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The Latest: State Senate leader praises lawmaker diversity

February 4, 2019

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — The Latest on the beginning of the Nevada Legislature (all times local):

3:25 p.m.

Nevada Senate Majority Leader is calling the new Legislature a “truly historic display of diversity.”

State Senator Kelvin Atkinson says the first female-majority Legislature is unprecedented and overdue, calling the body a true representation of the state.

He says he is proud to consider the senate’s minority leader, James Settelmeyer, a friend even though they come from differing backgrounds.

Atkinson says they have differences on ideas, but “worked together on many issues in the spirit of making Nevada better.”

3:10 p.m.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak is closing state offices in Washoe and Douglas Counties due to worsening snowy weather that’s creating dangerous road conditions.

Sisolak earlier Monday closed state executive branch offices in Carson City as blizzard conditions were reported.

State workers are being granted administrative leave.

Sisolak’s order does not apply to public safety and corrections workers considered essential.

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2:30 p.m.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak has ordered the closure of state offices in Carson City as blizzard conditions have moved into northern Nevada.

The Democrat’s order Monday closed executive branch offices starting at 1:30 p.m. It does not apply to essential public safety and corrections workers or the Nevada Legislature, which kicked off its 2019 session Monday morning.

Workers whose offices are closed will be given administrative leave.

Sisolak’s office says he and state law enforcement agencies are watching weather conditions and will determine if state offices in Reno should also be closed.

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1:40 p.m.

Nevada’s Assembly Speaker says the Legislature will move to ban bump stocks, which were used in the 2017 Las Vegas shooting to modify weapons and mimic the pace of a fully automatic firearm.

Jason Frierson, a Democrat, says Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui had to flee for her life during the attack on the outdoor concert. He says “this is personal, and it’s certainly personal to Assemblywoman Jauregui.”

He says they will stand “for a safer Nevada” so the actions of first responders following the shooting will not be in vain.

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12:35 p.m.

Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson says lawmakers should commit to supporting public education, improving economic security and ensuring quality health care.

The Democratic lawmaker on Monday said the legislature should modernize a funding plan for education, provide teachers with more tools and reward educators who work in challenging schools.

Frierson also expressed support for apprenticeship programs, equal pay and access to paid leave.

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12:30 p.m.

Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson is praising the country’s first overall female-majority Legislature as a “milestone.”

He addressed the packed Assembly chamber in Carson City, Nevada, on Monday. Assembly members were sworn in earlier Monday.

Frierson thanked former Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, saying he was proud to call him his friend. The Assembly Speaker says he believes in the priorities laid out by Gov. Steve Sisolak, including voting rights, criminal justice reform and expanding health care options for residents.

Frierson says the female majority legislature must be a meaningful advancement for Nevadans, instead of simply being symbolic.

He says the majority female legislature brings Nevadans closer to true representative democracy.

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9:30 a.m.

Nevada’s Legislature is scheduled to begin today, marking the first state in the nation to have an overall majority female legislature.

Democrats hold control over both bodies of the legislature, with a two-thirds supermajority in the Assembly and a majority in the Senate.

Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak has proposed progressive initiatives and Democratic lawmakers say they plan to revisit bills that were vetoed by past Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval after the 2017 legislative session.

A floor session for the state’s Assembly is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., followed by a Senate floor session an hour later.

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