Updates

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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RELEASE: NEVADA EDUCATORS ENDORSE CANNIZZARO FOR SENATE DISTRICT 6

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 11, 2016

NEVADA EDUCATORS ENDORSE CANNIZZARO FOR SENATE DISTRICT 6

LAS VEGAS - Today, Nicole Cannizzaro, candidate for Nevada Senate District 6, released the following statement upon receiving the endorsement of the Nevada State Education Association. NSEA represents more than 24,000 teachers, support staff, and retirees across the state. 

“I’m honored to have the endorsement of the teachers and support staff who dedicate their lives to Nevada’s kids,” said Cannizzaro. “Providing our kids with high quality public schools should be a bipartisan goal. Going forward, we need to focus on reducing our teacher shortage and putting a qualified teacher in every classroom. I will work to accomplish that in the State Senate.”

“Nicole Cannizzaro is a product of Nevada public schools and will fight to ensure an exceptional public education for every Nevada student,” said Ruben Murillo, Jr., NSEA President. “NSEA is proud to stand with Nicole in her run for State Senae.”

Senate District 6 encompasses the Summerlin area of Las Vegas. The most recent voter registration data shows that Democrats hold nearly 6% voter registration advantage over Republicans in the district. 

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RELEASE: FORD STATEMENT ON DALLAS, BATON ROUGE, AND MINNEAPOLIS SHOOTINGS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 8, 2016

 

FORD STATEMENT ON DALLAS, BATON ROUGE, AND MINNEAPOLIS SHOOTINGS

LAS VEGAS - Today, Nevada Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford released the following statement regarding shootings in Dallas, Baton Rouge, and Minneapolis: 

“This week has been marked by horrific violence that has shocked millions of people across this country. Sadly, we are again mourning the loss of two African-American men killed in officer-involved shootings. While we cannot make a final judgment until we know all the facts, it is clear that we must continue our efforts to improve interactions between police officers and the communities they serve.” 

“We also mourn the loss of the Dallas police officers who were murdered last night. Policing is one of our nation’s most difficult jobs, and the Dallas Police Department has lead by positive example. The department is known as a national leader in improving police-community relations through trust and respect. Rather than diminish our efforts, these shootings should strengthen our resolve to build bridges between law enforcement and those communities that feel isolated or left out.” 

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RELEASE: SENATOR WOODHOUSE AND ASSEMBLYMAN ANDERSON STATEMENT ON TODAY’S NSHE BOARD OF REGENTS MEETING

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 12, 2016

 

SENATOR WOODHOUSE AND ASSEMBLYMAN ANDERSON STATEMENT ON TODAY’S NSHE BOARD OF REGENTS MEETING

 

LAS VEGAS - Today, State Senator Joyce Woodhouse and Assemblyman Elliot Anderson released the following statement on the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents meeting:

“We would like to thank Chancellor Klaich for his many years service to the Nevada System of Higher Education, both as a Regent and as a senior administrator. We look forward to continuing to work with the Board of Regents, system administrators, and community stakeholders to implement our proposed reforms to Nevada’s higher education system. Opening up the system to allow for a more free-flowing exchange of ideas will allow us to better serve students and Nevada residents who depend on NSHE institutions for high-quality, affordable educational opportunities.”

Last month, Assemblyman Anderson and Senator Woodhouse proposed a series of reforms to create a culture of transparency and accountability within NSHE. The Las Vegas Sun editorial board called the proposed reforms “terrific suggestions,” and praised Woodhouse and Anderson for stepping up and proposing them.

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RELEASE: SENATE DISTRICT 15 CANDIDATE DEVON REESE STATEMENT ON OPPONENTS’ EMBRACE OF TRUMP

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 5, 2016

 

SENATE DISTRICT 15 CANDIDATE DEVON REESE STATEMENT ON OPPONENTS’ EMBRACE OF TRUMP

 

RENO, NV - Today, Democratic candidate for Nevada State Senate District 15 Devon Reese released the following statement after the Reno Gazette Journal reported that both Republican candidates for Senate District 15 have embraced Donald Trump’s campaign for president.

“I’m disappointed that both of my Republican opponents have wholeheartedly embraced Donald Trump’s campaign for president. Trump’s rhetoric doesn’t reflect the values of the community where I grew up and that I continue to call home. Supporting Trump’s message of bigotry and intolerance sends exactly the wrong message to young people across Washoe County when we should be encouraging them to embrace the diversity our community has to offer. As a father of two teenage daughters, I could also never support someone who has repeatedly belittled, ridiculed, and objectified women as Trump has done. I sincerely hope my Republican opponents will reconsider their support for Trump’s campaign.”

