Forum Article  |  2017-2018

2017 Legislative Recap: Important Bills from Nevada's 79th Legislative Session

by Leonardo R. Benavides

After the “red wave” of voters swept across the nation’s midterm elections in 2014, Nevada Republicans held a bicameral majority in the 78th (2015) Legislative Session. The subsequent 2016 presidential election tipped the balance of power as Nevada Democrats took back the majority in both houses for the 79th (2017) Legislative Session. The Senate went from an 11-10 Republican advantage to an 11-9-1 advantage for Democrats, and the Assembly flipped from a 25-17 Republican advantage to a 27-15 Democrat advantage. The issues that had previously dominated the 2015 Session, such as tort reform, collective bargaining overhauls, and funding for Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), seemed dead-on-arrival ahead of the 2017 Session. However, with Republican Governor Brian Sandoval at the helm for his last term, Nevada was poised to see the 2017 Session result in a stalemate, with neither extensive Democratic reforms nor significant Democratic rollbacks to the hard-won legislative gains by Republicans back in 2015.

2 Nev. L.J. Forum 39