Gov. Sandoval Vetoes Healthcare and Renewable Energy Bills

Governor Brian Sandoval vetoed Assembly Bill 374, which would have created a Medicaid buy-in option for all Nevadans. Nevada State Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy II released the following statement:

“Republicans like Senator Heller and Congressman Amodei are actively sabotaging the Affordable Care Act and trying to pass a bill that increases your costs, slashes your coverage, and eliminates key health care protections. Assemblyman Sprinkle’s Nevada Care Plan was motivated by the idea that health care should be a right, and his legislation was the product of diligent work, innovative policy ideas, and bipartisan collaboration. If Governor Sandoval had signed this bill, every Nevadan would have gained the opportunity to buy an affordable plan with Medicaid-like health benefits on the insurance market. Governor Sandoval’s disappointing veto leaves Nevadans more vulnerable to the GOP’s heartless and reckless health care policies in Washington.

Governor Sandoval’s disappointing veto leaves Nevadans more vulnerable to the GOP’s heartless and reckless health care policies in Washington” — NV Dems Chair William McCurdy II

Governor Brian Sandoval also vetoed Assembly Bill 206 to set a standard of getting 40% of our energy from renewable sources by 2030 and Senate Bill 392 to expand solar energy access to more communities including low-income families. Nevada State Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy II released a statement relative to those vetoes as well:

“During this past legislative session, Democrats worked in a bipartisan way to revitalize Nevada’s clean energy economy, and I’m proud of everything we accomplished together in Carson City. Governor Sandoval’s vetoes represent missed opportunities for us to seize the economic opportunity of renewable energy in our communities. Community solar would have helped families who rent and low-income neighborhoods reduce their energy bills through access to solar power, and an ambitious Renewable Portfolio Standard would have created tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in wages right here in Nevada. The fight will continue to build on our state’s clean energy progress and enact these common-sense policies next session.

Governor Sandoval’s vetoes represent missed opportunities for us to seize the economic opportunity of renewable energy in our communities” — NV Dems Chair William McCurdy II

What Dems Accomplished in Nevada During 2017 Session

Democrats in Carson City delivered impressive accomplishments on a wide range of issues this session – from defeating school vouchers and enacting a slew of women’s rights laws, to boosting clean energy and shining daylight on diabetes drugs. Here’s a sample of what people have been writing and reading lately about the Nevada Legislature:

Education Week: ‘Vouchers for All’ Program Will Remain Unfunded in Nevada

AP: Nevada Legislature Wraps up With Significant Education Boost

NPR: Solar Firms Plan To Return To Nevada After New Law Restores Incentives

ThinkProgress: Nevada legislature boosts clean energy, bringing back rooftop solar companies

Greentech Media: Nevada Just Became the Most Exciting State for Energy Storage Policy

Kaiser Health News: Daylight On Diabetes Drugs: Nevada Bill Would Track Insulin Makers’ Profits

New York Times: Opinion: What Happens When Women Legislate

HuffPost: This Is What Happens When Women Get Elected

AP: Nevada Senate Leader Proposes Internet Privacy Regulations

New York Times: States Lead the Fight Against Trump’s Birth Control Rollback

Rewire: Another State Protects Birth Control Access From Congressional GOP Attack

Los Angeles Times: Thirty-five years past a deadline set by Congress, Nevada ratifies the Equal Rights Amendment

Vox: Nevada’s legislature just passed a radical plan to let anybody sign up for Medicaid

New York Magazine: Nevada Is Considering a Revolutionary Health-Care Experiment

Los Angeles Times: Nevada moves closer to a landmark Medicaid-for-all healthcare model

Reuters: Nevada likely to become second state to require police body cameras

CNN: Nevada governor signs bill to ban conversion therapy

Las Vegas Sun: Recreational pot advocates pleased with Nevada Legislature’s strides

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Nevada Legislature adds $25M for UNLV med school funding

Las Vegas Sun: Guest Column: Investors would benefit from bill

Reno Gazette-Journal: Analysis: Winners and losers from the 2017 Nevada Legislature

Heller’s High (or should I say Low) Water on Healthcare

In case you haven’t heard, Senator Dean Heller supports MASSIVE cuts to Medicaid.  In fact, Senator Heller has drug the proverbial tea and has expressed his support for PHASING OUT the Medicaid expansion over the next 7 years.

After weeks of denying, fudging and wriggling, Heller is finally admitting he’s ready to end the Medicaid expansion covering more than 138,000 Nevadans—including children—since Obamacare became law.  THAT is unacceptable. Senator Heller was elected to look out for Nevadans, but he’s instead ripping the rug out from those who count on Medicaid.

