Nevada is the latest state to enact a slew of women’s rights laws under a GOP governor.
40 of women made up the state legislature, Nevada is second only to Vermont regarding female representation.
This is good news for women in a country where President Donald Trump has not done much for the women.
The lawmakers of Nevada ended up a state legislative session that delivered a startling number of progressive victories for women: tax-free tampons, a new $500,000 family planning program, workplace accommodations for pregnant women, and mandatory insurance coverage of contraception and mammograms.
“We started with some pushback from Republicans, but by the end of the session we had broad bipartisan support on a lot of these measures,” said state Sen. Julia Ratti (D), a freshman from Sparks.
Ratti introduced a bill that codifies the women’s health protections in the Affordable Care Act into state law, so that if the Trump administration rolls any of them back, employers in Nevada will still be required to cover contraception, well-woman visits, breast exams and other preventive health services in their insurance plans at no out-of-pocket cost to their female employees. The bill also allows women to pick up a 12-month supply of birth control at once. Six Republicans joined Democrats in passing the measure, and Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) signed it.
Nevada lawmakers also established the Nevada Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act, introduced by state Sen. Nicole Cannizzaro (D), which requires employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” like breast pump rooms and a fair break schedule for pregnant employees. Legislators approved two bills introduced by state Sen. Pat Spearman (D) aimed at preventing stalkers and domestic abusers from possessing guns, and a bill eliminating sales tax on feminine hygiene products and diapers. And they established a state-funded family planning program to address a dearth of contraception access for low-income women in rural areas.
“I think the results speak for themselves,” said Vanessa Cardenas, a spokesperson for EMILY’s List, which helps elect Democratic women in Nevada and nationwide. “We have been able to identify women that really represent the communities that are sending them to office.”