NV Group's Progressive Expectations for New Legislature
Friday, January 20, 2023
The Nevada Legislature starts Feb. 6, where lawmakers will determine the state's priorities for the next two years. Despite the governor's seat having flipped, now occupied by Republican Joe Lombardo, the state assemblies hold Democratic majorities, meaning it'll take negotiations and concessions to determine the state budget.
Will Pregman, communications director for the group Battle Born Progress, predicted that top-of-mind issues will be housing, reducing the cost of living, protecting voting rights and education. He said progressive groups such as his want to make sure public schools are put first, rather than state education funds going to voucher programs for private and religious schools.
"That's going to be a priority for the governor himself," he said. "Folks involved who are involved in activism around public education sharply disagree with that, and I think are really going to be looking to Democratic leadership to hold the line on that issue."
Pregmam said climate change, preserving labor unions and protecting abortion access in Nevada may be other hot-button issues. He said he thinks it will take some work to ensure that freedoms and protections that Nevadans may take for granted remain in place.
Battle Born Progress will host its ninth annual Virtual Progressive Summit this weekend, bringing people together to learn about civic engagement and how to catalyze change in their communities. Pregman said this year's theme surrounds protecting democracy, rights and freedoms.
He cited the 2022 midterm elections as an example of how Nevadans, and many across the country, rejected political extremism and conspiracy theorists. Even so, he said, the work doesn't stop.
"Just because one election goes by," he said, "it doesn't mean that there aren't still folks who are just intent on overturning democratic elections, who are still out there and still organizing."
Pregman said he hopes those who attend the summit are able to celebrate the wins ushered in by the midterms, but also recognize the legislative session is the one chance advocates get every two years to affect policy change and address emerging crises for Nevadans.
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