Carson City, NV –Assemblyman John Ellison’s update on recent events in Nevada’s capital:

“Early in the 2019 Legislative session, the resignation of two Democrat lawmakers overshadowed the work we are trying to accomplish in Carson City.  I continue to be disappointed in the anti-business legislation that my colleagues continue to introduce.  Nevada must continue to capitalize on our successes and continue to diversify and expand our economy which ranks number one in the country in job growth and income growth.  

This week our legislature passed Assembly Bill 186, a bill to enact a compact among states that would elect the President of the United States by a national popular vote. Currently the national popular vote compact has been enacted by 15 States possessing 189 electoral votes, the agreement would need to reach 270 electoral votes to go into effect. If enough states sign onto this agreement then Nevada will never be visited by any presidential candidate ever again. By passing AB186 our state is effectively letting New York City, Los Angeles and a hand full of other large coastal cities decide who the president of the United States will be. I cannot agree with giving away Nevada’s voice in national elections.

Last week both the Nevada State Senate and Assembly had the first committee passage deadline in which bills had to get out of committee or they would not be able to move forward to become law. After the deadline about the same number of Republican bills made it out of their various committees as did Democrat sponsored bills. However, there are far fewer Republican bills in total meaning that many quality pieces of legislation were discarded simply because of the fact they were sponsored by Republicans. This does not represent a future of bipartisanship in the Nevada legislature.

I was also fortunate enough to have three of my most important bills receive hearings.  AB114 will implement a course of study for students in certain grades on the prevention of suicide and ensure that licensed educational personnel receive training concerning suicide among pupils. I would like to thank Lynette Vega and Colleen Piacitelli for sharing their very personal experiences about suicide when testifying in favor of AB114.  

We were also able to have a hearing about how we can help protect the families of first responders.  Assembly Bill 102 extends protection to the spouse and children of first responders, on or off duty, who may be targeted by criminals.  First responders need to know that their families are safe while they are serving in some of the most important and dangerous jobs in Nevada. 

The third bill of mine to get a hearing was AB403. This bill seeks to close the current loophole that exists in Nevada law regarding vehicular manslaughter on Nevada’s privately owned roadways. Driving on private property still carries many of the same inherent risks and dangers of doing so in a public space, some may infer that the danger is significantly lessened, or that private property allows for a more ‘controlled environment’ in comparison to that of a public space. However, this simply isn’t the case, and private property can be just as dangerous as any public roadway. This is why AB403 would make the penalties for reckless driving and vehicular manslaughter on a private road or in a parking lot the same as they would be on a public roadway. Many other states currently do recognize that most parking lots and publically accessible privately owned roadways, are considered public. 

Another one of my bills that made it through the committee passage deadline last week was AB242 which creates the Nevada Air Service Development Commission. I was one of the primary sponsors of this bipartisan bill along with my colleagues: Assemblywoman Cohen, Assemblyman Frierson and Senator Goicoechea. The purpose of this commission would be to help small airports in the state grow and expand regional air service across Nevada. 

Assembly Bill 171 is the final bill of mine that made it out of committee passage last week. I am a primary sponsor of this bill along with Assemblywoman Bilbray-Axelrod so that we can ensure this measure passes with bipartisan support. AB171 is a bill that would make admission to our State Parks free for our veterans.

I often reminded my children while they were growing up of the Mark Twain quote, ‘Always do the right thing.  It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.’  While your public servants may not always reach this standard, please know that the vast majority of my colleagues and I are striving to do what is right for Nevada.”