The Reno-Gazette Journal reported yesterday that Republican state senate candidates Eugene Hoover and Heidi Gansert have “expressed their support” for Trump’s presidential campaign.


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RELEASE: ANDERSON, WOODHOUSE ANNOUNCE LEGISLATION TO REFORM NEVADA SYSTEM OF HIGHER EDUCATION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 25, 2016

 

ANDERSON, WOODHOUSE ANNOUNCE LEGISLATION TO REFORM NEVADA SYSTEM OF HIGHER EDUCATION

 

LAS VEGAS - Today, Nevada Assemblyman Elliot Anderson and State Senator Joyce Woodhouse announced plans to introduce legislation to reform the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE). On April 16th, the Las Vegas Review Journal published a story that raised concerns about the veracity of information provided by system officials and an outside consulting firm to the Legislature.

Assemblyman Anderson and Senator Woodhouse are filing two bill draft requests with the Legislative Counsel Bureau to begin preparing legislation in advance of the 2017 Legislative Session. During the 2013 Legislative Session, Anderson chaired the Assembly Education Committee and Woodhouse chaired the Senate Education Committee.

“Our higher education system belongs to all Nevadans, and these reforms will create a culture of accountability to the public within NSHE,” said Assemblyman Anderson. “By beginning this discussion now, we can have concrete reform proposals ready at the start of the next legislative session.”

“We need to improve our access to information in order to help each of our universities and community colleges thrive,” said Senator Woodhouse. “Going forward, we welcome all ideas from our legislative colleagues, administrators, faculty, staff, students, and the public to increase transparency within Nevada’s higher education system.”

The legislation will focus on constitutional and statutory changes to expand legislative oversight and increase transparency within the Nevada System of Higher Education. Possible changes to existing law may include:

 

  • Clarifying the Legislature’s constitutional oversight role while maintaining the Board of Regents’ direct accountability to voters

  • Increasing resources allocated to the Board of Regents to improve the Board’s oversight functions

  • Clearly vesting hiring and firing power over individual institution presidents with the Board of Regents

  • Requiring institutional presidents to present their individual institution budgets directly to the Board of Regents and the Legislature

  • Establishing statutory regional advisory committees for higher education as a means of collecting information about the individual needs of various institutions across the state

  • Expanding whistleblower protections for NSHE employees to include revelations involving false or misleading statements made to the Legislature

  • Bringing NSHE under the purview of the Spending and Government Efficiency (SAGE) Commission

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RELEASE: SENATOR FORD, CONCERNED RESIDENTS CALL ON GANSERT TO GIVE VOTERS AN HONEST ANSWER ON EDUCATION FUNDING

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 10, 2016

 

SENATOR FORD, CONCERNED RESIDENTS CALL ON GANSERT TO GIVE VOTERS AN HONEST ANSWER ON EDUCATION FUNDING

 

RENO - Today, Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford held a press conference to call on Republican State Senate candidate Heidi Gansert to give voters a straight answer on her support for education funding in Nevada. Senator Ford was joined by Devon Reese, Democratic candidate for Senate District 15, and by concerned Washoe County residents and retired teachers.

 

Gansert has repeatedly refused to say whether she would have voted for the bipartisan tax package passed in 2015 that is pumping hundreds of millions of dollars of new funding into Nevada’s public education system.

 

“This is not a complicated question. Either you would have voted to improve our schools, or you would have voted against improving our schools,” said Senator Ford. “We should not tolerate politicians who refuse to tell us where they stand on such a fundamental issue. That’s why I’m standing with Washoe residents calling on Heidi Gansert to give voters straight answer about whether she supports bipartisan education funding.”

 

“I believe that if you’re going to ask people to vote for you, you ought to tell them where you stand on issues that affect their families,” said Devon Reese. “Education funding is a personal issue for me and my family because we have three kids attending Washoe County Schools. I’m proud to say I support the work Governor Sandoval and legislators from both parties did to improve those schools for all of our families.”

 

BACKGROUND: Republican Heidi Gansert has repeatedly refused to say if she would have voted for Gov. Sandoval’s bipartisan education funding package during the 2015 Legislative Session:

 

“Gansert would not say whether she would have voted for the $1.4 billion tax increase…”

[Reno Gazette-Journal: “Gansert Will Run for State Senate, 9/15/16 http://www.rgj.com/story/news/2015/09/15/gansert-will-run-state-senate/72350152/]

I don't even know where to start with newly minted state Senate candidate Heidi Gansert's refusal to embrace (or reject) the tax increase pushed through the Legislature by her former boss, Gov. Brian Sandoval.”

