2017 NV Legislative Report Card

Battle Born Progress just put out their report card for how legislators performed in the 2017 session.  Here’s what they had to say:

It wasn’t easy, but Nevada progressives had many victories during the 2017 Nevada Legislative Session and this report card is a small overview of what we were able to accomplish. Together, Nevadans showed the nation that the Silver State is determined to move forward and will not back down to extreme right-wing agendas. Vouchers was without a doubt, one of the biggest and most controversial issues this session, and it was the hardest to grade. Thanks to people making their voices heard; voucher bills and deals didn’t get to really see the light of day and did not get voted on the floors of the Senate or the Assembly. Although there was no voucher bill votes to grade, we can give an A for effort to the legislators and community members that fought day in and out to make sure the Trump/Koch/DeVos education agenda didn’t come to Nevada.

This report card is just a small glimpse of what we were able to accomplish this session. We hope this report card helps as you decide who deserves extra credit, and who needs a timeout. Keep in mind that these pass or fail grades do NOT reflect an endorsement of any of the legislators listed. They reflect the votes these legislators took on the issues BBP and you (our members) advocated for or against during the 2017 session.

WHY WE GRADED LEGISLATORS
Every legislative session there is a perceived notion that what happens in Carson City stays in Carson City, but we cannot continue to allow this lack of transparency to plague our legislative process. That is why we evaluate our legislators with a pass or fail mark based on their votes. Inside, you can see each of their votes on various pieces of legislation and decide for yourself whether the legislators deserve your stamp of approval or not.

METHODOLOGY
Legislation included in this report card was chosen based on the amount of time and resources invested into advocating for or against each bill by Battle Born Progress and our members. This is how we graded legislators:

More No votes: Fail
More Yes votes: Pass

NV Assembly Report Card:

NV Senate Report Card:

Note: Both Assemblyman Ira Hansen and Senator Don Gustavson, who supposedly represent Humboldt County citizens, are rated as across-the-board “fail.” 

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.

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.