Progressive State of the State Address Lays Out Legislative Priorities

by Suzanne Potter, Nevada News Service

Former Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed the minimum-wage bill the last time it passed, in 2017. (Cohdra/Morguefile)

LAS VEGAS – Sick leave. Clean water. A living wage.

These issues will top the list at Thursday night’s Progressive State of the State address in Las Vegas.

Speakers will call on state lawmakers to support paid sick leave for all Nevadans, not just those whose companies offer it.

They will also push a raise in the minimum wage, saying $8.25 an hour isn’t enough to get by, much less raise a family.

Hear an audio report from Suzanne Potter …

Laura Martin, executive director of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN), says the Silver State should be governed with an eye to quality of life, not just profits for heavy hitters like gaming and mining.

“The vision we’re presenting is about putting people and planet first ahead of corporations,” she states. “And making sure that Nevada is a state that benefits everybody, and not just wealthy developers.”

The biannual event starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Culinary Union building.

Martin says the public is welcome at the Progressive State of the State event, and at a watch party in Reno.

The 2019 legislative session begins on Monday.

Martin says the new administration should implement the firearm background check law passed in 2016. And she’d like to see legislation with permanent, community-based solutions to protect rural areas from groundwater pollution from hard rock mining.

“It shouldn’t be dependent on who the governor is, who the president is,” she stresses. “It should be dependent on what is just for the people who have to live with that mess every day.”

Martin adds her group would like lawmakers to make certain that the Southern Nevada Water Authority never gains the right to build a pipeline to drain water from the eastern part of the state to be sent to the Las Vegas area.

Correction: In an earlier version of this story, Laura Martin was inaccurately referred to as ‘associate director’ of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, but Martin is actually the executive director, a role she assumed on January 1, 2019.