Left behind in 2009

Please enjoy a guest post by Julianna Ormsby, lobbyist for the Nevada Women’s Lobby. (Full disclosure: I’m on the women’s lobby’s steering committee.)

Left behind in ’09

No, not “Left Behind”, the apocalyptic series of doom starring Mike Seaver.  This entry, unfortunately, refers to those people who stand to be left behind in the coming legislative session.  As you no doubt are aware, we are in the midst of a budget crisis the likes of which hasn’t been seen in our state, since, well, ever.  The need for services is increasing, with Nevada leading the way in foreclosures and the highest unemployment rate in over 20 years.  To be sure, Nevada is bleeding, along with every other state.  The difference is, Nevada was already in critical condition.  When it comes to providing basic human services, Nevada has consistently rated dead last or close to it.   We have yet to see the full effect of the budget cuts, and the next round of cuts almost certainly brings program closures and staff cuts, with the Department of Health and Human Services receiving the brunt of cuts.  It is now more important than ever for people who care about our state to join those already on the front lines and speak out.  While the budget will certainly command the most attention during the legislative session, there are, as always, a number of bills, to be considered.  I’m listing a few here, and for more information, or to see the full list of bill draft requests (BDRs) and pre-filed bills, mosey on over to http://www.leg.state.nv.us.   BDRs are sometimes annoyingly vague (e.g., “makes changes to the administration of justice”) so if you want more information, it’s best to contact the BDR/bill’s sponsor directly.   The BDR/bill list is updated online every Monday.

Some of the proposed legislation includes:

  • requiring photographic identification for voting (BDR 24-79 and BDR 24-577)
  • designating English as the official language of the state (AB70)
  • and a bill that revises provisions prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations (AB 43)
  • AB 68 provides for the issuance of a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth
  • BDR 57-44 would mandate insurance coverage for autism screening and treatment
  • BDR 510 would require health insurance policies to cover treatment for eating disorders
  • SB 14 would increase the portion of the fee for a marriage license that funds the Account for Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence
  • There are a couple of statewide lottery proposals
  • several BDRs that would authorize the donation of unused cancer drugs
  • BDR 756 calls for an interim study on women incarcerated in Nevada (full disclosure:  this bill was requested by my client, the Nevada Women’s Lobby)
  • BDR 793 requests ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment

Finally, 2009 will be the last legislative session for many legislators, as the result of the 1994 term limits ballot question.  If you’ve ever thought about running for office, now is the time to act.  For more on term limits and open seats, check out http://www.leg.state.nv.us/lcb/research/researchbriefs/TermLimits.pdf

Your state needs you.  Don’t be left behind in 2009.

One thought on “Left behind in 2009

  1. Pingback: Happy Anniversary to The Sin City Siren! « The Sin City Siren

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