Legislative Briefs for May 21
Bill would ease Nevada’s indoor smoking ban
(AP) – Anti-smoking advocacy groups are crying foul over a bill introduced in the Assembly that would ease a voter approved ban on indoor smoking.
AB571 was introduced Friday by the Assembly Ways and Means Committee.
Nevada’s Clean Indoor Air Act approved by voters in 2006 prohibits indoor smoking at most public places and on school grounds, but allows smoking in stand-alone bars and taverns that only sell prepackaged foods, such as nuts and pretzels.
Smoking is also allowed on gambling floors of casinos.
The bill would allow bar and tavern operators to determine if their food service is “incidental” to their business, thereby allowing smoking.
Senate to hear bill allowing early prison release
(AP) – A bill that would allow certain felons to earn “good time” credits so they can be considered for early release will get a Senate floor vote.
Senate Judiciary Committee members approved AB136 Friday with a 4-3 vote. The bill would allow certain Class B felons to earn credits through actions such as earning high school diplomas or undergoing drug treatment programs. The credits do not guarantee an early release.
Class B felons make up the majority of Nevada’s prison population. The category includes an array of crimes that range from shoplifting to violent assault.
Violent and repeat Class B offenders would not be eligible for the good-time credit program. The 2007 Legislature passed a similar measure for lower-level felonies.
Opponents say the proposal is irresponsible and would undercut sentence minimums.