230 bills introduced before first deadline
A total of 230 bills were introduced by lawmakers Monday as the first major deadline of the 2011 session hit.
It was the last day to introduce legislation by individual lawmakers. Next Monday is the second major deadline – the final day to introduce committee legislation.
Of that total, 104 pieces of proposed legislation were introduced in the Senate and 126 in the Assembly.
In addition, a handful of resolutions were introduced including one to change Nevada’s Constitution, so that school voucher money could go to religious-based schools and one in the Assembly to require a bill sit at least 72 hours after introduction before being voted on.
In the Assembly, Peggy Pierce, D-Las Vegas, introduced tax proposals. Assembly Bill 333 raises the taxes on alcoholic beverages. Assembly Bill 334 exempts the costs of unfunded federal mandates from Nevada’s growth-plus-inflation budgetary spending cap.
But the most significant were Assembly Bills 335 and 336. The first would impose a 5-percent tax on services including preparation of advertising, telephone marketing, physical fitness businesses, and such things as barbering, cosmetology, pet grooming, dry cleaning, laundry services, dance instruction, storage unit rentals and pest control.
The second would impose a 4.5 percent excise tax on businesses for income exceeding $500,000 a year.
Assembly Bill 339 would put the so-called synthetic marijuana drugs on the list of prohibited substances.
In the Senate, Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, introduced two bills to reduce the power of local government unions in bargaining. Senate Bill 342 would eliminate bargaining units for supervisors and administrators. Senate Bill 343 would eliminate binding arbitration from the local government collective bargaining statute except for police and firefighters. If the union and local government couldn’t agree on contract provisions, the local governing board would be able to impose its proposal on the employee bargaining unit.
Roberson also introduced the amendment to permit religious schools access to public school funding. Religious organizations are currently prohibited from receiving public funds by the Nevada Constitution. Senate Judicial Resolution 10 was raised as part of Gov. Brian Sandoval’s proposed education reform package.
Senate Bill 296 by Sen. Mike McGinness, R-Fallon, creates a pooled emergency fund to help provide financial stability for rural counties. He also introduced Senate Bill 303, which would make it harder to get and keep special disability license plates allowing parking in handicapped zones. Doctors would have to provide some proof of permanent disability for an individual to qualify.
Senate Bill 295 by Sen. Joe Hardy, R-Boulder City, would require school districts to set separate budget amounts for teachers, administrators, children’s programs, maintenance and capital improvements. It would also bar increases of more than 5 percent in any category without approval from the Interim Finance Committee.
In the 43 days since the 2011 session began, a total of 832 bills have been introduced.