Happy Memorial Day to you and your loved ones. Today is a day when we remember those who died during active military service. Although the Legislature is in session and we will be working today, I will make take time to remember those who have sacrificed for our freedom. And I once again want to thank my older brother Charles, who is a 20+ year active Marine with multiple tours overseas, for his service to our country.
A week from today is the last day of the Legislative session. That will make for a busy week, as we work hard to wrap up prior to Monday's night deadline.
Last week was a busy one as well, as we worked long hours to pass bills out of the Assembly. I was proud to attend four bill signings this week at the Governor's office (photos below):
Yours in service,
PS: There is still time to share your opinion on pending legislation at this link: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Opinions/79th2017/A/
I joined Assemblyman Daly for the signing of his bill, Assembly Bill 118, which allows military members age 18-20 to obtain their Nevada concealed weapon permit. We heard the bill in my Assembly Judiciary Committee.
Really proud of our two Touro University Nevada student doctors (and military members) who worked hard to help us develop a better marijuana DUI law based on science.
On Wednesday Governor Sandoval signed into law three crime victim bills that I helped shepherd through the legislature in my role as Assembly Judiciary Chair.
I was proud to work with my Republican and Democratic colleagues on these common sense measures which received overwhelming support in both houses.
I sponsored AB247, which allows certain victims to terminate their apartment lease early without financial penalties.
The purpose of this bill is to make sure that nobody is forced, simply by virtue of being under a lease agreement, to stay in a dangerous living situation. I hope that nobody needs to use this bill, but if somebody does, it may save lives.
AB305 provides that schools display a poster with the number to a toll-free child abuse and neglect hotline. We know based on the data that any given school is likely to have a pupil who is suffering from abuse and or neglect at home. Our hope is that these students and perhaps their friends will in some of those cases be informed by these posters that help is available.
Finally, I want to thank Assemblywomen Irene Bustamante-Adams (D-Las Vegas) and Lisa Krasner (R-Reno) for introducing AB145, which extends the civil statute of limitations for victims of abuse.
The Assembly Judiciary Committee heard from courageous victims who testified about the abuse that had happened to them many years before, some of them talking about the abuse for the first time in their lives. Perhaps no other bill was supported by such compelling testimony that demonstrated a need for the bill.
We survived another major deadline last Friday - second committee passage. Thus, we spent much time this week hearing bills in our various committees and getting them ready to be moved to the Assembly floor. This coming Friday is the second house passage deadline, so I expect long hours on the Assembly floor this week as we will be voting on many pieces of legislation.
Education Week wrote about Assembly Bill 385, which provides for free state park passes for every 5th grader in our state (and anybody else in the car). You can read the article here:
I am proud of the bills that my colleagues and I are advancing this session, including Assembly Bill 405, which deals with renewable energy and net metering - it is an effort to ensure that Nevada remains at the forefront of the renewable energy economy. That bill should be voted on this week in the Assembly.
I am excited that two of my bills are on their way to the governor for signature.
Assembly Bill 135 makes common-sense changes to our DUI laws.
Assembly Bill 247 allows survivors of certain crimes to terminate a lease early to allow them to escape from dangerous living situations.
Yours in service,
PS: You can still share your opinion on pending legislation at this link: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Opinions/79th2017/A/
The Assembly Judiciary Committee met "behind the bar" of the Assembly floor on Friday, to finish up its business.
The Assembly won the annual softball game against the Senate and the trophy now resides in the Assembly Chamber (also pictured is the basketball trophy - now in the hands of the Democrats). Both trophies are right where they belong!
My hardworking Assembly Judiciary Committee gave me this gift at our committee dinner. It has been an honor to chair the committee this year!
I love these Nevada cufflinks! They were a gift from Chairwoman Heidi Swank of the Assembly Natural Resources, Agricultural, and Mining Committee.
I hope everybody had a wonderful Mother's Day! There is no doubt that I would not be where I am today without all of the love, encouragement, and support from my mother over the years. I love you Mom!
The highlight of my week took place on Friday. Governor Sandoval signed my first bill, Assembly Bill 385, which provides for free state park passes for every 5th grader in our state (and anybody else in the car). The bill signing took place outside, at Mormon Station Park in Genoa, Nevada. It was a beautiful northern Nevada day and a beautiful bill signing, complete with three classes of elementary students. You can view photos below and read about it here:
Yours in service,
PS: Thank you to all who came to my final coffee with constituents. We had a great conversation about teaching, veterans, and HOAs, among other topics. I am not sure if I will be able to make it back to Las Vegas again before the end of the session, but I plan to continue periodic coffees even after session.
PPS: It is not too late to share your opinion on pending legislation at this link: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Opinions/79th2017/A/
I presented this lady justice statue last week to my Vice Chairman of Judiciary, and the Chairman of Corrections, Parole and Probation, Assemblyman James Ohrenschall. It is in recognition of all of his hard work this session and in his five prior sessions. Thank you, Assemblyman Ohrenschall!
It was an honor to have Governor Sandoval place the first stamp in my State Parks Passport - for Mormon Station Park in Genoa, where we held the bill signing ceremony. I look forward to visiting many more state parks in the summer and I hope you do as well!
Governor Sandoval and I shake hands after he signed my first bill, Assembly Bill 385, giving a free one-year state parks pass to every Nevada 5th grader.
