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Legislative session marred by partisan politics

When I began the 81st legislative session in the Nevada Assembly as a second-term legislator just a few short months ago, I was given a leadership position as minority whip. It has been my absolute honor to serve in this position.

Going into the session, the state was hamstrung by anti-business executive orders that restricted everyday Nevadans from earning a living and kept small businesses from making a profit. Because of the need for quick economic recovery, I and my colleagues in the Assembly Republican Caucus were eager to get to work in a bipartisan fashion to get Nevada families back on their feet. Instead, we were met with the most partisan session ever with only 27 or 22 percent of Republican bills passed compared to 122 or 65 percent Democrat bills.

Last time I wrote in this paper, I discussed three bad, hyperpartisan election bills: AB321 (universal mail-in ballots), SB292 (straight-ticket voting) and AB432 (expanding automatic voter registration). While amendments were made to AB321 and AB432, the Democrat majority was able to push these measures through the Assembly on party-line votes. We were able, however, along with our colleagues in the Senate Republican Caucus, to dismantle SB292, which was amended to remove straight-ticket voting entirely prior to its passage.

While I was disheartened to see this level of partisanship on the legislative level, the resilience of the people of our state lifted my spirits, as did the recent release of restrictions which were dampening our much-needed recovery. Although partisan bickering, which has become endemic to our nation’s politics, seeped through at times in the Nevada Legislature, we were also able to pass many pieces of bipartisan legislation which we hope will serve to boost our state’s economic recovery and health care infrastructure.

I was proud to see my bill, Assembly Bill 320, which allows counties and municipalities to authorize large off-highway vehicles to operate on certain streets, passed through both the state Senate and Assembly this session.

Constituents from Boulder City were involved from beginning to end on this bill, including the inception of the idea for bringing the bill forward and certain amendments that were made along the way. It is my hope that many of the measures I may be able to bring forth in the future will follow along these same lines.

In the time between legislative sessions, I will be serving on the Interim Finance Committee. I hope that I will be able to maintain a dialogue with you in this time as we discuss important fiscal appropriations during our state’s economic recovery.

If you would like to reach me to ask questions or voice your concerns and opinions about anything that’s going on in the Legislature, email me at glen.leavitt@asm.state.nv.us.

The opinions expressed above belong solely to the author and do not represent the views of the Boulder City Review. They have been edited solely for grammar, spelling and style, and have not been checked for accuracy of the viewpoints.

Glen Leavitt, a fifth generation Nevadan, is the assemblyman representing District 23 and currently serves as the Republican minority whip.

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