February 19, 2021 | Legislative Recap
The Nevada Legislative Session is an extremely confusing and intimidating process for many Nevadans, so Faith in Action Nevada’s Policy Director, Ben Challinor, has graciously volunteered to host weekly Facebook live sessions to demystify the Legislative Session and explain what FIANV is doing in it. These live sessions will be every Friday from 12:30 to 1:00 pm PST, but don’t worry if you can’t make it because everything he says will also be here on our blog.
Here at FIANV, our biggest priority is reaching out to the communities most impacted by these bills going through, especially people of color and those experiencing poverty, as well as communities of faith to help them understand the significant impact they can make in the Legislative Session by sharing their stories. Our goal is to empower these communities, so we can make positive change happen.
The Legislative Session is so important in Nevada because it only happens once every two years, and it only lasts 120 days. During this time, legislators convene in Carson City to make laws for the next two years. As of February 19, 2021, we have 102 days left to get our bills passed through.
FIANV has 3 main priorities this session. We are focusing on housing, revenue and budget, and access to healthcare. For housing, tenant’s rights are the most important thing. Our aim is to fix the power imbalance that exists between landlords and tenants. Budget and revenue are centered around making sure certain social services that communities rely on, like mental health and education programs, are not being cut. Then lastly, that everyone, especially communities of color, has access to healthcare. We are also fighting for drug transparency meaning pharmaceuticals will not raising drug prices without a valid reason. Some other issues we are supporting are democracy (specifically making mail-in ballots for everyone permanent), criminal justice reform, and immigration support.
This Legislative Session is slightly different from past ones due to COVID-19. At this time in the session, there are 200 fewer bills introduced than usual. Many of our priorities do not have language or bills yet, but we will keep you updated as they come out. The bills that have been introduced so far are SB50, AB107, AB141, and SB124/AB138.
The purpose of SB50 is to regulate the use of no-knock warrants. This warrant is what contributed to the death of Breonna Taylor. While SB50 does not outright ban the no-knock warrants, it does create a single way of regulating it so that this tragedy does not happen in Nevada. AB107 provides a fee waiver for people who can’t pay the $70 civil fee to respond to certain civil actions like evictions. This fee is a barrier to justice for those who cannot afford it, so this bill effectively removes this barrier.
AB141 is a very important bill. It is our top housing bill, and its purpose is to extend the timeline for sudden evictions depending on how long you’ve lived in your place of residence and does automatic record sealing for people who have been evicted due to COVID-19.
SB124 and AB138 are two separate bills, but essentially do the same thing. They allow for people who have been previously convicted of drug felonies to be able to receive public assistance and eliminate barriers to needed services for them to move forward with their life. This bill has already gone through a hearing. There are many more bills that are yet to be announced; we will continue to update you as they come out.
Our teams are digitally organizing to reach out to those who are impacted by and deeply care about these bills. We strongly encourage everyone to share your opinion with your legislators by clicking the link and expressing your support for these bills! Keep checking in every week for more updates on the Nevada Legislative Session.