NEVADA – An amendment to Assembly Bill 423 (AB 423) in Nevada, aimed at prohibiting school boards from imposing restrictions on students based on their gender identity, generated heated debates and party-line voting in the state’s Senate. The amendment, which added language forbidding policies that limit students’ access to facilities or activities based on various factors including gender identity, could have resulted in fines of up to $5,000 per day for non-compliant school boards. However, the amended version of AB 423 was ultimately killed, and the bill will now proceed for consideration by the Nevada Senate without the controversial amendment.
The initial draft of AB 423, which received unanimous approval in the state’s Assembly, sought to establish protocols and expectations for Nevada school boards in implementing policies. The amendment brought forth a broader scope by specifically targeting limitations based on factors such as race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, among others.
Republican Senator Ira Hansen expressed concerns about the amendment’s consequences, particularly its potential impact on transgender students’ participation in sports and access to gender-segregated facilities. Hansen argued that the amendment should be further discussed due to its potential for controversy on a national scale.
During the Senate session, Hansen questioned Democratic Senator Fabian Doñate, the proponent of the amendment, regarding its intent and potential consequences. Doñate reiterated the proposed text, emphasizing the aim of protecting all Nevada students from discrimination.
Supporting lawmakers from the Democratic party highlighted the amendment’s broad language, stating that it aimed to safeguard Nevada students from discrimination and did not create new criminal penalties. Senator Melanie Scheible clarified that the fines mentioned were administrative penalties, which are a standard means of holding boards and commissions accountable for any violations.
The fate of AB 423 now rests with the Nevada Assembly, where it will undergo a final vote. If approved, the bill will move to the desk of Republican Governor Joe Lombardo for consideration.
Governor Lombardo, who has previously expressed a commitment to prioritizing education, including school choice and teacher retention, has yet to publicly comment on the controversial amendment.
Credits: Fox Reno
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