Legislative briefs | NevadaAppeal.com

Legislative briefs

A conference committee has found a compromise settling differences between the Senate and Assembly versions of legislation changing custody rules in divorce cases.

Assemblyman Bernie Anderson, D-Sparks, said the compromise keeps the existing presumption that joint custody is in the best interest of the child.

He said the amendment to AB51 also sets out a list of factors that judges must use when making custody decisions. Anderson said the list consists of the factors judges say they already use.

Those factors include which parent is more likely to allow the child to continue a relationship with the noncustodial parent, the ability of parents to cooperate, the mental and physical health of the parents and any history of abuse or neglect of the child or a sibling.

Bill to change overtime rules dies

Assemblyman Joe Hardy, R-Boulder City, said Saturday a committee was unable to reach any compromise on a bill changing overtime rules for lower level wage earners.

“They agreed to kill it,” he said.

The original version of AB44 would have restored the law requiring any hourly employee be paid time and a half for working more than 8 hours in a day.

Current law contains that requirement for employees making less than one and a half times the minimum wage but says those making more than that get overtime only after 40 hours in a week, not for each day they go beyond 8 hours.

The Senate changed the bill so that no hourly workers would have to be paid overtime for working more than 8 hours in a day. Instead it would provide overtime only after an employee worked more than 40 hours a week for all wage earners.

Lawmaker fasts for seven days, weakens

(AP) – After fasting since last Sunday on behalf of his bill to give bonuses of up to $500 a month to Nevada National Guard members and reservists for their time served after Sept. 11, Sen. Bob Coffin needed help to his seat on the Senate floor on Saturday.

“They tell me I passed out over here but I don’t believe them,” he said, adding, “I have to (fast). On behalf of the kids.”

Coffin, D-Las Vegas, has high hopes for SB355, which carries a $25 million price tag. He would like the money to be carved out of the $300 million that will likely go to rebates for Nevadans, and says there is room for both plans.

“I think people will support it based on its merits,” he said of his bill.

An emergency medical technician from the Legislative Counsel Bureau gave Coffin a quick checkup on the floor and left. After floor session, Coffin was seen holding a smoothie and a bottle of juice.

Sen. Mike Schneider, D-Las Vegas, said tension at the end of the session often causes some medical problems among lawmakers.

Schneider said he was hospitalized over night last session for high blood pressure during an explosive fight over a tax package.

“This happens at the end of the session,” he said. “People get all worked up.”