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Bridging the political divide during Nevada legislative session

Posted at 5:20 AM, Feb 02, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — In January, violent protesters entered the United States Capitol to interrupt the certification of then President-Elect Joe Biden as president of the United States resulting in the death of five people including a capitol police officer.

Over the summer, hundreds of thousands of people formed protests against police brutality and systemic racism across the country some times resulting in riots, looting, and clashes with police officers.

During the 2021 Nevada legislative session, the leadership of both parties said they know there is a bridge to the gap and they have to build that bridge.

"Look, I think people are angry and disappointed, and emotional," said Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson.

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Frierson said legislative leaders have been in contact with law enforcement at every level to ensure the Capitol and lawmakers would be safe in the event of any politically motivated violence.

Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro said the temperature needs to be lowered, and rhetoric needs to remain calm.

"I think it remains so important for all of us to remember that we can't buy into misinformation campaigns," she said. "We can't engage in that hateful rhetoric."

Republican Assembly Minority Leader Robin Titus said there has been no threat leveled against Nevada's Capitol building and doesn't believe the gap between parties in the state was nearly as wide as the gap nationally.

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She said the gap between elected officials was nearly non-existent, and conversations are always respectful.

"I feel that the fear has been over, that the fear has been played on by the press unnecessarily, and there's been fear-mongering out there," Titus said.

Senate Minority Leader James Settelmeyer said the Legislature's work would continue no matter what happens.

He said, like his colleagues across the aisle, his constituents are hurting, and no threat would stop the legislature from coming to the rescue.

"It's a terrible thing when people silence speech through their physical actions," he said. "To me, it should not be tolerated in any shape or form, but we also cannot live in abject fear of it. Otherwise, you're allowing that other individual to win."

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