Last Thursday, in a wide-ranging and fair interview with Joe Schoenmann on KNPR, Republican Governor Joe Lombardo signaled his bipartisan support of Democratic Senate Majority Leaders Nicole Cannizzaro’s legislation, SB 131, which is unanimously sponsored by her Democratic colleagues. SB 131 seeks to codify former Governor Sisolak’s executive order issued in response to the Supreme Court’s decision that overturned Roe V. Wade.
Today, I signed an Executive Order to strengthen protections for reproductive freedom in Nevada. Reproductive health care is a basic human right — We are committed to ensuring safe access to abortions for women seeking refuge from the restrictive laws in their state. pic.twitter.com/WJXRW0ZvBf
— Governor Sisolak ARCHIVE (@GovSisolak) June 29, 2022
As reported by The Globe, SB 131, in part, prohibits the Governor from surrendering, or issuing a warrant of arrest for, a person in this State who is charged in another state with a criminal violation of the laws of that other state and, prohibits state agencies in the Executive Department of the State Government from providing assistance in a criminal investigation initiated in another state.
During his gubernatorial campaign, Lombardo issued an open letter on abortion and detailed his position on Sisolak’s executive order:
Months ago, I said I would evaluate repealing an executive order that I believed at the time and continue to believe was nothing more than political theater. Steve Sisolak is addicted to executive orders both to protect his power and score political points. I simply do not believe executive orders are meant to be permanent or should be used as a campaign tactic.
However, because there are efforts in other states that could impact Nevadans, I have made a commitment not to repeal that executive order until the legislature can make clear that Nevada is not going to prosecute women who seek an abortion or medical providers that perform legal abortions.
I am not running for Governor of California or Alabama; I cannot control what other states do, but I can continue to make it clear that we are not going to prosecute women for having an abortion in Nevada. Period.
During the following exchange, Governor Lombardo has reaffirmed his campaign promise by supporting SB 131 as it is currently written:
Schoenmann: Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro submitted a proposal this week to prevent state agencies from cooperating with other states that want to prosecute somebody from getting reproductive care or an abortion in Nevada. Abortion was a major issue during this campaign, would you support Cannizzaro?
Governor Lombardo: Yes, I would [support it]. But with that being said, as long as [it’s a] clean bill, it says exactly what you just said. You know, what happens in government, when bills are presented, quite often amendments are thrown on ‘em, because people want to get their projects involved in the bill and because they see success as the backbone of the bill. And I want to be sure that doesn’t happen. Because changes in totality of the abortion question needs to be a vote of the people. But this particular item involving abortions, I could support if it stands on its own.
Today, SB 131 was heard by the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor. Republican committee members and pro-life activists expressed their concerns during the hearing questioning the bill’s language, intent, and perceived unintended consequences.
The Globe will provide highlights of today’s hearing in a subsequent post.
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