Another week, another deadline for legislators

Nevada lawmakers face another big deadline in the 12th week of their 2009 session, which starts today, with most Assembly bills having to cross over to the Senate and vice versa " or else.

Under the legislators' rule, measures that aren't exempt must move from the house where they originated to the other house by Tuesday. Many proposals already have made the transition and many more will by the deadline.

Those that don't will be dead for the session.

The cutoff date is one of several, all aimed at ensuring the legislators can complete their work by June 1 and adjourn, expected to eventually reduce the nearly 1,000 bills and resolutions introduced this session to less than 500 that actually survive.

Because of the deadline, legislators will spend long hours today and Tuesday on the floors of either house, debating and voting on scores of measures. That's in addition to the usual committee hearings on a wide range of proposals.

The hearings today include one in Senate Judiciary on AB187, an Assembly-approved plan that would set up a specialized court for military veterans charged with nonviolent crimes while struggling to readjust to civilian life.

Assembly Government Affairs will discuss SB166, designating the Vivid Dancer Damselfly as Nevada's official state bug.

Senate Commerce and Labor will review AB151, which would require mortgage brokers to include a disclosure document that lists the lender's license number, and would require financial institutions to include a document that states the value of the home and the terms of the loan in "language that is easy to understand."

On Tuesday, budget subcommittees working on the state's spending plan for the coming two fiscal years will review the state's services for the aging and its information technology network.

On Wednesday, Senate Finance reviews AB533, making a supplemental appropriation of $323 million to the state Distributive School Account because of unanticipated revenue shortfalls in the current fiscal year.

Senate Finance also reviews SB311, which would add flouride to the public water supplies of Washoe County. Supporters say it would improve dental health of the county's residents, while opponents say fluoridation is unnecessary and expensive.

On Thursday, Senate-Assembly budget subcommittees continue their reviews of various states spending plans by looking at capital construction projects proposed for the state prison system, the governor's mansion and other state properties.

Also up for review is the budget for the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

Assembly Transportation debates Senate-approved SB136, which prohibits motorists, including police and emergency personnel, from text-messaging on cell phones while behind the wheel. The bill doesn't ban reading a telephone number or contact entry on a cell phone if making or receiving a call.

On Friday, Senate-Assembly budget panels review state budget chief Andrew Clinger's Administration Department, along with the Agriculture and Business-Industry agencies. Welfare spending also is on the agenda for the budget subcommittees.


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