234 bills introduced as deadline passes | NevadaAppeal.com
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234 bills introduced as deadline passes

Brandon Mendoza waits his turn while Brenna Ailes testifies in favor of
Geoff Dornan / Nevada Appeal | Geoff Dornan / Nevada Appeal

In the first two days of this week, lawmakers introduced more than 200 pieces of legislation.

The reason: Monday was the deadline for bill introductions by individual lawmakers — a deadline leadership extended by a day because of the backlog of bills in the legal division.

Those same lawmakers worked into the evening to continue bringing bills to the floor as bill drafters delivered them

The Assembly convened at 7:30 p.m. and pounded through introductions for 22 more bills bringing its total to 106 for the two days.

The Senate was at 98 measures early but, convened at 8:30 p.m. to add another 30 bills to the total for a total of 128 by adjournment.

Altogether, the two houses introduced 234 bills Monday and Tuesday.

Legal Division bill drafters were backed up, in part because of the number of late requests for legislation filed by the large freshman class elected in November.

Now that lawmakers made it through this deadline, the next is less than a week away: Monday; that’s the deadline for introduction of committee-sponsored bills.

It’s unlikely there’s going to be as much of a backlog in drafting those measures, however, since most of those requests were filed with the legal division several months ago. Those deadlines and others in the Legislature’s 120-day calendar don’t apply to the bills that implement the various parts of the budget, major tax measures and other pieces of legislation that leadership decides should have an exemption.

The list of bills introduced included a wide variety of measures dealing with everything from how Nevada judges are selected to providing dogs and other household pets access to medical marijuana.

The pet-pot bill was introduced as SB372 by Sen. Tick Segerbloom, D-Las Vegas.

Assembly Joint Resolution 9 proposes a constitutional amendment that would have Nevada’s district judges appointed rather than elected. But it would have the Assembly make the appointments rather than the governor, who now fills judicial vacancies from a list provided by the Judicial Selection Commission.

AB302 would create a presidential preference primary election held the same day as the statewide primary. Nevada had a presidential primary in the 1970s but eliminated it. It would also move that primary from June back to the last Tuesday in January and mandate political parties follow the results of that primary in choosing delegates to the national party conventions.

SJR14 would change the state constitution to prohibit creating, operating or maintaining a health insurance exchange — an attempt to reject the Affordable Care Act. There is also legislation in the Assembly to repeal language that set up the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange to comply with the Affordable Care Act.

SJR15 would amend the constitution to require proof of identity to vote in person.

There is also SJR16 that would ratify the Equal Rights Amendment for women — an argument that dates back to the 1977 Legislature when ratification failed in the state Senate by just one vote.

Finally, at least among constitutional amendments, SJR18 would repeal the constitutional term limits language for state and local offices.

AB377 would transfer the historic structures at the Nevada State Prison to the Division of Museums and History and create an endowment fund for the preservation of the prison. Activists are working to turn the old prison into an historical site and tourist attraction.

AB322 would prohibit smoking in any motor vehicle carrying a child under age 18, punishable by a $25 fine or community service.

AB337 would remove the six weeks residency requirement for getting a divorce in Nevada. That historic requirement was considered liberal in the 1940s through the 1960s, enabling Nevada to develop a large divorce/tourism trade. In those days many states made divorce extremely difficult, requiring either a declaration of insanity or testimony that one person had committed adultery.

Removing the requirement would allow any resident of the state to get a divorce immediately instead of waiting six weeks. The bill would also allow a Nevada court to annul a marriage without the six-week residency requirement.

In addition, AB312 would tie the age at which a public employee can retire to the age that person could retire with full benefits under Social Security, extending the retirement age for most state workers. It would also set that retirement rate at the average of the person’s highest five years of public pay instead of the highest three years of salary contained in existing law.