SB 314 update

SB 314 was on the daily file for a last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday… but was “rolled over to the next day” AGAIN on Friday along with several other bills. We are hopeful that SB 314 will get its Third Reading and vote on Monday. All bills MUST be voted out of the first house by Tuesday, April 23rd. Waiting, waiting, waiting…


PLEASE CALL YOUR STATE SENATOR. Kindly ask them to vote for SB 314 – Fundamental Parental Rights bill when it comes to the floor this week. (The bill received a unanimous “Do Pass” vote in committee last Friday). Please thank Senator Denis for sponsoring the bill and if you emailed/called Senate Judiciary Committee Members please send them a short thank you note. Contact links/info available here.

The team has partnered with the national organization on this important piece of legislation. We are thankful for their support and assistance in getting SB 314 this far. As we wait for the Senate floor vote, NV team members are meeting this week with state Senators urging them to VOTE YES on SB 314 as well as introducing the bill to individual members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

One of the consistent remarks we hear from Legislators we speak with is, “Thank you for lobbying on this bill. It is an important part of the process that many forget to do.” So, we continue on; advocating for the fundamental rights of parents in the state of Nevada.

Frank Schnorbus, Barbara Dragon, Kelley Millard Radow, Elissa Wahl, Laura Siegel and Ray Poole Legislative Liaisons

Legislative Update

Today at 11:15 a.m. SB 314 received a “DO PASS” from the Senate Judiciary Committee… it was a unanimous vote in favor of the bill! If you sent an email to the committee members you may want to follow-up with a short “thank you” note to them. Be sure to put “Thank you for your vote on SB 314″ in the subject line.

The bill now heads to the floor of the full Senate for a vote. We will be meeting with as many Senators as we can about the bill next week but obviously will not be able to speak personally with them all. The bill must be voted on in Senate by April 24th. So we will forward information this weekend on who to contact and how. We thank you all for your help with this… it could not have happened without you!
Frank, Barb, Elissa, Kelley, Laura & Ray

SB 314 Hearing

UPDATE on SB 314 Hearing

Thank you to all!!! You called! You emailed! You showed up! We just can’t thank you enough for the support. The hearing on SB 314 today was long and interesting. The testimony supporting the bill was strong, the Senate Judiciary Committee members were clearly listening. The opposition testimony was weak and did not carry the day, in our opinion. Senator Denis, sponsor of the bill, is working with us to help ensure passage.

There is still more work to do but for now we must wait and see if the Senate Judiciary Committee brings the bill to a work session and hopefully votes “do pass” which will send the vote to the floor of the Senate. The deadline for all bills to be out of committee (except those with an exemption) is this Friday, April 12th. We are optimistic that SB 314 will make it to a work session. Pray that the bill is passed out of committee and sent to the full Senate.

Again, THANK YOU to all who helped get this bill a hearing! Your calls, emails and “votes” on the opinion page CLEARLY were heard! And those who attended the hearing had a great impact. We’ll keep you posted on the progress of this bill.

Frank, Barb, Kelley, Elissa, Ray & Laura

Fundamental Parents Rights

NHN has been working hard since last December on a Fundamental Parents Rights bill to safeguard all Nevada parents and children from government intrusion into the decision making process of the family unit. We are pleased to announce that SB 314, sponsored by Senator Mo Denis, was introduced last Monday, March 18th in the 2013 session of the Nevada Legislature.

It is important to note that this is not a home school or education bill but rather is intended to provide an additional layer of protection to parents through legislative enactment. Frank Schnorbus, NHN Chair has written an outstanding Question & Answer pamphlet, The Right of Parents to Raise Their Child, to better explain the need for this law in Nevada. The pamphlet includes footnotes and references documenting the need for this law.

CALL TO ACTION: A hearing on the bill has not yet been scheduled. We are simply asking that Nevada parents inform themselves on this issue as well as go to the 2013 NV Legislature Opinion Page to “vote” FOR the bill and submit YOUR comments. In your own words, your message can be as simple as, “SB 314 mirrors current law in many states, is intended for the courts, and defines the liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education and care of the child as a fundamental right.” Let’s make this one of the TOP 50 most popular bills this session!

When the bill is assigned a hearing date we will post it here and send out a notice on NV-Alert, please sign up on our home page.

