THE TWENTY-FOURTH DAY
Carson City(Wednesday), February 28, 2001
Senate called to order at 11:08 a.m.
President Hunt presiding.
Prayer by the Chaplain, Father Sam Caldwell.
Almighty God, help us in these days and weeks of our deliberations to maintain a spirit of dignity, a sense of humor and an attitude of trust. Help us to accomplish those things collectively that we cannot accomplish individually, and help us to graciously accept those things individually on which we cannot agree collectively. Grant us Your holy blessing now and always.
Pledge of allegiance to the Flag.
Senator Raggio moved that further reading of the Journal be dispensed with, and the President and Secretary be authorized to make the necessary corrections and additions.
REPORTS OF COMMITTEES
Your Committee on Government Affairs, to which was referred Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 10, has had the same under consideration, and begs leave to report the same back with the recommendation: Be adopted.
Ann O'Connell, Chairman
MESSAGES FROM THE ASSEMBLY
Assembly Chamber, Carson City, February 27, 2001
To the Honorable the Senate:
I have the honor to inform your honorable body that the Assembly on this day adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 13.
Patricia R. Williams
Assistant Chief Clerk of the Assembly
MOTIONS, RESOLUTIONS AND NOTICES
By Senators Porter, Amodei, Care, Carlton, Coffin, Jacobsen, James, Mathews, McGinness, Neal, O'Connell, O'Donnell, Raggio, Rawson, Rhoads, Schneider, Shaffer, Titus, Townsend, Washington, Wiener; Assemblymen Brown, Anderson, Angle, Arberry, Bache, Beers, Berman, Brower, Buckley, Carpenter, Cegavske, Chowning, Claborn, Collins, de Braga, Dini, Freeman, Gibbons, Giunchigliani, Goldwater, Gustavson, Hettrick, Humke, Koivisto, Lee, Leslie, Manendo, Marvel, McClain, Mortenson, Neighbors, Nolan, Oceguera, Ohrenschall, Parks, Parnell, Perkins, Price, Smith, Tiffany, Von Tobel and Williams:
Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 14—Commending Michele and John Laws for their work as advocates for abused and neglected children.
Whereas, The tragedy of child abuse and neglect is a worldwide problem of monumental proportions, with statistics showing that there are nearly 1 million reported incidents every year in our country alone; and
Whereas, Because an abused or neglected child was too often a voice unheard and a face unseen in our over-burdened court system, Congress passed the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act in 1974, mandating the appointment of a guardian ad litem to serve as an advocate for victims in cases of child abuse and neglect; and
Whereas, In his search for such advocates to assist him in making more informed decisions, Judge David W. Soukup of Seattle, Washington, started a program in 1977 to recruit volunteers from the community to serve in the role of advocate; and
Whereas, Judge Soukup’s program developed into a nationwide association known as the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, commonly called CASA; and
Whereas, Michele and John Laws, a husband-and-wife team, are two loving, caring people who have dedicated themselves to rescuing abused and neglected children in Clark County through their support of the CASA program and the nurturing of foster children; and
Whereas, Michele, who became a CASA volunteer more than 10 years ago, after qualifying through background checks and participation in the 40 hours of required training, soon had both herself and her willing accomplice John enrolled in the classes requisite for becoming foster parents; and
Whereas, In her role as a CASA volunteer, Michele is assigned to one or two cases involving child abuse or neglect at a time and commits herself to serve a minimum of 2 years on each case; and
Whereas, As the advocate for a child, Michele’s responsibilities include conducting thorough research on the case, spending time with the child regularly, writing assessments, and appearing in court to speak on behalf of the child and his best interests; and
Whereas, Although Michele and John graciously give of their time, their lifework can extract an emotional toll that is overwhelming when they are involved with children who have broken bones or retarded development and with children who horde food fearing that it might be taken from them or who sleep under their beds to feel safe; and
Whereas, The strain is intensified by knowing that “wonderful, flowery endings aren’t going to happen,” and Michele says that fact is probably the hardest thing she and John have to deal with; and
Whereas, Michele’s CASA Volunteer Coordinator, Betsey Sheldon, describes Michele as a person of vision and empathy who is “the most committed foster parent I know” and who “does not believe children are disposable, and does not throw them away”; and
