2017 Legislative Session Review

From Civic Engagement to Progressive Policy: A Year of Focus Yields Results


Thanks to unprecedented collaboration and capacity, as well as powerful legislative leadership, Nevada progressives achieved hard-fought policy wins in the 2017 session that will improve the health of our communities and the lives of ordinary Nevadans. Years of base-building and organizing, especially during the previous 12 months, made these gains possible.


PLAN conducted the following non-partisan activities leading up to the 2017 session:

  • Registered 5,926 new, low-propensity voters, 60% of whom cast ballots in the general election.
  • Talked directly to 7,157 voters at their doorstep and 12, 681 voters on the phone.
  • Trained 150 immigrant leaders, held seven workshops, three retreats and 15 marches/protests involving tens of thousands of Nevadans.

In December, 2016, we held a retreat with leaders from 25 member groups, who decided that the most effective way to defeat hatred and extremism was by going on the offensive with a bold progressive agenda in Carson City. We coalesced around the following legislative priorities: Ban the Box; Automatic Voter Registration; Minimum Wage Increase; Water Protection/Healthy Basins; Equal Pay for Women.


During the session, from January through June, we held phone banks, LTE workshops, numerous rallies and protests, and organized seven different lobby days to bring students, immigrants, workers and other ordinary Nevadans into the process. We were successful in passing every one of these measures out of both houses. Unfortunately, Governor Sandoval vetoed AVR, minimum wage and equal pay. We also helped contribute to victories around immigrant, women’s and LGBT rights, renewable energy, mass incarceration, voting/democracy, and public education.


In closing, here’s what one insider told veteran Nevada journalist Jon Ralston about PLAN’s impact on the 2017 session:


PLAN and the Trial Lawyers were winners this session. While business and Gaming ultimately prevailed – it was mainly defense and was only with the backstop of the Governor’s veto. Further, it was his threat to veto many other anti business measures that halted the progressive agenda in many cases. The trial lawyers returned to form and PLAN’s progressive agenda – like the Tea Party was to the Republicans