[Ralston Reports: “Gansert’s silence on tax increase is bizarre, ridiculous, and unsustainable,” 9/16/15 https://www.ralstonreports.com/blog/ganserts-silence-tax-increase-bizarre-ridiculous-and-unsustainable]

 

“But what would she have done had she been in Brower's place on May 15, when Senate Bill 483 come up for its fateful vote? (Brower voted aye.) Gansert has not answered directly, despite being asked the question by three Nevada journalists.”

[Las Vegas Review Journal: “Candidate's silence on taxes shows issue potent, 10/1/15, http://www.reviewjournal.com/opinion/columns-blogs/steve-sebelius/candidates-silence-taxes-shows-issue-potent]

 

On KNPB’s Ralston Live, Gansert refused to directly answer the following question: “If you had been in the Legislature, would you or would you not have supported that package?”

[Ralston Live, 11/20/15, http://watch.knpb.org/video/2365613896/]

 

Other Senate District 15 candidates are not afraid to take a position on education funding:

Republican candidate Eugene Hoover opposed the tax package [http://eugenehoover.com/abouteugene/]

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RELEASE: NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS ENDORSE JULIA RATTI FOR SENATE DISTRICT 13

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 3, 2016

 

NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS ENDORSE JULIA RATTI FOR SENATE DISTRICT 13

 

RENO, NV - Today, the Nevada Senate Democrats announced their endorsement of Julia Ratti, a Sparks City Councilwoman, for Senate District 13 in Washoe County. Senate District 13 includes portions of Sparks and Reno.

 

“Julia is an impressive leader who has used her time on the Sparks City Council to fight for Nevadans in need,” said Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford. “She is also an accomplished businesswoman and a leader in the nonprofit community. Her experience and perspective will be invaluable as we work to continue Debbie Smith’s legacy. We enthusiastically endorse Julia for State Senate.”

In November, Senate District 13 voters will vote in a special election to fill an unexpired term in the State Senate. The seat became vacant upon the passing of Senator Debbie Smith last month.

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RELEASE: NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCE LEADERSHIP TEAM CHANGES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 2, 2016

 

NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCE LEADERSHIP TEAM CHANGES

 

LAS VEGAS - Today, the Nevada Senate Democrats announced changes to the caucus leadership team. These changes go into effect immediately. Senator Kelvin Atkinson (District 4) will serve as Assistant Minority Leader. Senator Joyce Woodhouse (District 5) will serve as Co-Minority Whip.

 

“Kelvin and Joyce have proven themselves as dedicated, hardworking, team-oriented leaders, and they have earned the respect of their fellow senators,” said Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford. “Our caucus will be well served by having them as part of our leadership team.”

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STATEMENT FROM SENATOR AARON FORD ON ATTORNEY GENERAL LAXALT’S SUIT AGAINST CLEAN POWER PLAN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 25, 2016

 

STATEMENT FROM SENATOR AARON FORD ON ATTORNEY GENERAL LAXALT’S SUIT AGAINST CLEAN POWER PLAN

LAS VEGAS - Today, Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford released the following statement on the Nevada Attorney General’s decision to join a lawsuit against the federal Clean Power Plan:

“I was disappointed this week to see the Attorney General use his office to wage a battle against sensible clean-energy policies. Nevada has set a bipartisan goal of diversifying our energy economy, and the Clean Power Plan presents an opportunity to further expand Nevada’s clean energy sector. By speeding up our transition away from antiquated fossil fuels, we can harness the power of Nevada’s abundant renewable resources to create new jobs across the state. At a time when Nevada is losing clean-energy jobs, it’s difficult to fathom why the Attorney General would risk further harming this critically important sector of our state’s economy.”

 

BACKGROUND:

The Clean Power Plan can potentially yield major economic benefits for Nevada. In addition to the estimated $54 billion in health and climate benefits nationally – such as better air quality and improved public health – the CPP is expected to help speed up our transition to cleaner fuel sources that are abundant in Nevada.

According to media reports, the Attorney General’s filing admits that Nevada will have no trouble hitting emissions targets outlined in in the CPP (http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/270570-nevada-joins-states-fighting-obamas-climate-rule). Recent polling suggests that 70% of Nevada voters support the CPP.

Clean energy investment has already yielded results. Nevada’s $500 million investment in tax incentives for clean energy development has yielded an estimated ten to one return. Since 2010, these incentives have attracted more than $5.5 billion in capital investment in clean energy infrastructure – including wind, solar and geothermal projects – to the state, creating high-paying jobs for Nevada workers.

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NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF SENATOR DEBBIE SMITH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 21, 2016

 

NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF SENATOR DEBBIE SMITH

LAS VEGAS - Today, the Nevada Senate Democratic Caucus issued the following statement on the passing of Senator Debbie Smith.

