Even though the legislative session just ended a few months ago, now is the time to begin working. I have started brainstorming ideas for bills that we, as your Association, can carry the water for in the next session, 16 months from now.
I have already spoken to officers about bills relating to college tuition coverage for children of police officers who receive a Purple Heart for being severely injured on duty. I have also spoken to officers and retirees about proposing a bill that exempts active retired commissioned officers from the background check requirements when buying a firearm without a CCW permit. It is ridiculous that we police officers aren’t exempt from firearm background checks when we have been through a rigorous background check upon becoming a police officer and must continuously maintain a clean background to remain a police officer. I would like to enlist our membership for bill ideas for the next legislative session so that I can begin working with the elected officials on potential bill sponsors and bill language.
Also, the Democratic Party will work hard in the 2024 election cycle to achieve a supermajority in both the House and the Senate, which would give them a veto-proof majority. We will work diligently against their plans, but it is imperative that you and your families get out and vote for LVPPA-endorsed candidates. I will be beating this drum for the next year. If the Democrats achieve a supermajority, having a Republican governor will not matter, and all of the bills he vetoed will be right back on the agenda.
I have said this many times in my magazine articles, and I am going to say it again: If you want our elected leaders to take us seriously, I need you to show up 75 to 100 people deep at Legislature committee hearings and voice your concerns. Recently, I attended a labor union political event where many of our state’s elected leaders were in attendance. When Nevada’s Senate majority leader got up to speak, she discussed how looking into a crowd of constituents and seeing a sea of union members all wearing their union shirts affects how the elected committee members view the bill they are considering. One of the highest ranking and influential leaders in the state is telling us that showing up in numbers matters, so when I ask for a call to action, I need people to pack the room at the Grant Sawyer building in Las Vegas to speak up for our profession. This will become imperative if Nevada Democrats achieve a supermajority and gain a veto override. I can lobby our elected leaders and tell them how certain bills will affect our profession, but it means more coming from hundreds of police officers. Showing up and being heard has a positive impact. Being apathetic leads the Legislature to believe that we agree with the laws they are seeking to change and with their performance as our elected officials.