Nevada lawmakers schedule vote to repeal antiquated laws

Nevada legislators, cutting short their President's Day holiday, meet Monday for the start of the third week of the 2003 session.

Senate and Assembly floor sessions are planned, but only a few measures are up for votes. They include AB10, repealing old laws against shearing sheep within city limits or pasturing livestock in a cemetery.

Bill introductions are likely -- possibly including a major proposal being pushed by Assembly Speaker Rich Perkins, D-Henderson, to audit the state's colleges and universities.

Also Monday, the Assembly Education Committee is scheduled to hear from Jane Nichols, chancellor of the University and Community College System of Nevada. Nichols will give a report on the system's master plan.

Walker Lake, a shrinking desert lake near Hawthorne, will be discussed in the Assembly Natural Resources, Agriculture and Mining Committee.

Assembly and Senate budget subcommittees have scheduled meetings on the state's mental health services. Agencies dealing with printing, purchasing, state cars and insurance losses also will be reviewed.

On Tuesday, Assembly Judiciary discusses AB14, one of several death penalty reform bills being considered by lawmakers this session.

A joint meeting of Senate and Assembly Transportation committees is scheduled to review the state Department of Transportation. And the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means committees will meet jointly as the lawmakers' Interim Finance Committee.

Also Tuesday, Senate Judiciary will take up several bills dealing with Nevada courts and trial procedures, including SB89 which revises standards for determining whether someone is competent to stand trial.

Legislators also will hear from U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, the Democrats' minority whip in the Senate, on Tuesday. That'll be followed by a speech Wednesday from U.S. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev.

Also Wednesday, Senate and Assembly budget subcommittees continue their review of the state's prisons and its parole and probation agency. Officials have warned that if they're hit with big budget cuts they'll have to release nearly one-fourth of Nevada's prison inmates.

Senate Natural Resources plans a midweek hearing on SB46, which authorizes general obligation bonds for environmental improvement efforts at Lake Tahoe; and Assembly Natural Resources members will talk about water, minerals and hunting and fishing licenses.

Assembly Judiciary takes up bills dealing with various court matters on Wednesday, including AB61 which deals with witness immunity in criminal cases; and will meet Thursday to discuss measures dealing with crimes against minors.

Also Thursday, budget subcommittees will review the state's troubled program that oversees benefits for public employees; and will analyze various programs for troubled youths, including the state's reformatories in Elko and Caliente.

And U.S. Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., will speak to lawmakers on Thursday. Gibbons led a successful effort to require a two-thirds majority for approval of any tax proposal several years ago -- and taxes are the biggest item on the state lawmakers' agenda this session.

Friday's hearings include a budget subcommittee session on the Department of Public Safety, the Highway Patrol, state fire marshal's office and criminal history repository.

Also Friday, Assembly Judiciary considers AB59 and AB73, measures aimed at preventing neglect or exploitation of elderly Nevadans.


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