Lawmakers rush to meet deadline
Nevada lawmakers were rushing to vote dozens of bills out of the Senate and Assembly as they face down a major deadline.
Bills that have already passed one of the two houses must pass from the other one by the end of the day Friday to survive the remaining week and a half of the legislative session. Some bills are exempt because they have a major financial impact or have been granted a deadline waiver by legislative leaders.
Here are highlights from the deadline-day scramble:
BILLS MOVING FORWARD
—The Senate passed SB227, which creates a need-based scholarship called the Silver State Opportunity Grant, although the $10 million originally attached to it has been stripped away. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ben Kieckhefer said lawmakers could choose to add money if they find wiggle room in the budget once they secure funding for major budget initiatives.
—The Nevada Assembly voted on party lines Friday to approve AB448, a measure backed by Gov. Brian Sandoval that would allow the state to turn persistently low-performing public schools into charter schools. Democrats opposed the bill, although some of them voted last week to approve funding in the budget for the project.
—SB175, which would restrict people convicted of domestic violence from having a gun and broaden the definition of justifiable homicide, passed the Assembly in a 25-17 vote on Friday. It already passed the Senate.
—SB503, a bill backed by Gov. Brian Sandoval that would expand the number of schools participating in the school breakfast program, passed the Ways and Means Committee on Friday with two Republicans opposed. Proponents say students will be able to concentrate better on a full stomach, while detractors say the program creates more dependence on the government.
—Nevada senators approved the so-called “Pop-Tarts gun bill,” a Republican-backed measure barring schools from punishing students for playing with toy guns. Senators voted 15-6 on Friday to approve AB121, which would forbid elementary and middle schools from punishing students who play with toy guns or pretend to use a firearm.
—Lawmakers 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.
IN THE QUEUE
—AB167, which authorizes foster families to have guns in the home, is awaiting a vote in the Senate. Proponents say people shouldn’t have to give up their guns to be foster parents, while opponents say fostering is a privilege and guns are too risky when dealing with wards of the state.
—Assembly members narrowly voted Thursday night to defeat SB168, which would have allowed local governments to renegotiate collective bargaining agreements with employee unions during fiscal emergencies. The measure failed on a 20-21 vote, but it could be revived Friday with the return of Republican Assemblyman Randy Kirner, who was out sick during the vote.
—Democratic Sen. Mark Manendo said his so-called “Beagle Bill” is in jeopardy. The Senate passed a weaker version of SB261l, but it is not expected to concur with a much stronger amendment from the Assembly that would require laboratories put dogs and cats up for adoption after they’re done using them for testing.
SIDELINED AT THE DESK
—SJR8, a proposed constitutional amendment that would require the Legislature meet annually instead of every two years, is on hold on the secretary’s desk in the Senate. If it passes, voters will get to decide if lawmakers should meet more frequently.
—The Assembly is holding on to SJR3, which proposes a constitutional amendment allowing the governor and lieutenant governor to be elected together as a ticket. Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison said the two officials work so closely together that they should be chosen as a team.
—The Senate is holding on to AJR8, a proposed constitutional amendment that would require any tax increase on the ballot to be approved by two-thirds of voters.
Proponents say the measure would stave off potentially harmful tax hikes and bring voters in line with a similar two-thirds rule in the Legislature.
Opponents said the measure would make it virtually impossible to pass a tax hike on the ballot.