The ACLU of Nevada's 2013 Legislative Report highlights the major victories and losses of the 2013 legislative session from a civil liberties perspective.
In the 2013 session of the Nevada legislature, the ACLU of Nevada tracked nearly 200 bills with an eye toward preventing violations of civil liberties and expanding upon our current rights.
This session, advancements were made in the initial step to achieving the freedom to marry for all loving couples, and proved to be a banner session for improving the lives of immigrants residing in Nevada, while taking steps toward funding our Inadequate “English Language Learner” structure in the public schools. Anti-immigrant bills like SB 188, designating English as an official language, did not even get hearings while major improvements were made to court access, immigration consequences for committing minor crimes, and safe driving on our roads.
In a major showing of bipartisan support, the 2013 legislature enacted several meaningful decriminalization laws which take steps toward reducing mass incarceration and its detrimental impacts on indigent communities and communities of color. Additional bills originating in the Assembly further reduced unreasonable sentences, increased opportunities for alternative sentences like boot camp, and improved due process for the accused.
However, rather than deeply addressing real criminal justice reform this session, overall the 2013 legislature increased penalties and established more crimes than were already on the books, continuing the trend toward over-incarceration. The ACLU of Nevada will continue to look for opportunities for smart criminal justice reform in the 2015 legislative session and encourage our members and advocates to stay in touch with us as we work through the interim.
We accomplished much this session and we have more to do, but we cannot do it without you. Your support makes our work possible. We hope that you will continue to support our efforts and remain engaged with us in our fight for civil liberties for all.