During the 2017 Nevada State Legislative Session, I sponsored AB 234 also known as “Harvey’s Law,” which requires CPR training for all paratransit bus drivers.
The name of Harvey’s Law comes from the tragic death of Harvey Chernikoff, the son of Jack and Elaine Chernikoff who choked to death while a paratransit bus in 2011.
Unfortunately, the driver of the paratransit bust did not know CPR and himself admitted that had he known CPR, he would have administered it in an effort to save Harvey’s life.
“If Harvey’s Law can just save one life, it would be worth everything,” said Harvey’s mom, Elaine. “No family should have to suffer and go through what we’ve gone through.”
Upon the signing of the law, Neil Chernikoff, Harvey’s brother, said: “Ozzie is a kind and caring man of his word. He has a heart of gold and walked the Halls of Justice speaking to every Senator and Assemblyperson getting their support.”
Harvey’s Law was passed unanimously in the both the Senate and the Assembly and was signed into law by Governor Sandoval on June 4, 2017.
As someone with grandchildren starting school soon in Clark County, education is very personal to me. That’s why I continue to meet with parents, teachers, and school administrators and why our first legislative town hall centered on education. It’s also why I have sponsored both AB 212 and AB 320, so we can help teachers move away from feeling forced to ‘teach to the test’ rather than doing what’s best for the education of our children. Also, to help with our teacher shortage, I’ve sponsored AB 351 to help teachers with their student loans.
Supporting Homeowners and Solar Energy
Heading into the 2017 legislative session, one of the things I heard most often from those in Assembly District 21 was about those homeowners who’d invested in solar power only to see the state let them down. I’m proud to say that in 2017, we attacked that in the legislature, passing AB 270 to support ‘net-metering’ and AB 405 specifically to help homeowners and promote green energy.
As Nevada’s recovery has finally picked up steam, one of the things we’re making sure we’re working towards in the state legislature is economic diversification that will help Nevada avoid being the hardest hit state in the nation should another recession occur, and making sure we’re looking out for families and the workers on the job in Nevada today. That means fighting for bills like AB 374 which would expand access to Medicaid throughout the state and SB 196 which fought for expanded sick-leave protections.
Unfortunately, while we in the legislature were able to pass measures to support workers, some of our efforts were vetoed by the governor—which is all the more reason many of us are looking forward to our next legislative session in 2019.
Protecting Seniors and First Responders
One of the things I was most proud of in the 2017 Nevada State Legislative session was being able to provide additional protections to our seniors and first responders.
AB 132 increases the penalty for anyone who assaults civilian employees and volunteers of certain governmental entities. AB 267 closes a loophole insurers were using to deny workers’ comp claims to first responders. AB1 requires the Board of Regents at the University of Nevada to pay undergraduate tuition, fees, and expenses for a dependent child of any other public employee who is killed in the line of duty. And AB 288 imposes an additional penalty on those who commit crimes against older or vulnerable Nevadans.
Jury Pool Diversification
As a practicing attorney in Nevada for many years, I’ve seen first-hand how our jury pool often doesn’t reflect the community or the defendant on trial. One of the bills I was particularly proud to sponsor in 2017 helped expand the jury pool in Nevada. AB 207 will help cut down on the same people being called for jury service over and over, and truly help those on trial be tried in front of a jury of their peers as the Constitution intended.