Democrats ‘blueprint’ highlights priorities but is scant on details

Nevada Dems
Nevada Democrats present their 2019 Legislative Session Blueprint on Feb. 25.
Nevada Dems
Nevada Democrats present their 2019 Legislative Session Blueprint on Feb. 25.

The “Legislative Blueprints” released by Nevada Democrats during the last two sessions essentially amounted to a wishlist and rallying cry for a minority party with only so much room to push their platform forward. This session, with the tide of power in Carson City shifted blue, the 2019 legislative session blueprint has the potential to be more of a to-do list.

That said, it’s a blueprint scant on specifics.

The 2019 Legislative Session Nevada Blueprint, which was released Monday by Nevada Senate Democrats and the Assembly Democratic Caucus, recaps issues that were talking points for candidates throughout the election season and again reiterated during Gov. Steve Sisolak’s state of the state address early this month. They include:

  • Update Nevada’s outdated school funding formula
  • Address surprise billings from hospitals
  • Raise the minimum wage
  • Provide workers with earned paid sick days
  • Protect Nevadans with pre-existing conditions
  • Ban for-profit, private prisons
  • Strengthen protections for domestic abuse survivors
  • Build a community-based solar energy program

Details on when the wage should be raised and by how much, how many earned paid sick days workers deserve, or whether updating the school funding formula will bring additional dollars to education are not included, though details on some issues have been made public through proposed bills or comments from Sisolak.

One bulletpoint — implement background checks on all gun purchases — has already made progress with the fast-tracking and passing of SB143, the Background Check Act.

In a press release announcing the blueprint, Nevada Democrats state that the blueprint is not intended to be “an exhaustive list of the more than one thousand bills that are up for consideration this cycle” and instead “serves as a reference guide regarding some of the major topics and issues that will be discussed throughout the duration of the session.”

Notably missing from that reference guide is any mention of affordable housing and criminal justice reform, including the goal to end the state’s cash bail system. The latter is an issue that has gained momentum among the progressive wing of Democrats.

Another notable change from the 2017 blueprint is the dropping of any mention of charter schools. The 2017 blueprint promised to “provide parents with full public school choice through the creation of more magnet schools and career and technical academies, expanded open-enrollment and a well-regulated charter system.” The 2019 blueprint drops the mention of charters, promising only to “give more choices in public education by increasing access to career and technical academies.”

The Nevada blueprint in its entirety can be viewed at nvblueprint.com.

April Corbin
Reporter | April Corbin is an award-winning journalist with a decade of media experience. Most recently she covered local government for Las Vegas Sun. She has also been a staff writer at LEO Weekly, web editor of Las Vegas Weekly and a blogger documenting bike share systems’ efforts to increase ridership in underserved communities. An occasional adjunct journalism professor, April steadfastly rejects the notion that journalism is a worthless major. Amid the Great Recession, she earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she served as editor-in-chief of its student newspaper. She later earned an M.A. in media studies and a graduate certificate in media management from The New School for Public Engagement. April serves as treasurer of the Society of Professional Journalists Las Vegas pro chapter and is an at-large member of the Asian American Journalists Association. A stickler about municipal boundary lines, April enjoys teaching people about unincorporated Clark County. She grew up in Sunrise Manor and currently resides in Paradise. She lives with her boyfriend, his toddler, three mutts and five chickens. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, exploring Nevada and defending selfies.

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