Legislative briefs

Penalties for leaving scene of accident increased in bill

The Senate passed legislation Thursday increasing the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident where people are hurt or killed.

State law already makes that a felony punishable by at least two years in prison. Sen. Dennis Nolan, R-Las Vegas, said SB141 would increase the mandatory minimum to four years if the accident resulted in injury or death to two people and six years if three or more people were hurt or killed.

According to testimony in the meeting, people who may be under the influence when they have a wreck may leave because the penalty for leaving the scene is less than the penalty for causing death or substantial bodily harm while under the influence.

The vote was 20-1 with Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas, opposing it.

The bill goes to the Assembly for consideration.

Funding for building, maintaining public schools introduced

Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus, D-Las Vegas, has introduced a resolution to conduct an interim study of the money available for construction, maintenance and operation of public schools.

SCR10 was referred to the Legislative Operations and Elections Committee for study.

It says the estimated need in Nevada was more than $5.2 billion in 2000.

That responsibility has historically belonged to local school districts, with the state typically providing help only for specific needs.

The resolution would create an interim study committee to examine all sources of revenue available to school districts for maintaining, operating and building schools and related facilities. It would also analyze bonding available for school construction.

The study committee would report to the 2007 Legislature with recommendations.

WNCC students meet with lawmakers

Western Nevada Community College student government leaders and WNCC legislative interns recently met with legislators at a leadership forum in the Joe Dini Jr. Student Center on the Carson City campus. Dini, speaker emeritus of the Nevada State Assembly, was honored at the event and served as master of ceremonies.

In a conversation that spanned issues such as the Millennium Scholarship program, strengthening state mental health programs, developing all day kindergarten, debating a state lottery, prisoner rehabilitation and property tax caps, the students questioned Assembly members and senators about issues of importance to all Nevadans.

Dr. Carol Lucey, president of WNCC, said, "Joe Dini has been an outstanding public servant for most of his life. He is also a friend of public education. We are very grateful that he continues to serve our students as an active member of our rural advisory board for Yerington.

"Here at Western, we believe that the college experiences that matter to our students' educational development should not stop at the classroom door. We are proud of our active student government officers and senators and the engaged student body they represent, and we are particularly grateful to Mr. Dini for everything he has done to support them over the years."


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