive battleground state experience and his stellar performance as Communications Director during the legislative session make him the right person to help lead the caucus for the upcoming election cycle.”

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RELEASE: SENATE DEMOCRATIC STATEMENT ON THE PASSAGE OF HISTORIC EDUCATION FUNDING PACKAGE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2015

SENATE DEMOCRATIC STATEMENT ON THE PASSAGE OF HISTORIC EDUCATION FUNDING PACKAGE

CARSON CITY - Today, Senate Democrats voted unanimously to approve Senate Bill 483, a historic revenue package that will dramatically improve education in Nevada.

Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford made the following statement:

“This is a historic day for the people of Nevada, and the Senate Democrats are proud to have done our part to finally fund education in our state. Today, we are one critical step closer to funding the programs and initiatives that my Democratic colleagues have championed for years. On behalf of the Senate Democrats, I want to thank Governor Sandoval and our Republican colleagues who came together to make today a victory for Nevada’s kids.”

 

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NEVADA SENATE CONCURS WITH ANIMAL ADOPTION BILL, SENDS TO GOVERNOR’S DESK

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 27, 2015

 

NEVADA SENATE CONCURS WITH ANIMAL ADOPTION BILL, SENDS TO GOVERNOR’S DESK

CARSON CITY - Today, the Nevada Senate concurred on SB 261, a bipartisan bill that requires that dogs and cats from research facilities to be made available for adoption upon completion of their experimentation.

The law is named in honor of Calvin, a beagle that was rescued from a research facility in California, rehabilitated and placed in a caring home.  The bill will now be sent to Governor Brian Sandoval’s desk for his signature.

Democratic Senator Mark Manendo (District21-Las Vegas) is proud of the colleagues from both parties in supporting this bill which is one of the strongest in the nation.

“Animals have endured a lifetime of pain in order serve society,” said Senator Mark Manendo. “They deserve a loving home where they can live out their lives.”

Beagle dogs are the choice for all testing facilities as they are docile and easy to handle.

Charles River Labs, a large testing facility with a location in Northern Nevada, supports SB 261 and agreed to release their dogs to Nevada rescue organizations such as the Nevada Humane Society and Canine Rehabilitation Center and Sanctuary.

Republican Assemblywoman Jill Dickman (District 31 – Sparks), a strong animal lover, was glad to see the Senate concur to an Assembly amendment that requires animal to be given the chance to be adopted.

“I was proud to support this bill and make sure that people have an opportunity to adopt these precious animals,” Dickman said. “Everyone deserves a chance to be loved.”

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[RELEASE] Senate Democratic Statement on "Teach Nevada" Scholarship Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 27, 2015

SENATE DEMOCRATIC STATEMENT ON “TEACH NEVADA” SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

CARSON CITY - Today, Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford made the following statement on Senate Bill 511, the Teach Nevada Scholarship Program. SB 511 is a bipartisan bill that is co-sponsored by the leaders of each legislative caucus. 

“Nevada’s teacher shortage is a statewide crisis, which is why Senate Democrats are proud to support Senate Bill 511,” said Sen. Aaron D. Ford. “We know that dedicated educators can enrich students’ lives, particularly in at-risk and underserved communities. This bill will put more Nevada students on the path to meeting their future goals and will help create a culture of appreciation for our educators.”

Nevada’s teacher shortage has reached a crisis level. In Clark County alone, the school district estimates having 2,600 fewer teachers than necessary in the 2015-2016 school year. The Teach Nevada program will provide scholarships to incentivize Nevadans to earn the necessary accreditation to become a licensed teacher. The program will also provide districts with funding to create a hiring incentive for up to 1,000 new teachers per year in at-risk communities.

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SENATOR MARK MANENDO: “BEAGLE BILL” TO SAVE THE LIVES OF RETIRED RESEARCH DOGS AND CATS, IS ONE STEP CLOSER TO BECOMING A LAW IN NEVADA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 19, 2015

 

SENATOR MARK MANENDO: “BEAGLE BILL,” TO SAVE THE LIVES OF RETIRED RESEARCH DOGS AND CATS, IS ONE STEP CLOSER TO BECOMING A LAW IN NEVADA

Dogs used in research can finally get a home, thanks to Senate Bill 261, commonly known as the “Beagle Bill.”  The bill requires testing facilities to offer dogs and cats that are appropriate for adoption to an animal shelter or rescue organization before euthanizing such a dog or cat.  SB261 is authored by Senator Mark Manendo, a Democrat representing Senate District 21 in Clark County, and supported by the only private research facility in Nevada, Charles River Laboratories.

When introduced, SB261 was co-sponsored by 45 other legislators, making it a widely supported, bi-partisan bill.  Although strong opposition has surfaced through the legislative process, Senator Manendo, joined by Kevin Ryan and Beverlee McGrath from the Nevada Humane Society, and Margaret Flint, with the Canine Rehabilitation Center and Sanctuary (CRCS,)  have fought to have the bill advance to the last steps before it becomes a law in Nevada.

SB261 is the fifth most popular bill on the legislative opinion poll and Senator Manendo urges public participation in favor of SB261: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Opinions/78th2015/A/

Your participation will ensure final passage of the bill out of the Senate, and into Governor Brian Sandoval’s office, to enact it into law.

Thank you,

Mark Manendo

Nevada State Senator District 21

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[RELEASE] Statement of Senate Democratic Leader Aaron Ford on Senate Rule Changes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 2015

STATEMENT OF SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER AARON FORD ON SENATE RULE CHANGES

CARSON CITY - Today, Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford released the following statement in response to a hyperpartisan change to the Senate’s standing rules. The new rules make numerous changes and would remove the ability of the minority party to offer floor amendments to bills. 

“Today, Senate Republicans have shown nothing but contempt for the Nevadans represented by the ten Democratic members of the Senate. Changing the Senate rules is an unprecedented and desperate move to silence opposition and squelch debate. The Senate should be focused on coming together to close a state budget that puts more money in classrooms, not be caught up in distracting partisan games.”

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[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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