“I support seven, I support seven,” Heller told reporters on his way into a healthcare working group meeting in the Capitol. “So do a number of us, including [Sen. Rob] Portman [R-Ohio] and others who have been working on this.”

Full story here.

Apparently Heller figures blame won’t fall back on him if they just “slowly” take Medicaid away from over 130,000 Nevadans and millions across the U.S.  … over a 7 year time frame. What folks need to understand is, that without Federal “matching funds” which enable States to open up the Medicaid insurance program to those whose incomes are below or just above the poverty line, it will be detrimentally consequential. Thirty-one states chose to expand Medicaid, and, as a result, 11 million to 12 million newly eligible people were finally able to obtain health insurance.  If federal matching funds are withdrawn, most states will likely return to the more restrictive eligibility rules for Medicaid eligibility ― effectively wiping out the coverage gains, leaving millions of low-income Americans with worse access to health care and more exposure to crushing medical bills.  In other words, it’s the equivalent of legislating a “death panel” where access is denied or expensive procedures/surgeries are denied as funding will not be available and people WILL die.

At a time when the Nevada Legislature is seriously considering a “Medicaid for All” healthcare delivery model that would let Nevadans buy into a “public” delivery system to assure Nevadans can more effectively access healthcare coverage, it appears that Senator Heller has chosen to throw his constituents under the first bus he can find.  Even Governor Brian Sandoval, a Republican who doesn’t support blocking healthcare coverage access for so many Nevadans, has shared his concern about rolling back the Medicaid expansion.

We can’t let Heller and his spokespeople get away with playing loose with the truth, calling this “fake news,” and blaming it on Democrats.  He made the comment and it’s on tape!

We must defeat Senator Heller in 2018. Nevadans can’t afford to lose the Medicaid expansion.

Related posts:

FORD & FRIERSON STATEMENT ON SENATE PASSAGE OF EDUCATION BUDGET

The Nevada Senate approved an education budget, Senate Bill 544, that funds Nevada’s public school system without funding for private school vouchers. During consideration of the bill, Senate Republicans fled the Legislative Building and failed to vote on the K-12 education budget. Senate Bill 544 passed 12-0 with all Democrats and one Independent in support. 

Senate Majority Leader Aaron D. Ford and Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson issued the following joint statement:

“Over the past several weeks we have attempted to maintain an open dialogue and good-faith negotiations with Republicans working towards what we hoped could be a bipartisan compromise on education funding. Unfortunately, time and time again Republicans have undermined these discussions by moving the goalposts and refusing to meet us halfway. Our Democratic majorities in both chambers have said loud and clear from day one that we believe in keeping public dollars in public schools. We continue to have deep concerns about how diverting public money to subsidize wealthy families would weaken our education system and threaten our children’s future.

“Our next step must be to move forward where we can agree and pass an education budget that funds our public schools, including key investments in improving college and career readiness, turning around low-performing schools, and enhancing teaching and support for gifted students, young English-language learners and kids with special needs. It’s our sincere hope that the Republicans will not play politics with this critical school funding.”

On Monday, Democratic Assemblyman Justin Watkins offered a $30 million compromise proposal on the controversial issue of school vouchers that would have provided meaningful choice for more of Nevada’s families. The proposal would have instituted an income-based sliding scale to ensure money went to students with the highest needs, prioritized at-risk and lower-performing kids, and set reasonable eligibility and accountability standards. The proposal also would have required that schools comply with Nevada’s anti-discrimination and anti-bullying laws. Republicans rejected the proposal outright.

This Week in the NV Assembly

 

— by Jason Frierson

Empowering Nevada’s Hardworking Families

On April 25th, we will pass the next big deadline of the session referred to as “First House Passage.” This deadline requires most of our proposed legislation to be voted out of the House where they were first introduced.

 

Despite the significant bipartisan efforts we have made so far this session, our work is not done. We may not always agree on how to get there, but I believe we agree on where we’d like to be, and that is a promising future for all of Nevada.

 

Below, you will find a few of the many bills your Democratic legislators and committees introduced over the past few weeks dedicated to making Nevada the best place to live, work, raise a family, and retire!

Jobs of the Future

Diversifying Nevada’s economy and making our state an easier place to bring, start, or grow a business.

Putting Working Families First

Putting Nevada workers, jobs, and businesses first by helping our small businesses expand and grow.

Higher Education and Job Training

Nevada must offer a variety of higher education and job training programs to be competitive in the new economy.

Improving Schools

Parents should have more choices and more say in how their kids’ schools are run through a well-funded public education system that gives our kids the resources and opportunities they deserve.