It was an honor to have my wife in attendance at the bill signing - here we are with the signed bill and the pen that Governor Sandoval used to sign it.
I had a great time interacting with the nearly 100 kids in attendance for the bill signing. They enjoyed an afternoon outside, as did I!
With just four weeks left in the legislative session, the pace is picking up. We in the Assembly have all been very busy presenting our bills to Senate committees and vice versa.
I am delighted to report that Assembly Bill 385 (free park passes to 5th graders) received a unanimous vote of support in the Senate last week. I am looking forward to the Governor signing the bill sometime this week! Read about it here.
I am pleased to report that Assembly Bill 277, which seeks to protect the environment in and around our national conservation areas like Red Rock, Sloan Canyon, and Black Rock passed out of the Assembly last week with bipartisan support. I will be presenting it to the Senate Government Affairs Committee on Monday afternoon. You can read the bill here.
Yours in service,
PS: Remember that you can share your opinion on pending legislation here:
PPS: I will be hosting my final 'Coffee with Constituents' meetup on Saturday, May 13th from 10am to 11am. RSVP to me via email for location (in southwest Las Vegas) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope to see you there!
It was great to have Asha Jones from the Urban League Young Professionals on the Assembly floor with me last week. She was in Carson City to talk to legislators about clean energy initiatives.
Great to meet with Rudy, Annette, and my constituent Cielo to talk about conservation and clean energy.
We remembered Detective Chad Parque at Thursday's Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony. As the brother of a police officer, I truly appreciate the sacrifices that law enforcement officers make every day to ensure our safety.
Thursday was Children's Mental Health Awareness Day at the Legislature. It was also a beautiful, sunny day!
I ran a 9 mile leg of the law enforcement memorial relay run (from Las Vegas to Carson City) in 2014. This photo was taken in Beatty, Nevada.
I ran a 10 mile leg of the law enforcement memorial relay run in 2016. This photo was taken in Amargosa Valley, Nevada.
It is hard to believe it is already May 1st. It seems like just yesterday that we were kicking off the 2017 session of the Nevada Legislature.
On Thursday, I presented my kids in parks bill, Assembly Bill 385, to the Senate Natural Resources Committee. I am pleased to report that the committee voted it out that very same day. This means it should get a vote on the Senate floor soon. You can read more about the bill here.
I am also happy to report that Assembly Bill 277, which seeks to protect the environment in and around our national conservation areas like Red Rock, Sloan Canyon, and Black Rock, was voted out of the Assembly on Tuesday with bipartisan support. I was interviewed about it on KNPR.
Yours in service,
PS: Remember that you can share your opinion on pending legislation here.
Carter Wilkerson (of #NuggsForCarter fame) joined us for adoption day at the Legislature. He attends high school in Reno and has used his newfound fame to raise money to fight cancer and promote adoption. You can learn more here.
We adopted dozens of amendments to bills on the Assembly floor on Monday - and then voted on more than 130 bills on Tuesday, when we were on the floor until nearly 10 p.m.
Wednesday was denim day at the Legislature, many wore denim in support of survivors of sexual assault.
Thursday was alumni day at the Legislature. Former District 9 Assemblyman Andrew Martin (2013-2015) joined me on the floor.
Tuesday was Agriculture Day at the Legislature. MooLisa joined us for the festivities!
Our first Future Caucus Town Hall on Saturday was a success!
I ran into some friends and constituents at the Clean Energy Project's Legislative Update in Las Vegas on Saturday morning. We are working hard on renewable energy policy at the Legislature.
The Democrats (donkeys) were victorious in their annual chairty basketball game against the Republicans (elephants). Proceeds went to Seniors in Service, a tremendous organization.
We made it through the first major deadline of the session on Friday, April 14 - we can no longer take action on bills that did not make it out of the first committee, with a few very limited exceptions.
We moved many bills out of the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Friday, 32 in fact, but perhaps none more important than Assembly Bill 97, which seeks to make sure that sexual assault kits are processed in a timely manner. The bill as presented to the committee did not require a laboratory to test a kit within any certain time frame. I proposed an amendment that the labs test them within 120 days and also proposed providing the necessary financial resources to make that testing timeline a reality. Survivors of sexual assault deserve to have these kits timely tested. Read more here:
We also processed three important bills to reform the guardianship process in Nevada to ensure that vulnerable persons are not taken advantage of when they need guardians. Read more here:
Finally, I presented a bill Wednesday to the education committee that would improve educational opportunities for students in foster care. I was pleased that the committee passed the bill out unanimously on Friday. You can read the bill here:
Look HOO visited! Thank you to our great civil servants at the Nevada Dept. of Wildlife for visiting the Legislature.
Nice to have Dawnavon join me on the Assembly floor. He will be starting high school next year and he has already completed three marathons and does around 300 hours of community service each year. He is an impressive young man!
I enjoyed meeting with educators from Clark County who made the trip up to Carson City to be more involved in the political process. Nice to meet you, Dr. Dockweiler and Ms. Holmes-Sutton!
Very exciting to have my first bill, AB385 (free state park passes to Nevada 5th graders) voted out of the Assembly unanimously last Thursday!
Always great to have constituents join me on the Assembly floor. Thank you James & Eileen!