Carson resident gives lawmakers 'rebate'

(Appeal Capitol Bureau) Carson City resident Helaine Jesse this week turned the tables on lawmakers and the governor, handing over a check for $300 from her own account.

Her point: Instead of $300 rebates for car owners, legislators should spend the state's surplus on mental health programs.

Jesse is a vice president at Western Nevada Community College and president of the Carson Rotary Club. But she made the statements as an individual, urging lawmakers to use surplus money to improve services rather than give car owners rebates, as Gov. Kenny Guinn has proposed.

She told lawmakers she found out how short-funded mental health services are when her boyfriend threatened suicide eight months ago.

She said he ended up killing himself, but she wasn't blaming the service providers.

"They're doing the best they can with what they have," she said.

Jesse's check went to the Assembly Health and Human Services Committee. Committee Chairwoman Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, said the state has no good mechanism to put the check into the mental health budget, but she plans to talk with Jesse to find out exactly what happened.

"That way, maybe we can fix it," she said.

She said maybe the money could be contributed to the Crisis Call network or some other group dealing with suicide prevention.

Nevada ID theft bill may be unnecessary, lawmakers told

(AP) - Advocates of a bill to let consumers freeze access to their credit records urged Nevada lawmakers on Wednesday to approve the plan - but critics countered that it won't do as much good as people might think.

SB80, sponsored chiefly by Sen. Bob Beers, R-Las Vegas, is intended to protect Nevadans against identity theft, a problem that's been rampant across the country in recent years.

The bill would let consumers put security alerts or freezes on some files maintained by credit reporting agencies. In the case of a freeze, credit agencies would be prohibited from giving out information in the files without the consumer's authorization. A 90-day alert would inform each person who requests a report about the consumer that the person's identity may have been used fraudulently and without consent.

Kathleen Delaney of the Nevada attorney general's office told the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee that the solutions proposed by the bill were important and necessary.

But Eric Ellman of the Consumer Data Industry Association, which represents credit-reporting companies, said that in the case of a credit emergency, consumers likely won't be able to get the services they need if they have a credit freeze on their files.

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