Updates

Bill extends LGBT anti-discrimination protections

RGJ.com
By Associated Press
April 2, 2015

Nevada lawmakers are reviewing a bill that would expand anti-discrimination language into parts of state law where it was omitted.

Democratic Sen. David Parks presented SB164 on Thursday. It would bar discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

READ FULL ARTICLE

Nevada Senate passes free gun background check bill

RGJ.com
By Michelle Rindels, Associated Press
April 2, 2015

The Senate passed a Republican-backed bill Thursday that would make background checks free for gun sales between private parties, although it wouldn’t make them mandatory.

READ FULL ARTICLE

Small pets around valley can be a target for coyotes

ReviewJournal.com
By F. Andrew Taylor
April 1, 2015

Coyotes have been in Southern Nevada longer than people and are part of the natural environment, but that can be difficult to put into perspective when they’re in your backyard with your beloved pet in their jaws.

“We had an incident a few years ago in Desert Inn Mobile Estates where a woman was walking her little dog, and a coyote snatched it up and ran off with it, leash and all,” said Nevada state Sen. Mark Manendo. “Usually, it’s more of an issue at night, but this was in broad daylight.”

READ FULL ARTICLE

[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.

-30-

Read more

[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. 

-30-

Read more

Nevada lawmakers debate PERS bills

ReviewJournal.com
By Sean Whaley
March 30, 2015

CARSON CITY - Bills seeking modest changes to the state public employees retirement system to reduce the cost of pension benefits for new hires were debated at length Monday in a legislative hearing.

READ FULL ARTICLE

Bill allows voters to register, cast ballot on Election Day

LasVegasSun.com
By Michelle Rindels, Associated Press
March 30, 2015

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Lawmakers are reviewing four Democrat-sponsored bills that would make voting easier and add more opportunities to register.

Members of the Senate Legislative Operations and Elections Committee held a hearing Monday for measures including SB237, a bill sponsored by Sen. Pat Spearman that would allow people to register to vote and cast a ballot on Election Day.

READ FULL ARTICLE

Bill would allow Nevada cities to form own school districts

ReviewJournal.com
By Sean Whaley
March 30, 2015

CARSON CITY — A bill that would allow incorporated cities to form their own school systems by carving out a piece of a larger district using existing local government boundaries had a hearing Monday in the Assembly Education Committee.

READ FULL ARTICLE

Police, black leaders aim to improve relationship with communities

ReviewJournal.com
By Wesley Juhl
March 30, 2015

Mujahid Ramadan illustrated the relationship between police and minority communities with a telling anecdote Monday night.

Las Vegas police officers working from the Bolden Area Command center in West Las Vegas have committed to visiting schools in the area. During a recent elementary school stop, an African-American girl about 8 years old raised her hand, Ramadan said.

READ FULL ARTICLE

Bill Allows Voters to Register, Cast Ballot on Election Day

KTNV News 2
March 30, 2015

Lawmakers are reviewing four Democrat-sponsored bills that would make voting easier and add more opportunities to register.

Members of the Senate Legislative Operations and Elections Committee are scheduled to review the measures on Monday.

READ FULL ARTICLE

Deadly Nevada prison shooting prompts legislative concerns

ReviewJournal.com
By Sandra Chereb
Las Vegas Review-Journal Capital Bureau
March 27th, 2015

CARSON CITY — Civil libertarians raised new concerns Friday over a bill sought by the Nevada Department of Corrections to make all agency records confidential following this week’s revelations that an inmate was shot and killed by a state prison guard four months ago.

READ FULL ARTICLE

Nevada jobless rate steady after first increase in years

LasVegasSun.com
By Associated Press
March 27, 2015

Nevada's unemployment rate stayed the same in February, after the first monthly increase was reported in years.

READ FULL ARTICLE

Teachers, coaches make Vegas robotic teams possible

ReviewJournal.com
By Ann Friedman
March 28, 2015

As more than 43 high school teams, including nine from Las Vegas, convened on the Cashman Center for the FIRST® Robotics Las Vegas Regional Competition, it’s easy to focus on the students and the intricate robots they designed.

Their mentors and coaches, however, are the reason they’re able to compete in the first place.

Sierra Vista High School’s robotics team was competing for the first time on their home turf with support from their mentor and science teacher, Rob Culberg.

READ FULL ARTICLE

 

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.

 

-30-

Read more

[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. 

-30-

Read more

Here are a few ways you can help make a difference.