Veto threat, sin taxes, await lawmakers

A veto threat, sin taxes, economic development and budget closings await state lawmakers when week nine of the 2011 legislative session begins Monday.

Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval has said he will respond to AB183 by Monday. The bill, which passed the Senate and Assembly along party lines, would allow school districts to use money now in bond reserve accounts for school improvements. Sandoval has said he will veto the bill because he wants the same pot of money - estimated at $300 million - for school operations and that the bill would leave a gaping hole in his budget.

Sandoval has said he won't raise taxes or fees.

Also Monday, the Senate Government Affairs Committee considers a renewed effort to establish an appeals court in Nevada - a measure last rejected by voters in November. An Assembly committee hears a similar proposed constitutional amendment later in the week.

Economic Development will be the focus Monday during a joint hearing before the Assembly Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees. AB449 would revamp the state's economic development structure and set up "knowledge fund" to help foster commercialization of research and


On Tuesday, Assembly Judiciary considers two bills related to the state's gambling industry. AB294 deals with mobile gambling devices, while AB279 would authorize state regulators to certify independent laboratories to test gambling equipment.

Legislative money subcommittees begin agency budget closings Tuesday. It's the first step toward a final budget bill that will be hammered out when the full committees meet jointly later on in the session.

Liquor and cigarette taxes will be discussed by the Assembly Taxation Committee on Tuesday. AB333 would raise the tax on hard liquor from $3.60 to $4.50 a gallon. Levies on cigarettes would rise from 80 cents a pack to $1.70.

The same day, the Senate Revenue Committee considers SB386. It targets cigarettes only, and would raise the per-pack tax to $2.

Levies on bottled beverages will be discussed by the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. AB427 would impose a 5 cent deposit on beverages, which would be refunded when the container is recycled.

Rewarding state workers for ideas that lead to improved government efficiency is the subject of SB286, to be discussed by the Senate Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections. The bill would authorize awarding state workers up to 50 percent of cost savings for good ideas.

Wednesday, Senate Judiciary will hear testimony on SB277, a bill that targets "sexting" by juveniles and would impose counseling and supervision to try to avert continued risque behavior. The committee also discusses SB469 and SB476. Both are part of Sandoval's proposed policy reforms and would require counties to pay for mental health courts and juvenile justice facilities.

Senate Commerce, Labor and Energy will discuss a pilot program for medical marijuana. SB336 would allow the state Board of Pharmacy to certify growing facilities to provide medical marijuana.

Thursday marks a milestone in the 120-day session - it's the halfway point to sine die June 6.

Also Thursday, Assembly Judiciary takes up bills dealing with vicious dogs, stolen valor and use of deadly force, while money subcommittees consider welfare and aging services budgets.

Bills to crack down on fake marijuana and fake cocaine are on the agenda for a work session before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

On Friday, Assembly Judiciary hears testimony on AB373, which would make willful destruction of foreclosed properties a crime.

Assembly Ways and Means and Senate Finance subcommittees close budgets for the Department of Wildlife and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

The Assembly Education Committee is slated to hear AB455, requiring policies to prevent student athletes from head injuries.

The Senate Select Committee on Economic Growth and Employment is scheduled to consider SB396, which establishes a technology commercialization plan.


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