Legislators to open 7th week seeking ways to combat meth

The seventh week of the 2007 Legislature opens Monday with debate on measures aimed at reducing methamphetamine addiction and trafficking in Nevada.

The Assembly Health and Human Services Committee will review AB150, which restricts the sale of ingredients used to make meth; and AB149, which appropriates $2 million for anti-meth programs.

Senate Finance will discuss several bills, including SB282, which appropriates $5.7 million to cover increased costs at prisons throughout the state. Also on the panel's agenda is SB108, which provides for zero-based budgeting by the state.

Senate Human Resources and Education will discuss various bills dealing with students, including SB284, which authorizes schools to impose fees that parents would pay so that their children can participate in organized sports activities.

Assembly Natural Resources, Agriculture and Mining will study AB217, which revises the makeup of the state Environmental Commission so that the five members appointed by the governor would include one member with experience in advocating conservation issues.

Also Monday, an Assembly Commerce and Labor subcommittee will discuss AB186, a plan meant to hold renewable energy companies accountable for the economic benefits they outline in their project proposals.

On Tuesday, Assembly Judiciary considers AB192, which spells out the governor's authority to stay a death sentence. The measure cites wording in the Nevada Constitution that says the governor has the power to grant reprieves "for all cases, except in cases of impeachment."

A Senate-Assembly budget panel reviews spending plans for the state Motor Vehicles Department. That includes the cost of implementing the Real ID Act mandated by Congress and set to begin in May 2008. However, an 18-month extension has been offered to the states.

Also Tuesday, Assembly Transportation considers AJR6, which urges Congress to repeal the Real ID Act.

Senate Taxation discusses SB211, which authorizes banks and other businesses to deduct from their state taxes the money they spend on providing day-care facilities for children of their employees.

On Wednesday, Assembly Judiciary considers SB66, a Senate-approved bill that would allow people who successfully sue the government to collect up to $100,000 in damages, double the current limit.

Senate Human Resources and Education and Assembly Health and Human Services review the state's Strategic Health Plan. The Assembly panel also considers AB390, which gives Medicaid recipients more control and flexibility in dealing with personal assistance services.

Also Wednesday, Senate Judiciary takes up SB237, which would change Nevada's concealed weapons laws so that nonresidents who have a permit from another state don't have to meet a current requirement to get approval from the sheriff of whatever Nevada county they're in. Also, the bill erases a requirement for a photograph of a Nevada permit applicant or permit-holder.

On Thursday, Assembly Judiciary reviews AB268, a concealed-weapons bill that's similar to the Senate proposal. However, it leaves in place the photograph requirements.

Also on Assembly Judiciary's agenda is AB194, which revises laws dealing with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault; and AB226, which sets up teams specializing in prosecution of crimes against the elderly.

A Senate-Assembly budget subcommittee reviews various medical issues, including the Nevada Check-Up program that provides health services to children.

Senate Commerce and Labor will hear presentations on alternative energy resources. Experts will discuss geothermal, solar and other energy sources and their current and future development.

Senate Judiciary considers several bills on Thursday, including SB30, which would instruct judges to base decisions about inmate releases on a jail's "operational capacity" rather than the number of beds available.

Senate Taxation reviews SB233, which would repeal an existing excise tax on branch offices of banks. The bill also reduces a 2 percent tax based on wages paid by the bank.

Assembly Corrections, Parole and Probation debates measures dealing with the state Parole Board. That includes AB61, which would enable the state Parole Board to hold closed meetings in certain cases "for safety reasons."

On Friday, Senate Judiciary considers SB174, the "I'm sorry" proposal that would make an apology by a doctor to a patient or a patient's family inadmissible in any civil or administrative proceedings brought against the doctor based on alleged negligence.

Also Friday, Assembly Commerce and Labor will discuss AB2, which would impose misdemeanor penalties on auto repair shops that fail to get a customer's consent before going ahead with repairs that cost more than the shop's initial estimate.

Also on the committee's agenda are measures dealing with prescription drugs. They include AB128, which would require drug companies to disclose gifts, payments and other benefits given to doctors and health care providers.

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