When Women do Better, Families do Better

Leveling the playing field for women by correcting inequities in the workplace and lessening the economic burdens for all.

Security for our Families

Nevada families should always feel safe and secure in their homes, community, and state.

With less than 7 weeks left in the 2017 Legislative Session, our goal is to continue to champion legislation that will empower Nevada’s hardworking families!


Looking for information on or the status for other other bills … check NELIS

NV Assembly Activity for Empowering Nevada’s Hardworking Families

 Jason Frierson, Speaker, NV Assembly
On April 14th, we passed an important deadline where most of the proposed legislation for the 2017 Session needed to be passed out of our legislative committees.

We worked diligently through the deadline to process policies we believe are good for Nevadans. We also have another important deadline coming up on April 25th which is when most of the proposed legislation must get voted out of the Assembly.

We believe that we can create a brighter, better future for every Nevada family by investing in our schools, teachers, higher education and job training. We must build a more diverse economy that helps small businesses grow, creates jobs, and makes Nevada a national leader in technology, advanced manufacturing, and clean energy jobs.

In the first 10 weeks of the session, Assembly Democrats worked hard toward that end. We led the effort in bipartisan way to dedicate more resources to the school level where it could be more effective. We advanced policies to protect hard working Nevadans but also collaborated with the business community in order to best protect small businesses. We advanced criminal justice reforms not only in a bipartisan fashion, but also in collaboration with law enforcement.

Below are just a couple more examples of the hard work we have engaged in so that we help move Nevada forward!

Security for our Families

Nevada families should always feel safe and secure in their homes, community, and state.

Assemblyman Steve Yeager worked with Majority Leader Benitez-Thompson to overcome Attorney General Laxalt’s concern that a timeline to process rape kits would be an unfunded mandate. The Yeager amendment creates a 120-day deadline for crime labs to process rape kits, and includes a general fund appropriation to ensure that police had the resources they need to give rape victims the justice they deserve. We hope the Attorney General will support this effort.

Increasing Voter Participation

The most fundamental aspect of our democratic process is a citizen’s right to vote. We should work hard to make it easier for all eligible Nevadans to vote, not more difficult.

Assemblywoman Olivia Diaz also offered the Diaz campaign finance reform amendment to this bill, which mandates that candidates and elected officials report their campaign’s cash-on-hand and itemize their credit card expenses on their campaign financial reports. We are also hoping that the Secretary of State will support our effort to increase voter participation as well as transparency that is sorely needed today more than ever.

With 50 days left in the 2017 Legislative Session, our goal is to continue to champion legislation that will empower Nevada’s hardworking families!

Empowering Nevada’s Hardworking Families

— by Jason Frierson

This past Monday we saw the second big deadline of the 2017 Legislative Session – the last day for Assembly committees to introduce legislation.

With over 1,000 bills and resolutions introduced each legislative session, Nevada’s Assembly committees have their work cut out for them! Committees give Nevadans the opportunity to share their concerns directly with their representatives and hear detailed testimony from witnesses and experts on all bills. Each Assembly committee focuses on a specific subject area and bills are referred to these committee based on the topic of the legislation.

As a state, we have come a long way since the Great Recession, but we know that stagnant wages and a higher cost of living have left too many Nevadans behind. Many Nevadans still feel that government doesn’t work for regular people.

It is time to open up a new frontier and empower hardworking Nevada families!

Below, you will find a few of the many bills your Democratic legislators and committees introduced over the past few weeks dedicated to making Nevada the best place to live, work, raise a family, and retire!

Jobs of the Future

Diversifying Nevada’s economy and making our state an easier place to bring, start, or grow a business.

Putting Working Families First

Putting Nevada workers, jobs, and businesses first by helping our small businesses expand and grow.

Improving Schools

Parents should have more choices and more say in how their kids’ schools are run through a well-funded public education system that gives our kids the resources and opportunities they deserve.

Higher Education & Job Training

Nevada must offer a variety of higher education and job training programs to be competitive in the new economy.

When Women do Better, Families do Better

Leveling the playing field for women by correcting inequities in the workplace and lessening the economic burdens for all.

Security for our Families

Nevada families should always feel safe and secure in their homes, community, and state.

  • AB247 introduced by Assemblyman Steve Yeager bill would allow survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and harassment to break a lease without having to worry about a financial penalty and remove one obstacle in their road to recovery.

Preserving Nevada’s Heritage

Protecting our future by respecting our natural environment and keeping our public lands in public hands.

We are about halfway through the 2017 Legislative Session and our goal is to champion legislation that will empower Nevada’s hardworking families!

