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Legislature accomplished much, but more to do

It is my honor to serve as the Assembly Republican caucus whip in the 81st legislative session. The caucus fought to open the building to the public long before session began. Our pressure was eventually successful in opening the building. It has been a pleasure meeting with some of my constituents inside my office who made the journey up and I look forward to seeing more.

Prior to session, it was understood that we would largely be focused on the pandemic’s devastating effect on our state. The economic shutdown created havoc and the subsequent overwhelming of our unemployment system was disastrous to Nevadans who lost their livelihoods and could not receive assistance.

Instead of addressing these pressing issues, the session has morphed into ultra-partisanship with national priorities. Despite that, our caucus cohesively stood strong through First House Passage deadline, passing our bills that survived committee, killing bad bills and holding the line against increased taxes that require two-thirds votes.

Applying leverage, our cohesive caucus successfully removed taxes and fees from 11 bills, saving Nevada’s taxpayers as our economy rebounds from the pandemic and mandatory shutdown.

We also stood strong against AB286, which was the egregious gun control bill targeting trained concealed carry weapons holders. Due to our leverage, the bill was significantly gutted and only passed on a party-line vote with language modeled after the current federal legislation being imposed on us to ban so-called ghost guns. We will remain vigilant against infringement on our Second Amendment rights.

I firmly believe that schools must be open, and life cannot be lived in perpetual idleness and isolation. We must balance the threat of the virus with alienation from socialization and the lack of face-to-face interaction that can have an adverse effect on childhood development. As a father of three daughters, the news regarding Clark County teen suicides was both heart-breaking and alarming. I was immediately spurred to action and fast-tracked my bill (AB167) to require the suicide prevention hotline and mental well-being resources to be printed on the back of student IDs.

Overall, three of my original 10 bills remain alive. Two of those bills have been voted and sent to the Senate. AB167 passed the Assembly 41-1. AB320 passed 40-0-2 and directly affects our community who were burdened by having to trailer their off-highway vehicles just to go less than a mile away to the desert. This bill will allow you to drive on certain city and county roads in your OHV so long as it is properly registered and insured. It was great to see such strong bipartisan support for these two bills.

AB206 is still in Assembly Ways and Means Committee, which helps ease the transition for our military members and I am committed to making Nevada the most military and veteran friendly state in the nation.

I am extremely concerned about the water level of Lake Mead, which is projected to reach historic lows in June and, if it stays there, trigger mandatory Southern Nevada and Arizona water cuts beginning January 2022 for the first time ever. I am also concerned that fishing and recreation boat launches will no longer be usable due to the water level being too low this summer. For this reason, I voted for the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s bill (AB356) that will save 12 billion gallons of water per year by restricting nonuseable decorative grass for localized ecological landscaping.

Democrats refused to hear election security measures put forward by Republicans and I will be fighting tooth and nail against universal mail-in ballots (AB321), straight ticket voting (SB292) and expanding automatic voter registration to all state agencies and tribal organizations (AB432).

It is an honor to serve the community that I grew up in and I am proud every day to be able to represent the people and the rich history of our community and state.

As minority whip of the Assembly Republican caucus, I will be applying pressure on the Democrats and fighting for conservative common-sense solutions for Nevada families.

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, you can call my office at 775-684-8503 or 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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