LAS VEGAS – Some of the biggest names in Nevada state politics met with progressive activists and dozens of members of the public on Tuesday night to tout their victories in this year’s legislative session, and discuss where they’ll go from here.
Hear an audio report from Suzanne Potter.
A lot has changed since the last session in 2017 – namely, the Legislature flipped to Democratic control, which opened the floodgates for a range of pent-up progressive issues to be heard. Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson, D-Las Vegas, said he’s most proud of the bill to gradually raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour.
“Increasingly, compared to the last time we adjusted minimum wage, people are trying to take care of their families on these quote-unquote ‘entry-level jobs,’ ” he said. “This is not just jobs for kids in the summer.”
The Legislature also passed a bill to require utilities to get 50% of their energy from renewable sources by 2030. Bills were passed to require background checks on gun sales, as well as a “red flag” law to allow people to petition a judge to order that guns be removed from a person who exhibits or threatens violent behavior.
Annette Magnus, executive director of the nonprofit Battle Born Progress, said the omnibus voting-rights bill will restore the voting rights of former felons who have completed their probation. She said it also will increase access to the polls in general, making the state a leader on civil rights.
“It implements same-day voter registration, automatic voter registration in Nevada,” she said. “It updates the way we do online voter registration. So, it’s a really important bill to modernize and secure our electoral system.”
Magnus added that in the two years before the next legislative session, her group will work to build a consensus around the need to raise state revenues in order to permanently fund education at much higher levels.