Nevada Legislature Week 8: Marijuana, domestic wells, finalizing budgets ahead this week

On Monday, the Attorney General’s office presents its budget to a joint Senate Finance, Assembly Ways and Means subcommittee.

Ways and Means Chairwoman Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas, and other members have invited Attorney General Adam Laxalt to present his budget, noting other constitutional officers present their proposed spending plans in person. Even Gov. Brian Sandoval shows up to present key initiatives in his spending plan as he did two years ago for his education reforms.

The Assembly Judiciary Committee will hear Assembly Bill 395, which makes a variety of changes to laws involving the community notification and registration of juvenile sex offenders, including providing the courts the ability to eliminate reporting and notification in certain cases.

Senate Bill 253 before the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee would enact protections to pregnant women in the workforce including barring discriminating against female workers who are pregnant.

Assembly Joint Resolution 10 before the Legislative Operations and Elections Committee rescinds Nevada’s previous call for a constitutional convention of the states. Opponents have pointed out that there is no control over what pieces of the U.S. Constitution could be brought up and amended or removed in an open convention.

On Tuesday, the Assembly Corrections, Parole and Probation Committee hears two bills tightening controls over what information can be included in pre-sentence reports used by judges to determine a defendant’s penalty, including requiring proof of allegations the defendant is a gang member.

Also on Tuesday, the Assembly Ways and Means Committee will take up Sen. Ben Kieckhefer’s bills extending the dates when environmental and, in particular, Tahoe project bonds can be issued. SB197 and SB198 have already been approved by the Senate.

At the same time, the Senate Finance Committee will begin closing some of the less controversial budgets including that of the lieutenant governor’s office, commission on Judicial Discipline and Public Utilities Commission.

The Assembly Government Affairs Committee will hear AB297, a bill that requires counties to set up safe zones for people buying or selling something on the Internet to actually make the exchange in safety. The locations would be police or fire stations.

The Senate Natural Resources Committee will look at two bills dealing with controls over water from domestic wells in groundwater basins that are overallocated, mandating among other things the state engineer give priority to domestic wells for indoor home use.

The Assembly Legislative Operations and Elections Committee will hear AJR10, a constitutional amendment turning control of legislative, constitutional officer and judicial salaries over to an independent commission. That commission would also control salaries of county officials in the state and have the power to provide legislators compensation for duties outside the regular or special sessions of the Legislature.

AJR10 was originally proposed and passed by the 2015 Legislature. If it survives this session, it would go to the ballot for voters to decide.

Sen. Tick Segerblom on Tuesday hears several bills dealing with medical and recreational marijuana before the Senate Judiciary Committee including SB344 prohibiting the packaging of edible pot products designed to look like candy or something else that would appeal to children.

SB374 would bar employers or professional licensing boards from taking action against those who have medical marijuana cards or those lawfully using recreational pot outside of work. SB329 transfers medical marijuana control from public health to the Department of Taxation. SB341 creates a research program into marijuana’s health benefits at the university system.

Finally, SB378 would allow medical marijuana cardholders to also have a concealed weapons permit.

Assembly Transportation members on Tuesday review two bills that would require slow drivers to get out of the fast lane on multi-lane highways. The measures were introduced independently by Assembly Republicans John Ellison of Elko and Chris Edwards of Las Vegas.

The Senate Education Committee will take up SB107 mandating ethnic and diversity studies in public high schools.

The Senate Revenue and Economic Development Committee will hear SB352. That bill would allow homeowners whose property was partly or completely destroyed in the Little Valley wildfire to rebuild without losing the depreciation that annually lowers the tax on older homes. The depreciation factor would be applied to the rebuilt home provided it’s owner occupied by the same family, isn’t significantly larger and is rebuilt on the same property.

On Wednesday, the Assembly Judiciary hears AB237 to abolish the death penalty in Nevada. The bill would operate not only for new criminal cases but retroactively to the more than 80 individuals now on Nevada’s death row.

The bill was sponsored by Assemblyman James Ohrenschall and Segerblom.

Assembly Taxation members on Thursday discuss AB266, a bill providing tax credits for employers who provide paid family medical leave.

As of this weekend, the only meeting on the Friday schedule was the subcommittee of the money committees reviewing wildlife budgets. That panel was also planning to close the Department of Motor Vehicles budgets.


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