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Legislative briefs

(AP) – A bill to change rules on early prisoner releases is back on the table Tuesday after being voted down the day before.

Sen. Maurice Washington, R-Sparks, asked to rescind his vote to kill SB30, a proposal that would instruct judges to base decisions about inmate releases on a jail’s “operational capacity” rather than the number of beds available. The Senate Judiciary committee then voted unanimously to revive the measure.

Washington said he misunderstood the bill’s intent, and believed it would allow for more jail inmates to be released early.

In previous hearings, lobbyists for law enforcement agencies supported the bill, saying that the current statutes on early releases are misleading and could lead to lawsuits. Current law instructs judges to base early release decisions on the number of beds in a facility, even if the beds can’t be used.

TRPA sees staffing increase

(AP) – A nearly $21 million budget plan submitted to Nevada lawmakers by the bistate agency that regulates development at Lake Tahoe shows its staffing would increase by 14, but that increase already has occurred.

Jerry Wells, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s deputy executive director, said Tuesday that the increase occurred in 2006 and was covered mainly by revenues generated through increased permit fees and grants. He said the hires didn’t require Nevada lawmakers’ approval.

The agency’s funding proposal reviewed last week by state lawmakers wasn’t updated to show the current staffing level. Legislative analysts said that’s not unusual given the TRPA’s unique status as a bistate agency separate from the executive branch of state government.

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s proposed budget is about $10.4 million yearly for the coming two fiscal years. That includes revenue from permit fees, grants, federal dollars and money from California and Nevada. Nevada would provide about $1.9 million each year, while California’s yearly share would be about $3.8 million.