2015 Legislative Session


Over her two terms in the State Senate, Joyce Woodhouse has been a leader on issues affecting the everyday lives of her constituents. During the 2015 Session, Joyce supported the Nevada Blueprint, an agenda to help grow and protect Nevada’s middle class families, and she worked hard on numerous important legislative initiatives on behalf of families in District 5 and across the state. 

Education -- Joyce is widely recognized as the State Senate’s leading expert on education issues. This session, Joyce fought for hundreds of millions of dollars of new investment to improve Nevada’s public school system for all Nevada students. 

  • School construction: Joyce fought for a school construction bill that would help ease overcrowding by building new schools, renovating older facilities, and doing it all without raising taxes. New schools will be open starting in the 2017 academic year. 

  • Full-day Kindergarten, ZOOM Schools, and Victory Schools: Joyce supported new initiatives to provide full-day kindergarten, expand ZOOM schools for English Language Learners, and put more funding into schools with high numbers of students living in poverty. 

  • Expanded teacher training and STEM education: In order to ensure students are better prepared for a science economy, Joyce worked for better teacher training and put increased focus on STEM subjects.

  • Financial literacy education: Joyce introduced legislation that would have required financial literacy to be taught in middle schools in order to better prepare young people for adult responsibilities. 

  • College scholarships and student loans: Joyce led the way to modernize the Guinn Millennium Scholarship and fought to create a program to help Nevadans refinance their student loans at lower interest rates. 

Veterans -- Joyce has been a strong voice for Nevada’s veterans and military families, and she introduced several pieces of legislation to make Nevada a more military-friendly state. 

  • Assisting Military Sexual Trauma survivors: Joyce passed legislation creating new services at the Veterans Services Department for survivors of military sexual trauma and sexual assaults. 

  • Child care for military families: Joyce led the fight on two bills designed to expand child care options for active duty military families and families where a service member has been declared killed-in-action, missing-in-action, or taken as a prisoner of war 

Jobs/Economy -- As a senator, Joyce believes it is her responsibility to protect good-paying jobs, grow new sectors of our economy, and ensure that economic opportunities are widespread. 

  • Protecting our construction industry: Joyce stood up for construction workers and their families when Republicans tried to arbitrarily cut their pay. The construction industry is the backbone of Nevada’s economy and preserving these jobs promotes our state’s economic growth. 

  • Investments in our infrastructure: Joyce helped replenish Nevada’s highway fund so that we can finally get to work on road and highway projects that will make travel easier, make our roads safer, and create jobs in Nevada. 

  • Protecting Overtime and Fair Wages: Joyce stood against attempts to gut Nevada’s overtime laws because workers should earn a fair day’s pay for a full day’s work. 

Healthcare -- Nevada’s families won’t thrive unless our state offers first rate healthcare services for people of all ages and backgrounds. 

  • Cognitive Care for Seniors: Joyce advocated for new studies to help ensure that medical professionals and state policymakers would better understand the cognitive care and behavioral health needs of our seniors.  

  • Palliative Care for Serious Illnesses: Joyce sought to create an Advisory Council on Palliative Care to promote comprehensive treatment with a focus on relieving symptoms, pain, and the physical and emotional stress associated with serious illnesses. 

  • UNLV Med School: She also supported full funding for a new medical school at UNLV to improve access to healthcare in southern Nevada. When the new medical school opens its doors, Las Vegas will be one more step on its way towards becoming a leader in healthcare. 

Budget/Revenue -- As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Joyce helped oversee Nevada’s budget and served as a watchdog for Nevada taxpayers. 

  • She fought to cut waste, preserve essential services, and make smart, new investments in education with more accountability for public schools. 

  • Joyce also helped ensure that large corporations doing business in Nevada are paying their fair share of taxes while also voting to cap property taxes for ordinary Nevada homeowners.