Police body cameras, union protests and speeches from two of Nevada’s congressional delegation are on the docket for the sixth week of the legislative session.
Here are five stories to watch this week:
LIGHTS, BODY CAMERAS, ACTION
Lawmakers are planning to review two bills that would require on-duty Nevada police officers to wear portable body cameras.
AB162 is scheduled for a hearing Monday in the Assembly Committee on Government Affairs and would mandate all state and local police agencies purchase body cameras and require officers to wear them while on duty. Senate Democrats are sponsoring a similar bill, SB111, which is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Government Affairs on Wednesday and would only affect Washoe and Clark counties.
Democratic Sen. Aaron Ford said body cameras could shed light on confrontations between police and the public, and they could help both parties involved.
But the cost of the proposals may be a roadblock. Nevada’s Department of Public Safety estimates that it would cost $1.4 million over two years to implement the Assembly bill among Nevada Highway Patrol officers, and Clark County estimates its costs at $9.7 million.
Two Nevada congressional representatives are giving speeches in Carson City.
Rep. Mark Amodei will address both houses of the Legislature on Monday at 5 p.m. The Republican was first elected to northern Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District in 2011 and spent 11 years in the state Senate.
Rep. Dina Titus is scheduled to address the Legislature on Wednesday at 5 p.m. The former University of Nevada, Las Vegas professor served as the state Senate’s Democratic leader from 1993-2008 and was elected to southern Nevada’s 1st Congressional District in 2013.
HANDICAP PARKING PERMITS
Democratic Assemblyman Richard Carrillo is sponsoring a bill requiring handicapped parking permits to also contain photo identification. Carrillo is expected to testify on AB 204 during a hearing Thursday in the Assembly Committee on Transportation.
The bill would require the permits to contain a driver’s license photo as well as a removable sleeve obscuring the photo for privacy. Permit-holders would be required to show the placard if requested by a police officer.
Nevada’s Department of Motor Vehicles estimates the program will cost around $130,000 to implement.
Union hopes were dashed last week when Assembly Republicans overcame inter-party fighting to pass a bill cutting prevailing wage — a sort of minimum wage for contractors — for school construction projects.
In response, the Nevada AFL-CIO is running TV commercials urging viewers to call Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval and ask him to veto the bill. The union also plans to rally in Carson City and Las Vegas on Thursday against the bill and others it says would weaken collective bargaining across the state.
Sandoval signed the bill Friday evening, calling it an “extraordinary measure” that would allow school districts to further stretch construction dollars.
The Assembly Judiciary Committee will review two voter-initiated petitions on Monday, including one that would legalize recreational marijuana and another that would expand background checks on gun purchases.
Committee chairman Assemblyman Ira Hansen, a Republican, said the committee won’t take action on either proposal and will move them to the floor of the Assembly without a recommendation.
If the Legislature doesn’t vote by the end of the week to enact the measures, they’ll go to the ballot in 2016 for possible approval by voters.