NHN Testifies Against “Grandparents Visitation” Bill

Barbara Dragon (in Carson City) and Elissa Wahl (in Las Vegas) testified against AB 203 on Friday, March 15th. NHN and HSLDA submitted letters to the Assembly Judiciary Committee opposing the bill that would allow grandparents and great-grandparents to sue for visitation when married parents (both the natural or adoptive parents) deny visitation, click link above to read.

A representative of the Nevada Justice Association, Kim Surratt (a family law attorney in Reno) also testified against the bill and covered all the legal/constitutional issues with the bill.

Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman Frierson stated that all committee members were receiving many phone calls regarding the bill, even that morning before the 8:00 a.m. hearing. NHN is so appreciative of the response on this issue from the Nevada homeschool community. Your opinions are being noted by Legislators. If you haven’t done so already, please be sure to leave your opinion of this bill on the NV Legislature Opinion page.

Committee members on both sides of the aisle asked Ms. Surratt excellent questions regarding the constitutionality of the bill with regards to the US Supreme Court decision on Troxel v. Granville (2000) and fundamental parental rights. It was an emotional hearing to say the least; we believe grandparents and great-grandparents should be a vital part of a grandchild’s life whenever possible. However, government must not trample on the rights of intact families to make decisions regarding the upbringing of their children.

We will keep you posted if/when there are further developments on AB 203.
NHN Officers

AB 203

NOTICE: AB 203 has been scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
WHEN: this coming Friday, March 15th
TIME: 8:00 a.m.
WHERE: In Carson City: Room 3138 of the Legislative Building, 401 S. Carson St., Carson City, NV. In Las Vegas: Video-conferenced to Room 4406 of the Grant Sawyer State Office Building, 555 E. Washington Ave., Las Vegas
WHAT: A.B. 203 Revises provisions governing the granting of the right to visit a child to grandparents and great-grandparents of the child who is living with his/her MARRIED parents when said parents have denied visitation.
1. To submit written testimony on the bill it MUST be sent be sent electronically as a pdf by 5 pm Thursday, March 12th to the Committee Manager at
2. Call/Email Assembly Judiciary Committee Members by clicking their names at
3. Share your opinion on this bill at
4. Plan to attend the hearing Friday morning, sign in to testify, briefly explain that, “Married parents have the fundamental right to make decisions regarding who is granted visitation with their child. The State must preserve, respect and defend the basic family unit and the rights of legally married parents. Current law already allows for grandparents and great-grandparents to seek visitation when parents are separated, divorced, never legally married, one parent is deceased, or has relinquished his/her parental rights, or his/her parental rights have been terminated. This bill will place undue burden on intact families. Please vote no on AB 203.”

Nevada Homeschool Network opposes AB 203 See notes below dated 3/8/2013

SB 192 (support)

CALL TO ACTION: NHN supports SB 192 – “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA) which has earned strong bi-partisan support (click the bill number to see who). We are asking homeschool families and friends to make your voice heard on this bill.

This bill is “AN ACT relating to religious freedom; prohibiting a governmental entity from substantially burdening the exercise of religion of a person under certain circumstances; authorizing a person whose exercise of religion has been so burdened to assert the violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding; authorizing a court to award damages against a governmental entity that substantially burdens the exercise of religion in certain circumstances; and providing other matters properly relating thereto”.

An excellent RFRA Q & A booklet has been published by Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood LLP.

Please visit the Nevada Families for Freedom website for more excellent information on the bill and who/how to contact. SB 192 is on the AGENDA of the Senate Judiciary Committee WEDNESDAY, March 13th @ 9:00.

AB 203

TO: Assemblypersons Livermore, Ellison, Hickey, Hambrick, Aizley, Diaz, Duncan, Fiore, Grady, Hansen, Hardy, Kirner, Martin, Munford, Neal, Oscarson, Spiegel, Stewart, Swank, Wheeler, Woodbury

CC: Assembly Judiciary Committee; Chair Frierson, Vice-Chair Ohrenschall, Members Carillo, Cohen, Diaz, Dondero Loop, Martin, Spiegel, Duncan, Fiore, Hansen, Wheeler

Sent via email and fax

RE: AB 203; Revises provisions governing the granting of the right to visit a child to grandparents and great-grandparents of the child. (BDR 11-750)

Dear Sponsors and Co-Sponsors of AB 203,

By way of introduction, Nevada Homeschool Network (NHN) advocates for Nevada families who have chosen to direct the education of their children. However, today we are writing regarding a matter of importance to all Nevada parents and their children.

