Sexual Assault has become an epidemic, with every 98 seconds someone experiences sexual assault in the United States. In order for survivors in Nevada to get the justice they deserve for these crimes, I have sponsored and supported several pieces of legislation.
In 2015 I helped form the Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Working Group to address policy matters associated with backlog of untested kits. There were approximately 7,814 untested kits in the state. In order to address this issue, during the 2017 legislative session, I sponsored Assembly Bill 97. This bill requires all kits to be submitted to Nevada’s Sexual Assault Forensics Evidence (SAFE) within 30 days and processed within 120 days to prevent future backlogging. Also, $3 million dollars will be allocated to process the current backlogged kits and run DNA evidence of offenders through the federal criminal database. This last legislative session, I also sponsored Assembly Bill 176, the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act, to focus more on the survivor and provide a more timely response and support services.
Under Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act, prevents discrimination within the workplace based on race, religion, color, sexism, national origin, and harassment. Here in Nevada under current law, any harassment claims must be filed within 300 days in which the ethics commission tries to mediate and reconcile between the two parties, and then if reconciliation is not possible the commission holds a hearing to take action.
When it comes to local elected officials, those who file sexual harassment against an official do not have any work place remedy during the process. This makes it difficult for those to file an harassment claim. Under Assembly Bill 397, it empowers the commission to make a recommendation for removal and to review multiple harassment claims to be taken to court for expulsion. Any fines will be subject to the harasser not the local government. Harassment has no place in Nevada, and this bill will help keep elected officials accountable for their actions and create a safe working environment.