CARSON CITY -- A handful of law changes mandated by the 2001 Legislature are just now taking effect, including provisions dealing with statewide casino work cards.
Under sections of AB466 that are effective Jan. 1, the Nevada Gaming Commission must have the statewide work card rules on the books. They're up for approval at the panel's Dec. 19 meeting.
The rules face an uncertain future, however. The American Civil Liberties Union says it would consider suing to block them on grounds that the commission would be given unconstitutional powers to investigate an applicant's background.
Gary Peck, executive director of the Nevada ACLU, says there's no reason the commission should have sweeping rights to dig up the personal history of the casino industry's rank-and-file employees.
"There are some limits that need to be imposed," Peck says. "That's why we have the Bill of Rights."
The proposed work card system was created by the 2001 Legislature to allow employees with state issued permits to work at any casino Nevada, ideally saving them time and money. Now, card dealers, change makers, slot employees and other workers must obtain locally issued work cards and get a new one whenever they move to a new jurisdiction in the state.
Also becoming law on Jan. 1 is a key section of AB94, a bill from the 2001 session that raised a laundry list of county fees for services ranging from marriage licenses to real estate transfers.
The section that was delayed until now provides for a $4 fee that the state will collect on marriage licenses.
Another 2001 bill, AB60, with a Jan. 1 startup date mandates that government organizations post notices of their meetings on Internet Web sites, assuming they have one. The state already has required agencies to create such Web sites.
Also becoming law now are sections of AB469, a watercraft safety bill passed in 2001. The provisions require any boater born after Jan. 1, 1983, to complete a boating safety course before operating any watercraft with an engine that exceeds 15 horsepower.
A bill from the special session that immediately followed the 2001 session, AB4, has dozens of sections that are finally going into effect. The bill establishes a judicial retirement plan for certain justices of the Nevada Supreme Court and district court judges.
Sections of another bill dealing with the courts, SB137 from the 2001 session, also were delayed until now. SB137 increases the number of district judges in Washoe and Clark counties.
Another 2001 session bill, AB415, made various changes in rules dealing with pharmacies. That included a provision -- just taking effect now -- to provide for special ID cards to help in processing prescription drug payment claims that Nevadans file with their health care plans.
On the Net: Nevada Legislature Web site: http://www.leg.state.nv.us/