AB 203 would modify state law to permit grandparents or great-grandparents to sue for visitation of a child against the parents’ wishes. This bill will cause intact families, including perfectly fit parents, to face potential court challenges to their parenting decisions whenever they limit or restrict their child’s visitation from grandparents or great-grandparents. Under current law these relatives can only seek visitation when the parents of the child consent, or via the court system when the marriage is no longer intact. Further, the bill as proposed would force parents to defend their parental rights if they simply deny visitation to a grandparent. We believe that where families are intact, they should not have to defend their decisions regarding who will have access to their children.

Ideally, families get along; parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents work together to raise well-adjusted kids. But that is not always the case. Oftentimes grandparents would like nothing better than to see the family split apart to get their child and grandchildren “back”. Regardless of how healthy these relationships are, it falls to fit and loving parents to make decisions regarding the care, custody, and control of the child – including decisions regarding who has contact with that child.

With this in mind, we would like to direct you to the 74th Session of the Nevada Legislature (2007) specifically, SB 204 . During that Legislative session, the exact same language contained in AB 203 was proposed (that is the last time the issue was raised. It was also raised in 2005 and 2000). In a review of the testimony for and against SB 204 in 2007, we found that judges, lawyers and civic groups overwhelmingly opposed SB 204, primarily because of the unconstitutionality of the bill. We believe that current Assemblymen/women may not be aware of the history of this legislation and as such we seek to advise you on the fate of the proposed language in 2007.

Legislative Background: SB 204 was initially heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 15, 2007 (pages 14-16) and continued on March 20, 2007 (pages 2-9). There was a proposal to amend the bill during a Senate Judiciary Committee Work Session on April 4, 2007(pages 10-11) and the bill was continued to the next work session. At the committee work session on April 10, 2007 (pages 6-7) the sponsoring Senator withdrew the proposed amendment, requested a “Do pass” on the bill as originally proposed, no second on the motion was received and the bill died in committee.

We request that you review the testimony presented on SB 204 in 2007, specifically as it relates to the constitutionality of the bill. Again, please note that the language in this year’s bill, AB 203, is exactly the same as in 2007. We believe that nothing has changed as to the constitutional, financial, and court case load issues presented in testimony five years ago. We therefore oppose AB 204 on these grounds:

AB 203 is unconstitutional based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Troxel v. Granville, 539 U.S. 57 (2000). Nothing has changed since that ruling overturned a Washington state law like this proposed bill. Intact families have a fundamental right to deny visitation with grandparents, and any law to the contrary would likely be struck down by the Nevada Supreme Court. Current law already correctly interprets this Supreme Court case.
AB 203 would create a financial burden on intact families having to defend their private family decisions regarding who has contact with their children. Some families simply could not afford to defend themselves, grandparents would often have an unfair financial advantage to hire an attorney, some bad decisions can be handed down, and children will be harmed as a result.
AB 203 would significantly increase the caseload burden on an already overburdened District Court, increasing costs and delays. Many more cases could also be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter. If we can answer any questions you may have please don’t hesitate to contact us.


NHN Officers

AB 203 (against)

The following letter was emailed to all the sponsors and co-sponsors of AB 203, the Assembly Judiciary Committee members and cc’d to all their administrative assistants. This bill seeks to allow grandparents to sue for visitation when a married couple has denied them visitation with their grandchild. This exact same bill was heard in 2007 and died in committee due to constitutional issues (fundamental parental rights via a 1999 US Supreme Court decision) presented by Nevada judges, lawyers and civic groups during testimony (see the full explanation in our letter).

NHN is partnering with and HSLDA who have issued “CALL TO ACTION” alerts (see links) to ensure that this flawed bill does not pass. While we hope that all parents, grandparents and great-grandparents are in loving support of each other, this is not always the case. AB 203 would violate the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding visitation for their children. Please read NHN’s position statement below.

If your Assemblyperson is one of the sponsors or co-sponsors (in the “TO:” line, bold names are sponsors, the others are co-sponsors) of this bill please contact them via email, phone or fax and express your opinion on the bill. In addition to our explanation below, and HSLDA have also provided excellent “talking points” on this bill (see links above).

Thank you in advance for standing with us and helping to protect the rights of all “fit and loving” parents in Nevada.