March 26th Assembly Democratic Legislative Newsletter

by Jason Frierson

Nevada is America’s Opportunity State

This past Monday was the 2017 Legislative Session’s first major deadline – the last day Nevada Assemblymembers could introduce legislation they personally sponsored.

Nevada is America’s Opportunity State and our goal for this session is to champion legislation that will empower Nevada’s hardworking families.

Below, you will find a few of the many bills your Democratic legislators introduced over the past few weeks dedicated to making Nevada the best place to live, work, raise a family, and retire!

Jobs of the Future

Diversifying Nevada’s economy and making our state an easier place to bring, start, or grow a business.

Putting Jobs & Workers First

Putting Nevada businesses and jobs first by helping our small businesses expand and grow.

Increasing Voter Participation

The most fundamental aspect of our democratic process is a citizen’s right to vote. We should work hard to make it easier for all eligible Nevadans to vote, not more difficult.

  • AB272 introduced by Speaker Jason Frierson increases the number of days that Nevadans can vote during the early voting period, expands the hours for each site, adds ballots printed in Cantonese and Mandarin and places more polling places on Native American reservations.

Higher Education and Job Training

Nevada must offer a variety of higher education and job training programs to be competitive in the new economy.

When Women do Better, Families do Better

Leveling the playing field for women by correcting inequities in the workplace and lessening the economic burdens for all.

Supporting Family Values

Supporting family values means treating our families with decency and fairness.

Preserving Nevada’s Heritage

Protecting our future by respecting our natural environment and keeping our public lands in public hands.

With only 72 days left of the session, your Nevada Assembly Democrats are working hard to make sure Nevada continues to be America’s Opportunity State—that’s our promise to you.

Hearing on AB159 Prohibiting Hydraulic Fracturing Statewide

Assembly Bill 159 will be heard by the Assembly Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Mining committee Tuesday February 21st at 1:30pm. Click here if you can attend the hearing.

Here is a digest of the bill:

Section 1 of this bill prohibits any person from engaging in hydraulic fracturing in this State, and section 5 of this bill repeals provisions relating to the hydraulic fracturing program. Sections 2 and 3 of this bill make conforming changes. Section 4 of this bill provides that any permit issued by the Division of Minerals before the effective date of this bill, authorizing a person to drill and operate an oil or gas well that is or is intended to be hydraulically fractured, expires on that date.

We strongly suggest all Nevadans opposed to fracking show up and share your testimony, either in Carson City or Las Vegas. Click here for the agenda that includes meeting location room numbers.

We can avoid some of the worst consequences of climate change by keeping fossil fuels where they belong: in the ground. 

Share your opinion on AB159 by using this tool (click here) your comment will be sent to your legislators.

Source: Composite by G_marius based on a darthpedrius’s image

I don’t know about you, but I pay for earthquake insurance on my home, my largest personal investment.  It nearly doubles my insurance premiums.  Given that we live in a frequently drought-stricken state which is also an earthquake zone, here’s some food for thought on this issue:

Nevada Blueprint: Protecting & Expanding the Middle Class

Fellow Nevadans:

As Nevada Democrats, we share a core belief: Every Nevadan deserves a fair shot at the American Dream. That starts with a quality education, and it includes access to good jobs that can support a family, a safe community in which to live, and a secure retirement. Achieving the dream is not a guarantee – it requires personal accountability and hard work – but it also should not be impossible.

Nevadans have a natural instinct for hard work and ingenuity. In the 2015 Legislative Session, Democrats focused on creating opportunities that lay the necessary foundation for Nevadans to improve their personal economic security.

We must ensure that those who work hard and play by the rules are rewarded for it – whether that means having access to affordable higher education, or the ability to buy a home, raise a family, and retire with peace of mind. We must also ensure that the middle-class families who suffered most during the Great Recession will not be punished again as we transition into a 21st-Century Nevada.

During the 2015 Legislative Session, we offered our Nevada Blueprint – an agenda outlining our principles and legislative goals that will help every Nevadan reach his or her American Dream – from childhood to retirement. Below, you’ll find that agenda, including many items that we were able to achieve and some that we will bring back in 2017. We hope you’ll join us continuing to work to achieve these goals on behalf of all Nevadans.

Sincerely,

/s/Aaron D. Ford
Senate Democratic Leader
Irene Bustamante-Adams
Assembly Democratic Leader


EDUCATION

Pre-K through 12th Grade — We believe all Nevada children deserve an equal opportunity to succeed so they can compete for the good-paying jobs of the future. To give our kids a fair shot, we must invest in our schools and come together as a community to ensure accountability. Once in our schools, students must be challenged by highly qualified teachers and a rigorous curriculum that helps them achieve their very best.

