Senate panel passes construction defect bill

There was another dust up over the GOP’s construction defects legislation Wednesday — this time in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Without prior notice that panel took up AB125, which was passed out of the Assembly on Tuesday as an emergency measure.

On a party–line vote, Judiciary members passed the bill designed to greatly reduce lawsuits over construction defects to the floor.

“There’s no reason to be rushing through a work session on this measure,” said Minority Leader Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas.

He said there are still negotiations going on to produce a final construction defects bill.

Sen. Ruben Kihuen, D-Las Vegas, also objected to the speed with which the measure was being processed.

“Where is the transparency in this process,” he asked. “Where is the opportunity for our constituents to come here and testify?”

Committee Chairman Greg Brower, R-Reno, pointed out there was a full and lengthy hearing on the measure last week before a joint committee of the Senate and Assembly Judiciary members.

The measure was sent to the floor for a 4-3 vote with all Republican members supporting it.

That was followed by a brief afternoon floor session many expected to take up AB125 and pass it as an emergency measure like the Assembly did.

Instead, Majority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, simply adjourned the recessed Senate until today. He said afterward AB125 would be on second reading today and up for a final vote Friday.

Construction defects is the second measure to draw a partisan divide in the opening weeks of the 2015 session. The first was the Senate’s measure exempting school district construction projects from the prevailing wage statutes.

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