Nevada Makes Strong Conservation Gains at 2019 Legislative Session

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CARSON CITY (June 4, 2019) – After the 80th session of the Nevada Legislature closed, Nevada Conservation League Executive Director Andy Maggi issued the following statement:

Governor Steve Sisolak signs Senate Bill 358 raising Nevada’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50 percent by 2030.

“We thank the Nevada Legislature, especially Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro and Speaker Jason Frierson, as well as Governor Sisolak and his office for their leadership in securing key conservation wins this 80th session. We saw overwhelming and bipartisan support for critical bills that raise our state’s share of clean energy, pave the way for more electric cars to hit the road, invest in our public lands and parks, and protect our environment for generations to come.  

Since 2017, the Nevada Conservation League and our partners have shifted the conversation around conservation. Today, Nevada has a pro-conservation majority of legislators who understand the value — economic and otherwise — of protecting our water and lands from a variety of climate and extractive threats, of boosting our outdoor recreation industry by promoting our open spaces, and of building an economy based on clean, renewable energy. This pro-conservation majority was made possible in large part by the investments the Nevada Conservation League and our affiliates have made to elect champions for Nevada’s lands, water, air and way of life.

Additionally, this session the Nevada Conservation League joined dozens of partners in supporting bills that will ensure free and fair elections and give every Nevadan a voice in their government. The sustainability of our environment depends upon not only strong conservation legislation, but also on policies that will protect and advance our democracy. We’re proud to have worked with legislators and the Governor to get important protections across the finish line.

We’re excited by the progress made this session and look forward to continue driving a conversation around what it will take to protect the planet and the Nevada we call home. The Silver State needs urgent solutions to act on the climate crisis and protect our precious natural resources, and Nevadans require bold leadership from their lawmakers. We’ll continue to work with elected leaders to ensure we achieve our shared vision for Nevada.”

The Nevada Conservation League will also be releasing a memo on the road to the 2019 legislative session, outlining its investments in voter contact, education and engagement as well as direct lobbying.

Here are key bills the Nevada Conservation League helped advance, including the top priorities of the Nevada Conservation Network coalition:  

Protecting Our Public Lands

  • AB84 – This bill authorizes a $217 million Conservation Bond Program for the next decade. This program ensures there is a stable funding source for important conservation projects on our iconic landscapes. (Passed 59-1)
  • AB486 – This bill creates a state Division of Outdoor Recreation, tasked with promoting and enhancing Nevada’s booming outdoor recreation industry and helping Nevadans connect with their public lands. (Passed 55-7)
  • AB331 – This bill creates the Outdoor Education and Recreation Grant Program to fund programs that will help students learn about conservation issues, respect and enjoy our state’s natural treasures, and create future advocates for our public lands. (Passed 61-0)
  • AJR2 – This resolution urges Congress to reject the U.S. Air Force’s proposed expansion into the Desert National Wildlife Refuge. (Passed 58-3)
  • AJR7 – This resolution opposes the proposed expansion of the Fallon Range Training Complex. (Passed 52-9)
  • SB508 – This bill allocates $5 million for wildfire prevention, restoration and long-term planning. (Passed 61-1)

Building Nevada’s Clean Energy Economy

  • SB358 – This bill caps our years-long fight to raise Nevada’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50% clean energy by 2030. (Passed 61-0)
  • SB254 – This bill calls for state officials to inventory Nevada’s carbon footprint and determine what steps we can take to significantly lower our greenhouse gas emissions. (Passed 41-20)
  • SB299 – This bill allocates funding for an electric school bus pilot program, reducing the pollution our kids breathe. (Passed 60-1)
  • AB377 – This bill lifts weight restrictions so electric trucks can drive on our roads. (Passed 59-2)
  • AB465 – This bill allows more Nevadans to take advantage of the clean energy economy, reducing rates for some low-income customers. It also creates a sustainable program for solar energy workforce training and placement. (Passed 60-2)
  • SCR3 – This resolution directs an interim study into the benefits of electric vehicles and the costs of transportation-related pollution. (Passed through voice vote)
  • AB483 – This bill tasks the DMV with gathering mileage data to determine what role electric vehicles play in our state. (Passed 50-12)

Conserving Our Most Precious Resource: Water

  • AB163 – This bill sets standards for indoor water fixtures and requires existing water conservation plans to include a critical section that evaluates progress toward conservation goals. (Passed 42-18)

Supporting a Robust Democracy

  • AB345 – This omnibus voting rights bills implements automatic voter registration, allows for same-day voter registration, expands provisional ballots to include all levels of the ballot, and much more. (Passed 41-20)
  • AJR6 – This resolution urges Congress to prevent the addition of the citizenship question to the 2020 Census. (Passed 45-17)
  • SB504 – This bill allocates funds for outreach and educational activities promoting the 2020 Census. (Passed 62-0)
  • AB50 – This bill moves municipal elections to even-numbered years, matching national and state elections. (Passed 54-8)
  • SB450 – This bill changes the process for recall elections, ensuring that taxpayer money isn’t wasted on reckless recall attempts. (Passed 46-14)
  • AB137 – This bill makes it easier for tribal communities to access their polling locations. (Passed 62-0)

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The Nevada Conservation League is the independent political voice of Nevada’s conservation community and leading conservation advocacy organization. We work to protect Nevada’s air, water, land, and wildlife for the health and benefit of all Nevadans, especially those most impacted by pollution. We are committed to turning conservation values into political priorities and laws. To this end, NCL organizes our community, advocates for sound environmental laws and policies, educates and holds elected officials accountable for their votes and actions, and elects pro-environment candidates who will champion our priority issues. Nevada Conservation League represents over 35,000 who support Nevadans right to clean air, clean water, access to our public lands, and good health.