Whereas, Betsey emphasizes that John is also an excellent foster parent and provides support for his family with good judgment and integrity as a “a full partner in this venture”; and
Whereas, Michele and John Laws were awarded the 1997 Judges Award for Foster Parents of the Year in Clark County because they have devoted themselves to cherishing children and sustaining those who, through no fault of their own, must overcome the scars of abuse and neglect; and
Whereas, Our society as a whole, and we as individuals, owe a debt of gratitude that can never be fully paid to Michele and John for the unselfish pledge they have made to keep children safe and to support them with the love and protection they need for the hope of a better tomorrow; and
Whereas, The dedication of this team is an inspiration to every child who comes into contact with them because their actions send the message “We will always be there for you”; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate of the State of Nevada, the Assembly Concurring, That the members of the 71st session of the Nevada Legislature commend Michele and John Laws for their loving care and heartfelt commitment to children who need someone to be there for them; and be it further
Resolved, That this Legislature recognizes the hope for a brighter tomorrow that is embodied in this couple; and be it further
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate prepare and transmit a copy of this resolution to Michele and John Laws.
Senator Porter moved the adoption of the resolution.
Remarks by Senator Porter.
Senator Porter requested that his remarks be entered in the Journal.
Thank you, Madam President. Imagine for a moment you are a 10-year-old child standing in these Chambers, and you are approached by a stranger who says, “You are leaving with us, and you are going to a new home.” Imagine as a 10-year-old child, you do not have a chance to take your pet with you; nor do you have the opportunity to take what few toys you have with you. Imagine you must get into an automobile with strangers, and you are moved to another home.
This is an example of what happens every day across America, here at home in Nevada and in Clark County. These are children who come from broken homes, who are possibly abused or neglected. These are children who do not have heroes. These are children without a traditional family setting who do not have someone looking after them every day.
As mentioned in the resolution, some of these children must hoard food to be certain they have a meal for fear that someone will take their food. They may be hiding under a bed to make certain they feel safe. We are fortunate that in Nevada, in 1980, the CASA Foundation was created to begin to address those children’s needs and fears. The CASA Foundation is a court appointed special advocate to take care of these children who do not have their own able parents or heroes. Currently, the CASA Foundation has 225 volunteers in Clark County who help these children. There are approximately 700 abused and neglected children in the CASA Foundation system with an additional 1,300 children in the State and county system being overseen by the government.
What does a CASA volunteer do? A volunteer must have nearly 40 hours of education before becoming a CASA volunteer. These selfless individuals watch and research close to 700 children as they enter the court system. They appear in court as legal advocates for the child. They may be the only person there to speak on behalf of the child, but they are a vital and life-saving special advocate for children across this country and here at home. Their sole mission is to be a voice for children in the court cases of abuse, neglect and domestic dispute. Many of these volunteers are here today. These are volunteers who do not brag and do not look for headlines. They do not look for resolutions.
Today, we have a family who is unable to be with us. From southern Nevada, the Laws family, John and Michele, are being recognized by Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 14. John and Michele have been advocates for children for over 10 years. Not only John and Michele but their own older children have also helped tend to the needs of the children placed in the Laws’ care along with their own families. They have been foster parents, but more importantly, they have adopted four children to add to their own family.
The Laws family provides an opportunity for children who would not have a strong chance for a happy ending. This is the challenge for the CASA volunteers who are dealing every day with members of families who have little chance for a happy, normal upbringing. They also provide shelter for grown children. A number of the children who have been in the CASA program now have their own children. The Laws have opened their home to these grown CASA children and their children.
