Saturday, July 22, 2017

VETTE’S VEGAS VOICE: 79th Legislative Session: Update For Black Nevadans


Yvette Williams

BY YVETTE WILLIAMS

The 79th Nevada Legislative Session will have just passed the halfway mark at the time of this publication, with legislators wrapping it up in about 30 days on June 5, 2017. Bills not passed out of committee by April 14 have died unless a waiver was extended. Additionally, bills will die if they don’t pass out of the first house by April 25, the second committee by May 19, and second house by May 26. With the approaching deadlines, time is quickly running out to contact your representative on issues important to you. To see complete bill details, sponsors of bills, current status of bills and to find contact information, visit NELIS, Nevada’s legislative website: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/NELIS/REL/79th2017

With the election of the first African American Assembly Speaker joining African American Senate Majority Leader in controlling both houses, Black Nevadans have a tremendous interest in this legislative session — and hopes for advancements of a community often marginalized in policy decisions. This session is gearing up to deliver on much needed social justice concerns. Each session, the Clark County Black Caucus adopts a Legislative Black Agenda. Go to www.CCBlackCaucus.com to see additional bills you should be aware of and the legislative agenda. Below, a few bills that are of particular interest to Black Nevadans:

Call your State Representative and ask them to support the following bills:

• AB303 – Ban private prisons (passed 1st committee)

• AB384 – Ban the box (passed 1st committee)

• AB181 – Restoration of civil rights (passed 1st committee)

• AB259 – Vacating certain judgements (pass 1st committee)

• AB70 – Redevelopment funds (passed by Assembly with a constitutional majority and moves to Senate)

• SB126 – Small business loan program (passed 1st committee)

Ask your State Representative to amend the following bills:

• SB178 – NV Education Funding Formula (waiver granted). Note: Asking for an additional funding designation to include “lowest proficient students” and provide additional resources they need. Currently, proposed amendments include long term English as a Second Language Learners (ESL) and Gifted & Talented students. Nevada legislators cannot say they are serious about addressing the proficiency gap while ignoring the needs of our least proficient students.

• AB447 – Victory Schools (passed 1st committee). Note: CCBC is asking for additional funding for students in poverty comparable to ZOOM Schools funding currently proposed at $80 Million (Victory) vs. $142 Million (ZOOM)

• SB441 – Workforce development grants (Passed 1st committee). Note: CCBC recommends adding the following language: “Compliance with U.S. Department of Labor C.F.R. Sec 30.29 and 30.30”

• SB357 – Apprenticeship requirements on public works (passed 1st committee). Note: CCBC recommends adding the following language: “Compliance with U.S. Department of Labor C.F.R. Sec 30.29 and 30.30”

Yvette Williams is a community advocate and Chair/Founder of the Clark County Black Caucus, a non-partisan community organization driven 100% by volunteer members registered to vote. Follow her Blog at www.YvetteBWilliams.com and on twitter @YvetteBWilliams or contact her at ClarkCountyBlackCaucus@gmail.com for more information.

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