Nearly a quarter of all bills die in committee passage deadline
A total of 246 bills and 10 joint resolutions — almost a quarter of all those introduced — died Friday as the deadline for committee action on legislation in the house origin hit.
The next major deadline, bill passage by the house of origin, is April 25.
The list of 127 Assembly and 119 Senate bills includes a number of measures that are perennial subjects at the Legislature such as Voter ID, concealed weapons and immigration.
Among the dead is Assembly Bill 131 that would designate English as the state’s official language. That measure has been introduced nearly every session for 20 years.
As for gun rights, AB171 and SB307 would have eliminated all prohibitions limiting or barring people from carrying a concealed weapon. On the other side of that issue, AB351 would have enabled medical marijuana users to get a concealed weapon permit. All three measures died.
SB319 and SB331 would have required the DMV and secretary of state verify citizenship before allowing a person to register to vote. SB424 would simply have required voters to show a valid picture ID, which opponents say disproportionately impacts the poor who don’t have drivers licenses and out of state university students who don’t have Nevada ID.
They were among more than a half dozen bills changing how Nevada conducts elections died, including measures to expand early voting and voter access.
Immigration was the subject of several bills that didn’t make the cut.
SB223 that would have barred state and local government as well as school districts from helping ICE agents track and round up those in the country illegally died. SB389 would have barred releasing information to federal immigration authorities that would help them find illegals. In contrast, SB333 would have prohibited the state or local governments from adopting any ordinances or policies limiting or discouraging cooperation with immigration officials. All three bills are dead.
AB237 would have eliminated capital punishment in Nevada. It received a committee hearing but no vote to move the issue forward.
AB86 would have allowed 18 year olds to gamble. It didn’t even get a hearing.
Nor did the two bills designed to bar slow drivers from the fast land of Nevada highways.
AB263 would have repealed the controversial commerce tax used to balance the current budget. Assembly Joint Resolution 1 would have required voter approval to make any significant changes to that tax.
AB212 would have prohibited the use of student achievement data in evaluating teachers. Tying at least part of teacher evaluations to student performance is supposed to be part of the rules now but teachers have fought it all along pointing out, among other things, that it unfairly impacts teachers in schools with high percentages of English language learners.
The dead list also includes AB274 that would have enacted the agreement among the states to elect the president by the popular vote as well as AB293 that would have restored the presidential primary in Nevada.
AB331 would have separated the state’s community colleges from the university and Board of Regents died in midweek with Education Chairman Tyrone Thompson saying that issue would be taken up in the interim.
AB344 would have moved to eliminate the use of plastic bags by grocery stores and other retailers by 2022.
AB401 would have imposed an added car registration fee on hybrids and electric vehicles of up to $336 a year. Supporters say the impact on roadways by those vehicles is comparable to other cars but that they don’t contribute their fair share of gas taxes because they are so efficient. Gas taxes pay for road construction, maintenance and repair.
SB288 would have made failure to wear a seatbelt a primary offense, allowing police to stop anyone they think might not be belted. Current law allows that citation only after the driver is stopped for some other violation. Opponents say the proposed change would essentially give police open-ended probable cause to stop anyone without a valid reason.
A proposed constitutional amendment to eliminate the elected offices of controller and treasurer, putting those functions under the governor’s office, failed to move forward.
SJR11 would have enshrined the right to hunt, fish and trap in the Nevada constitution. Conversely, SB365 would have imposed much tougher restrictions and requirements on trappers including much more frequent visits to trap lines and registration of traps and snares. Both are gone as of Friday.
SJR7 urged the federal government to turn over huge swaths of land to the state of Nevada. That was opposed by hunter groups fearing loss of access as the lands became private as well as recreation lovers from hikers to off-roaders.