Legislative Briefly

Unemployment stimulus bill passes

The legislation destined to make sure Nevada gets all of the unemployment insurance stimulus money is on its way to Gov. Jim Gibbons' desk.

AB469 was originally drafted when Gibbons was balking about accepting some of the money, saying it would commit Nevada to statutory changes making more people eligible for unemployment benefits. Gibbons changed his mind after receiving assurances from federal Labor Department officials that the state could change its laws later if necessary.

Lawmakers went ahead with the legislation anyway and it received final Senate approval earlier this week.

The bill paves the way for Nevada to accept $286 million in unemployment stimulus cash.

Bill to help released inmates pay for ID

The Assembly Judiciary Committee has recommended passage of legislation that would buy newly released inmates a driver's license or other identification.

There was testimony during the hearing on AB253 that one problem inmates have upon release from prison is getting proper and legal identification.

Director of Corrections Howard Skolnik said if the measure helps even a few parolees or released inmates stay out of future legal trouble, it will save the state far more than paying the cost of several hundred drivers' licenses each year.

The measure goes to the Assembly floor for a vote.

Campaign, election law changes shelved

Several proposed changes in Nevada's election and campaign laws have been shelved by a state Senate committee, including two Republican-sponsored plans for more voter identification.

The four Democrats on the Legislative Operations and Elections Committee voted against the idea of more voter ID that the three Republicans on the panel had supported. That means SB181 and SB315 won't emerge from the committee by a Friday deadline.

Solar energy tax abatements urged

A key Senate panel voted Thursday to keep alive a solar-energy tax break measure after being told the abatements will help bring solar projects to Nevada rather than to other solar-rich states.

Senate Taxation Commit-

tee members sent SB331 to the Senate Finance Committee for additional review after being told that industry-sponsored studies show that Nevada's current tax abatement policies, set to expire this year, should be continued and enhanced.

SB331 would cut property taxes imposed on solar energy generating facilities by 75 percent for 25 years, and would abate local school support taxes imposed on property used in construction or operation of such facilities by 75 percent for 10 years.

" Nevada Appeal Staff and Wire Reports

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