Our Nevada Blueprint Will:

  • Build new schools and hire more qualified teachers to relieve overcrowding and reduce class sizes.
  • Ensure successful implementation of universal full-day kindergarten and funding for pre-Kindergarten.
  • Prepare our students for high-tech jobs by providing well-funded Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education programs.
  • Ensure our teachers have the resources and tools necessary to provide a good education by funding professional development programs.
  • Expand English Language Learner (ELL) programs to give all children a fair shot at the American Dream.

HIGHER EDUCATION

College graduates on average will earn $1 million more in their lifetimes than adults with only a high school diploma. That’s why we believe higher education should be affordable and accessible to every Nevadan. After all, we cannot expect to attract new businesses if we do not have an educated workforce from which they can hire. Unfortunately, it has become harder for middle-class families to send their kids to college, while graduates are saddled with increasing debt. Legislative Democrats will work to help graduates pay off their college loans and make college more affordable for middle-class families.

Our Nevada Blueprint Will:

  • Make college more affordable for middle-class families by reducing student debt, providing tax breaks for education expenses, expanding scholarship programs, and making it easier to save for college.
  • Provide Community College Workforce Grants.
  • Provide adequate funding for the entire statewide university and community college system.
  • Enhance our current higher education system by properly funding the development of a medical school at UNLV and establishing a Tier 1 research university in Nevada.
  • Provide apprenticeships for vocational training.

ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES

Protecting Your Pocketbook —Nevada’s economy has begun to recover from the Great Recession. While this is good news, we also know that not everybody’s personal economy has recovered. In Nevada, the cost of living is increasing, but wages are flat. That does not add up. We believe it’s past time that we reward hard work with fair wages. We must ensure that our jobs pay enough for workers to support their families, and that we keep talented Nevadans right here at home.

Our Nevada Blueprint Will:

  • Ensure that Nevada’s veterans and military families get a fair shot at economic success.
  • Help local business startups get off the ground, including businesses owned by women and minorities.
  • Support an earned sick leave program that will allow workers to take time off when they or a close family member gets sick without being docked a day’s wages or fearing for their job.
  • ENACT A SALES TAX HOLIDAY: On a designated holiday, Nevadans should be exempt from paying a sales tax on back-to-school clothes and school supplies, including computers and new technology for our students.
  • LOWER CAR REGISTRATION FEES: Nevadans are forced to pay extremely high fees to register and re-register their cars. We should lower these high registration fees and help middle-class Nevadans keep their hard-earned money.
  • REWARD HARD WORK WITH FAIR PAY by requiring that women earn equal pay for doing the same work as men.
  • Raise the minimum wage in Nevada. Make child care more affordable.

SECURITY FOR SENIORS

Nevada’s seniors have worked hard their entire lives and deserve to retire with dignity and respect. Our seniors should not have to go broke to receive the help and care they need. Legislative Democrats are ready to fight for our seniors.

Our Nevada Blueprint Will:

  • Protect retirement savings and pensions, for which our seniors have worked hard.
  • Build public and private partnerships to help ensure seniors can receive the care they need while remaining independent and able to stay in their homes as long as they want to.
  • Provide education and training to health care professionals in screening, diagnosis, and treatment of behavioral and cognitive diseases prevalent in older adults.
  • Support higher education programs for our seniors. Ensure implementation of the Nevada CARE Act.

PROTECTING YOUR RIGHTS

In addition to fighting to improve our education system and create more economic opportunities, Legislative Democrats believe we must also work to protect the constitutional rights of all Nevadans. The right to vote is one of the pillars of a free democracy, and that’s why we will stand against attempts to make it harder for seniors, women, and military families to cast a ballot. In addition to opposing any efforts that will make voting harder for Nevadans, we will also introduce legislation aimed at encouraging voter participation. Moreover, the right to one’s day in court is fundamental. That is why we oppose legislation that limits Nevadans’ full recovery for wrongs committed against them.

Our Nevada Blueprint Will:

  • Fight to ensure that voting is free, fair, and accessible for all eligible voters in Nevada.
  • Protect every Nevadan’s right to his or her day in court.
  • Encourage voter participation by providing for same-day voter registration, implementing Election Day vote centers, and automating the DMV’s voter registration system.

REVENUE & FUNDING

Going into the 2015 Session, Nevada badly needed a new revenue structure, which is why Democrats support Gov. Sandoval’s compromise tax reform bill. If we want our state to be competitive in the 21st-Century, we must invest in the critical needs, like our educational system, that will help our economy grow. Legislative Democrats believe in a state with a strong and secure middle class that is not asked to carry the tax burden while large corporations avoid paying their fair share.