John and Michele Laws, though they could not be with us today, truly exemplify dedication to children, dedication to a better tomorrow. They represent those children who do not have lobbyists, do not have budgets and do not have those things we deal with here every day as Legislators. I am honored to present this resolution. I would appreciate the support of this body for the Laws and all the CASA volunteers across the State of Nevada. Thank you.
Senator Porter moved that all rules be suspended and that Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 14 be immediately transmitted to the Assembly.
Motion carried unanimously.
INTRODUCTION, FIRST READING AND REFERENCE
By the Committee on Transportation:
Senate Bill No. 260—AN ACT relating to drivers’ licenses; requiring the photograph and any information included on the face of a driver’s license or identification card to be placed in a certain manner on the license or card; revising the provisions governing the use of colors on a driver’s license issued to an insulin dependent diabetic or an epileptic; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.
Senator O'Donnell moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Transportation.
By Senator Schneider:
Senate Bill No. 261—AN ACT relating to time shares; limiting the applicability of provisions governing common-interest communities to the sale or transfer of time shares; requiring a manager of a time-share plan or a project, or both, to register with the real estate division of the department of business and industry; eliminating the requirement that a representative of a developer register with the division; revising the requirements for a time-share instrument; eliminating the requirement that an advertisement for a time share or an offer of sale be approved by the division; providing a penalty; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.
Senator Schneider moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Judiciary.
By the Committee on Legislative Affairs and Operations:
Senate Bill No. 262—AN ACT relating to juvenile justice; creating a legislative committee on juvenile justice; providing the powers and duties of the committee; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.
Senator Porter moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Judiciary.
By the Committee on Judiciary:
Senate Bill No. 263—AN ACT relating to sentencing; authorizing a court to sentence a person convicted of a misdemeanor to make a donation of money to a charitable or educational organization under certain circumstances; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.
Senator James moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Judiciary.
By Senators Titus, Neal, Care, Amodei, Carlton, Coffin, Jacobsen, James, Mathews, Porter, Shaffer and Wiener:
Senate Bill No. 264—AN ACT relating to motor vehicles; providing for the issuance of special license plates for the support of the preservation of the history of atomic testing in Nevada through support for the programs and activities of the Nevada Test Site Historical Foundation or its successor; imposing a fee for the issuance or renewal of such license plates; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.
Senator Titus moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Transportation.
SECOND READING AND AMENDMENT
Senate Bill No. 6.
Bill read second time.
The following amendment was proposed by the Committee on Commerce and Labor:
Amendment No. 8.
Amend section 1, page 1, line 6, by deleting “improvement.” and inserting “improvements.”.
Amend the title of the bill by deleting the second line and inserting: “insure improvements to real property for more than their replacement value as a”.
Senator Townsend moved the adoption of the amendment.
Remarks by Senator Townsend.
Bill ordered reprinted, engrossed and to third reading.
Senate Bill No. 45.
Bill read second time and ordered to third reading.
Senate Bill No. 50.
Bill read second time and ordered to third reading.
Senate Bill No. 52.
Bill read second time and ordered to third reading.
MOTIONS, RESOLUTIONS AND NOTICES
Senator James moved that Senate Bill No. 19 be taken from the General File and placed on the General File for the next legislative day.
Remarks by Senator James.
GENERAL FILE AND THIRD READING
Senate Bill No. 38.
Bill read third time.
Conflict of interest declared by Senators Mathews and Raggio.
Roll call on Senate Bill No. 38:
Not Voting—Raggio, Mathews—2.
Senate Bill No. 38 having received a constitutional majority, Madam President declared it passed.
Bill ordered transmitted to the Assembly.
REMARKS FROM THE FLOOR
Senator Neal requested that his remarks be entered in the Journal.
Madam President, this is the last day of February, and the last day of Black History Month. Normally, we have introduced a resolution to commemorate this month and the contributions black people have made in this country.
