Nevada lawmakers postpone deadline to introduce bills

Nevada Capitol

Nevada Capitol

Legislative leaders on Monday postponed the deadline for Nevada lawmakers to introduce bills for them to be considered in the current 120-day legislative session.
Nevada law requires legislators introduce bills by the 43rd day of the legislative session to give policy proposals adequate time to be considered.
But a high volume of bills prompted leadership to suspend the bill submission deadline rules.
The state Senate and Assembly delayed the bill introduction deadline until next Monday, giving legislative staff — who spent much of the summer working through two emergency special sessions instead of drafting bills — another week.
Over the last six weeks since lawmakers returned to the capital, the legislative pace had already been sluggish.
Lobbyists, activists and state residents who normally clog the halls of the legislative building have been kept out to prevent the spread of the virus.
And proposals that normally would prompt heated responses from supporters and detractors have been few and far between.
In other statehouses, proposals to mandate schools return to in-person instruction, transform water law, regulate tech giants have invited controversy. But in Nevada, the most contentious debate happened during an early committee hearing about banning summary evictions.
Lawmakers have introduced proposals to automatically send voters mail-in ballots in future elections, ban racist school mascots and to fund a small business grant program.
Anticipated budget cuts likely won't be as severe as lawmakers feared, mainly because of about $4 billion in pandemic relief that the federal government has allocated for Nevada.
Lawmakers are still waiting for guidance on how they can spend the funds and have not announced changes to the baseline budget that Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak proposed in January, which extends some cuts put in place last year until 2023.
They are expected to introduce proposals to reform the state's unemployment system and fund new energy policy initiatives before the new deadline.
Sam Metz is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

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