Nevada Legislature: PERS cost-cutting bill one of many bills approved late Friday

The Nevada Assembly has passed a bill aimed at saving the state’s Public Employees Retirement System $1 billion every 10 years.

Assembly members voted 41-1 on Friday to pass SB406, which is sponsored by Republican Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson. The measure passed the Senate unanimously.

The bill got the support of the state teacher’s union and other labor groups, who said it was more reasonable than other PERS overhaul bills moving through the Legislature.

It seeks to slightly reduce benefits to new recipients and prevents public workers from collecting benefits after certain felony convictions.

It also extends benefits to survivors of public employees killed on duty in the past two years, including three Las Vegas police officers, a Sparks Middle School teacher and a Nevada Department of Transportation worker.

Lawmakers reject proposal for 72-hour donation reporting

Nevada lawmakers have rejected a proposal that would have created much more substantial restrictions on campaign finance reporting.

Assembly members voted to kill an amendment to SB307 on Thursday night.

Democratic Assemblyman James Ohrenschall proposed the amendment which would require candidates for public office to report any contributions over $100 within 72 hours of receiving the funds.

Ohrenschall said upping the requirement would substantially improve campaign finance transparency, but Assembly Republicans voted to kill the measure due to concerns that it would overly burden candidates for office.

The bill would ban all gifts from lobbyists, and would require lawmakers to report any meetings, events or trips taken when submitting financial disclosure documents. It also increases the frequency of campaign finance reporting during election years.

Nevada Senate OKs ban on sexual conversion therapy for youth

The Nevada Senate has approved a bill that would ban therapies aimed at turning gay young people straight.

Lawmakers voted 14-5 on Friday to approve SB353. The bill now heads to the Assembly

The measure is sponsored by Democratic Sen. David Parks and would prohibit social workers and psychotherapists from providing sexual conversion therapy to people under the age of 18.

Parks said the therapy is unscientific, unethical and can permanently damage minors during their formative years.

Republican bill opponent Sen. Joe Hardy, who’s a doctor, said the ban is too broad, and therapists asking standard questions might run afoul of it.

The bill was amended to remove language that addressed legal actions a victim of the conversion therapy could take against a therapist.

Nevada lawmakers approve powdered alcohol ban

Nevada lawmakers have approved a bill that would ban powdered alcohol in the state.

Assembly members voted to approve SB464 on a 34-8 vote on Friday. The measure passed unanimously out of the Senate earlier in April.

The original bill would have granted underage drinkers some immunity from criminal charges if they report a medical emergency involving themselves or another person.

The measure was amended to include a ban on the sale or possession of powdered alcohol. Supporters said they’re not aware of any Nevada stores selling the substance, but wanted to take a proactive stance in prohibiting it.

Powdered alcohol is a beverage mix that can be blended with a liquid to create an alcoholic drink. It’s banned in six states and heavily regulated in several others.

Lawmakers approve letting colleges study industrial hemp

Nevada lawmakers have approved a measure that would allow colleges or the state agriculture department to grow industrial hemp.

Assembly members voted unanimously on Friday to approve SB305. The measure already passed the Senate and now heads to Gov. Brian Sandoval for approval.

Democratic Sen. Tick Segerblom is sponsoring the measure, which would allow governmental bodies to cultivate industrial hemp for agricultural or research purposes.

The bill was amended to remove language allowing private growers to cultivate hemp, and to clarify that the product can’t be used as a drug. The state agriculture department cautioned in a fiscal note that Nevada’s climate isn’t ideal for growing hemp.

Industrial hemp differs from medical or recreational marijuana plants in THC content and appearance. Industrial cannabis products include things like hemp yarn.

Assembly OKs bill removing overtime pay after 8 work hours

Nevada lawmakers have approved a measure that would repeal a state law requiring overtime pay after eight hours of work.

Assembly members voted 22-20 to approve SB 193 on Friday night.

The measure repeals a law requiring employers to pay overtime after eight hours of work in a 24-hour period. It would only require overtime once an employee works more than 40 hours in a week.

Supporters said the measure would bring Nevada in line with many other states and give employers more flexibility in scheduling their employees.

Democrats sharply criticized the measure and said it would severely hurt service and construction industry workers who can often work long hours on an irregular schedule.

The bill passed the Senate on an 11-9 vote in April.


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