On Sunday, as I was returning from Las Vegas, I stopped in Hawthorne to pick up a copy of the Reno Gazette-Journal. In the newspaper, there was a very significant article dealing with Black History. The article referred to a woman named Molly Welsh. She was not black, but as the story goes, she was a milkmaid in England. This was during the time of the indentured servant. She spilled the milk and was sentenced to deportation to America. She arrived in Maryland as an indentured servant, but eventually, paid off her debt and bought land in the countryside. She returned to the coast and purchased two slaves. One, she married. His name was Bennaky later changed to Banneker. From their union came a daughter. By the Maryland Act of 1681, children born to a white and negro were considered free. When she grew up, she married another of their slaves and produced a son named Benjamin Banneker.
During the Jefferson era, Benjamin Banneker was noted as a great mathematician. He worked with a Frenchman to design the layout of Washington, D.C., who later became angered by some of the demands being made upon him and took his plans back to France. Thomas Jefferson asked Benjamin Banneker to reconstruct the layout of the design of Washington, D.C. It was Benjamin Banneker who drew the plans for Washington, D.C. from memory.
I wanted to point this out because it is significant that the Reno Gazette-Journal pointed out the progenity of Banneker by Molly Welsh and how she came to this country. It also points out the fact that we had a number of white women and white men involved in the liberation of Blacks.
Senator Titus will recall a woman by the name of Victoria Woodhull who was the first woman to run for President of the United States. The significance of her running was that she had as her Vice-President in 1872, a gentleman named Frederick Douglass. She ran on the Equal Rights Party ticket. Equal rights are not something we just discovered in the 20th Century.
There was also another woman named Sister Catherine. She came from Connecticut. She established many schools across the nation for Blacks and Indians. When she was in Beaumont, Texas opening a school, the Ku Klux Klan decided to protest. Lightning struck the Grand Wizard. That taught them a lesson not to mess with Sister Catherine.
I wanted to point out some of these items since this is the last day of Black History Month. Today, I hope we will adjourn in commemoration of Black History Month. Thank you.
GUESTS EXTENDED PRIVILEGE OF SENATE FLOOR
On request of Senator Amodei, the privilege of the floor of the Senate Chamber for this day was extended to Ann Sinnott, Eddie Barrington, Nisha Verma and Ray Masayko.
On request of Senator Care, the privilege of the floor of the Senate Chamber for this day was extended to Brooke Bearinger.
On request of Senator Jacobsen, the privilege of the floor of the Senate Chamber for this day was extended to Samantha Goldstein and Josh Allen.
On request of Senator Mathews, the privilege of the floor of the Senate Chamber for this day was extended to Bret Meich.
On request of Senator McGinness, the privilege of the floor of the Senate Chamber for this day was extended to Heidi Riggins, Gail Trujillo and Kathy Trujillo.
On request of Senator O'Donnell, the privilege of the floor of the Senate Chamber for this day was extended to Johnell Cropper.
On request of Senator Raggio, the privilege of the floor of the Senate Chamber for this day was extended to Stephen Gingold, John Munly and Bob Ravera.
On request of Senator Rawson, the privilege of the floor of the Senate Chamber for this day was extended to Krisana Jaritsat.
On request of Senator Rhoads, the privilege of the floor of the Senate Chamber for this day was extended to Brett Boge.
On request of Senator Schneider, the privilege of the floor of the Senate Chamber for this day was extended to Bo Mee Chu.
On request of Senator Titus, the privilege of the floor of the Senate Chamber for this day was extended to Andrew Novera.
On request of Senator Wiener, the privilege of the floor of the Senate Chamber for this day was extended to Karie Lawson.
Senator Raggio moved that the Senate adjourn until Thursday, March 1, 2001 at 11 a.m. and that it do so in commemoration of Black History Month as requested by Senator Neal.
Senate adjourned at 12:02 p.m.
Approved:Lorraine T. Hunt
President of the Senate
Attest: Claire J. Clift
Secretary of the Senate