“Debbie’s commitment to Nevada was unparalleled,” said Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford. “She was a tireless fighter for families and for children. Even while undergoing cancer treatment during the last legislative session, she passed legislation that will help build new schools and better protect children from bullying and abuse. Above all else, she was a loving wife, a devoted mother and grandmother, and a friend to thousands of people whose lives she touched. She will be sorely missed.”

Debbie Smith’s family came to Nevada when she was an elementary school student. She was first elected to a rural school board at age 22, and she became a lifelong advocate for Nevada’s public education system. Throughout her life, she served as president of the Nevada PTA, a member of the National PTA Board and was appointed by Governor Miller and Governor Guinn to chair the Council to Establish Academic Standards.  

Debbie was elected to the Nevada Assembly in 2000 where she rounded out her service as chairman of the Ways & Means Committee and Speaker Pro Tempore. In 2012, she was elected to the Nevada Senate where she served as the Assistant Majority Leader, Assistant Minority Leader, and as chair of the Senate Finance Committee.

Senator Smith is survived by her husband Greg, and her children, Erin, Ian, and Olivia.

 

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NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCE THE PASSING OF SENATOR DEBBIE SMITH

February 21, 2016

 

NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCE THE PASSING OF SENATOR DEBBIE SMITH

 

SPARKS, NV - The Nevada Senate Democratic Caucus announced today that Senator Debbie Smith has passed away. The thoughts and prayers of the Senate Democrats and caucus staff are with Senator Smith’s family. Details for a public memorial service will be announced in the coming days.

 

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RELEASE: SENATE DEMOCRATS ENDORSE ALEXANDER MARKS FOR SENATE DISTRICT 18

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 8, 2016

 

SENATE DEMOCRATS ENDORSE ALEXANDER MARKS FOR SENATE DISTRICT 18

LAS VEGAS - Today, Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford and the Nevada Senate Democrats announced their endorsement of local attorney and native Nevadan Alexander Marks for Senate District 18. Senate District 18 covers parts of northwest Las Vegas.

“Alexander has already proven himself as an advocate for middle and working class families through his work to expand access to education,” said Sen. Ford. “As Nevada’s economy continues to evolve, the people of Senate District 18 can count on him to be a fighter for their families.”

“Nevada is undergoing transformative economic growth, and I’m running for the Nevada State Senate to help ensure that all families get to share in those new opportunities,” Marks said. “That starts with access to a well-funded education system, including affordable options for quality higher education.”

Marks was born and raised in Las Vegas. After attending college and law school, Marks served as the Director of Government Affairs for the Arizona Students’ Association. In that position, he advocated on behalf of hundreds of thousands of Arizona university and community college students on issues related to access and affordability of higher education.

Marks currently serves as in-house counsel for David Saxe Productions, a large Las Vegas production company that operates two theaters in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. In that role, Marks works with over 300 employees and handles legal matters including labor and employment issues, contract negotiations, and intellectual property matters. Prior to joining David Saxe, his legal practice focused on state and federal gaming law, including appearances before gaming regulators in Nevada and California.

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RELEASE: SENATE DEMOCRATS MARK LEDBETTER ACT ANNIVERSARY BY CALLING FOR LEGISLATIVE ACTION IN 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 29, 2015

 

SENATE DEMOCRATS MARK LEDBETTER ACT ANNIVERSARY BY CALLING FOR LEGISLATIVE ACTION IN 2017

LAS VEGAS - Today, the Nevada Senate Democrats marked the anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act by calling on the Nevada Legislature to make strong equal pay legislation a priority for the 2017 Legislative Session. In 2015, Senator Pat Spearman (D - North Las Vegas) introduced Senate Bill 190, which would have strengthened protections against gender pay discrimination under state law.

SB190 would have incorporated the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act into Nevada law. The bill would have prevented employer retaliation against employees who share information about their pay with coworkers and allowed victims of pay discrimination to recover damages, including up to two years of back pay and benefits. Republican legislators weakened and ultimately killed the legislation.

“Despite the progress our society has made towards gender equality, the gender pay gap persists, both here in Nevada and across the nation,” Sen. Spearman said. “We must not give up this fight because equal pay is more than just a women’s issue. Closing the pay gap means middle and working class families will have more money to put aside for their children’s futures, to buy a home, to increase retirement savings, and to go farther down the road towards achieving the American Dream.”

Equal pay is particularly important to the economic security of middle and working class families. Not only does the gender pay gap affect women’s present income, but it also lowers long-term retirement savings and benefits. In Nevada, women make approximately $.85 per dollar that a man makes. Women of color face an even greater pay disparity. According to statistics, African-American women in Nevada make $.64 per dollar a man makes, and Latinas make only $.52 per dollar a man makes.

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