By Ray Hagar, Nevada Newsmakers
The 2019 Nevada Legislature has been called one of the most progressive sessions in recent history. It saw the passage of election-day voter registration, the revamping of the criminal justice system and banning of bump stocks, 19 months after one was used during the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas.
Some progressive measures were difficult to take for some conservatives, who were in minorities in both houses.
Still, as Las Vegas City Councilwoman Michele Fiore said on Nevada Newsmakers:
“It was not as bad as it could have been.”
Fiore was a two-term assemblywoman before winning the Ward 6 election for city council in 2017. Republicans held the majority in the state Senate and Assembly in 2015, Fiore’s last session as a legislator.
By 2019, much had changed. Democrats held the governor’s mansion and majorities in both houses in the Legislature.
“The way I view it is this: It was the first time in many years when they (Democrats) have had all three houses,” she told host Sam Shad. “And when you put that all together, it was like parents going away for the weekend and the teenagers having a big party.
“They are going to do whatever they want, right?’ Fiore said about the Legislature. “It’s great for re-election because we’ll have some one-time wonders up there.”
Yet Fiore was concerned that some future proposals by a Democrat-dominated Legislature could hurt the Las Vegas convention industry.
“What they will learn from this session is how not to behave this next session because a lot of legislation threatened the convention (industry) like the LVCVA,” she said. “If they were to ban the AR-15 and if we were to lose the SHOT (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade) show? What would happen if now all of a sudden it was a ripple effect? So all of a sudden they ban guns. Now they ban adult video because that promotes sex trafficking. Now look at all of the conventions. Do you see what I’m saying?
“So, no guns, no sex, no drugs,” she said. “I’m sorry, this is Sin City. Let’s not forget we live in Las Vegas.
She jokingly added: “Let not forget what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, or sometimes you bring it home to your wife if you are not careful. Let’s not forget this is Las Vegas.”
Fiore, however, is pleased that Victoria Seaman is joining her on the city council. Seaman, like Fiore, is a former conservative Republican member of the Assembly.
Seaman, the Ward 2 representative, was sworn into office earlier this month along with Brian Knudsen of Ward 1 and Olivia Diaz of Ward 3. Like Fiore and Seaman, Diaz is also a former assemblywoman although she is a Democrat. The city council now has four female members and is considered one of the few female-majority city councils in the nation, officials told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Party identity is not as important on the city council as it was in the Legislature, Fiore said.
“Especially with municipals, believe it or not, the conservative label isn’t important. It is important to our own personal values and some of our friends that are like minded. But as far as being a councilwoman, it is very non-partisan and our mayor — Mayor Caroline Goodman — is an amazing example of that.”
Fiore said Seaman, a friend, will do well on the council.
“I think Victoria is going to shine as a councilwoman because she gets to bring out her non-partisan side and most folks, when we were in the Assembly, didn’t get to see that.”