[Home Page]

Details of Sen. Neal's position on gaming taxation, including the 2000 initiative petition.

Sen. Joe Neal
Unbought & Unbossed


Sen. Joe Neal
(D-North Las Vegas), has lived in Nevada since 1954. He lost his wife to breast cancer in 1997 after 32 years of marriage. He is the father of five and grandfather of seven.

A Louisiana native, he graduated from Southern University in 1963 with a degree in political science and history. He did postgraduate work in law. He is also a graduate of the Institute of Applied Science in Chicago, Illinois, where he studied civil identification and criminal investigation.

After 25 years in personnel administration, he retired as assistant to the general legal counsel of Reynolds Electrical & Engineering Company, Inc. After retiring, he taught constitutional democracy at Community College of Southern Nevada. A Las Vegas elementary school bears his name.

In 1992, he received the prestigious Elijah Lovejoy Award from the Elks Grand Lodge. The award was named for the pre-Civil War newspaper editor who opposed slavery. Because of his views, Lovejoy was murdered by a midnight mob and his printing press thrown into a nearby river. ( Lovejoy's son, Edward, is buried in Dayton, Nev.)

Previous recipients of the Lovejoy Award include the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., United Nations Ambassador Ralph Bunche (like Dr. King, a Nobel Peace Prize winner), renowned soprano Marian Anderson and United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Born in Mounds, La., on July 28, 1935, Sen. Neal served four years in the United States Air Force and has been a member of the Nevada State Senate since 1972. He ran for governor in 1998 and was re-elected to a record-tying eighth senate term in the 2000 primary.

During his 30 years in the upper house, he has served on every senate committee and has chaired both the Human Resources and the Natural Resources committees. In the 2001 session, he was again the ranking Democrat on the powerful Finance Committee and also sat on the Taxation and Government Affairs committees.

In 1991, he was elected by the full Nevada State Senate (both Democrats and Republicans) as Senate President Pro-Tem. In that Constitutional position, he served as acting governor of Nevada twice in that year..

During the 1980 special legislative session, he presided over a joint session of the Nevada State Senate and Nevada State Assembly to ratify the California-Nevada Lake Tahoe Regional Planning Compact.

Government Service

  • Nevada Senate since 1972, three special and 15 regular sessions. His current term expires in 2004.
  • Presided over special legislative session on Lake Tahoe bi-state compact, 1980
  • Member, Interim Finance Committee, 1985-86, 1997-present.
  • Assistant Majority Floor Leader, 1985
  • Assistant Minority Floor Leader, 1987
  • Minority Floor Leader, regular session, 1989
  • State Senate President Pro Tempore, 1991
  • Acting Governor of Nevada, 1991
  • 1997-1999 interim committee assignments
    • Legislative Commission and its Audit Subcommittee
    • Committee to Review Regulations
    • Legislative Commission Utility Oversight Committee
  • 1999-2001 Interim Assignments:
    • Interim Committees
      • Interim Finance Committee
      • Legislative Commission Security Committee
    • Statutory Committees
      • Audit Subcommittee
      • Committee to Review Regulations
      • Committee on Distribution among Local Governments of Revenue from State and Local Taxes
      • Subcommittee on (DMV) Project Genesis/Department of Information Technology (DoIT).
    • Study Committees
      • System of Juvenile Justice in Nevada
      • Pension Plan for Certain Justices and Judges
    • Council of State Governments
      • Committee on Border States Issues

  • Download 2001-2003 Interim Committee Assignments


  • Order of Elks Lodge No. 1508
  • Clark County Democratic Central Committee;
  • Nevada State Democratic Central Committee
  • Phi Beta Sigma
  • Member and former chair, Clark County Economic Opportunity Board

Personal and Professional Achievements

  • Past Chairman, Greater Las Vegas Plan
  • Civil Liberty Award, American Civil Liberties Union-Nevada
  • Elijah Lovejoy Award, Order of Elks Grand Lodge IBPOEW
  • Lifetime Commitment Award, Nevada AFL-CIO
  • Lifetime Achievement Award for Public Service, NAACP Reno-Sparks Branch #1112
  • NAACP Tri-State Conference Medgar Evers Award


For more information, go to Sen. Neal's Legislative Page


Back to Home Page

Site designed & maintained by Deciding Factors
Comments and suggestions appreciated