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Daily Newscasts

Racial Equity Report Card: Lawmakers “Improve” & Governor “Flunks”

November 21, 2011

LAS VEGAS - For the second time, Nevada's governor and state lawmakers are getting a report card today for their record this past session on bills concerning racial equity.

Michael Ginsburg, southern Nevada director for the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, says the Legislature's two houses are neck-and-neck but improving, with better scores than last year. He says 26 Assembly members and 10 state senators scored 90 percent or higher for passing 15 racial-equity bills out of both houses.

"The governor got a grade of 53 percent. He vetoed seven out of the 15 bills, which is an improvement over our past governor - but, again, that bar wasn't set very high, unfortunately."

In some cases, Ginsburg says, Gov. Brian Sandoval said the racial equity bills he vetoed duplicated other measures or were too expensive, while in other cases he offered no explanation.

The report card is intended to document lawmakers' commitment to promoting equality and opportunity, Ginsburg says, at a time when people of color are among the hardest hit in Nevada by foreclosures and the recession.

"The way we organized the report card is, we broke it down into four main areas: education equity was one, economic equity another, health equity, and then civil rights."

Ginsburg says committee chairs and the leaders of both houses deserve credit for blocking measures his group deemed to be institutionally racist.

"They're aimed at voter suppression, they're anti-immigrant measures, many of them. And fortunately, thanks to the leadership that we have, they were able to keep any of those bills from advancing, so that's great."

The full "Facing Race" report card will be released at 10 a.m. today at the Nevada Press Association in Carson City.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV