At least 240 bills to be introduced |

At least 240 bills to be introduced

The Senate and Assembly are expected to hit the ground running today, introducing most if not all of the 240 pieces of legislation and five resolutions that have been “pre-filed” with the Legislature.

That is more than double the number of pre-filed bills ready to go when the 2007 Legislature opened for business.

First on the list and the first the 2009 Legislature will pass is SB1 which appropriates the money to operate the Legislature for the 120 day session. Although the $15 million is half again the $10 million in SB1 of the 2007 session, it is $5 million less than the amount the Legislative Counsel Bureau originally estimated would be necessary this year. And LCB Director Lorne Malkiewich has said they will draw the money from the state treasury only as needed in recognition of the state’s budget crisis.

SB1 is always passed as an emergency measure on the first day of each session.

There are 128 pieces of legislation in the Assembly and 113 on the Senate side along with a few resolutions.

AB30 would impose some limits on the issuance of so-called STAR Bonds, in which the commission on Economic Development can grant tax breaks to businesses which promise they can bring economic development to Nevada from out-of-state sources. Those bonds were granted to Cabela’s in Reno and Sheel’s in Sparks. But the property tax and other breaks they received not only impact those governmental entities but the local school districts, county government and other recipients of the taxes.

AB30 would require the county commission approval and notification of all affected entities before new tax breaks can be granted.

AB44 would increase the amount of money local governments can put into emergency stabilization funds from 10 to 15 percent of their budget and expand the uses of that money to include disaster relief.

Along with that, AB55 would create the Public Education Stabilization Fund. It does so by putting money that would normally revert to the state General Fund into a special account to cover potential future shortfalls in public school funding. If approved, the plan would relieve pressure on the state during hard times since existing law requires the state to make up any shortfall in the Local School Support Tax. But it would reduce the amount of money available in good years for other purposes.

The judiciary, in AB65, has proposed a laundry list of court fees on numerous types of case filings. The money would be held in a special account to offset the cost of adding new judicial departments and staff, to buy land for court centers, renovation of existing courts, furniture and equipment as well as security ” including pay for bailiffs, marshals and other security personnel.

AB112 was prompted by the Hepatitis C scare in Las Vegas last year.

It greatly expands the power of the governor to declare a public health emergency. It would create a Public Health Emergencies committee, which would have the power to shut down a health facility during an emergency situation and to temporarily suspend privacy laws and regulations so that different agencies could have access to medical records during an emergency among other things.

SB47 would allow the Department of Corrections to conduct random drug tests on employees and allow the department to fire those who refuse.

SB52 contains a variety of provisions designed to implement the Real ID Act, including spelling out the documents an individual will need to get a Real ID license. The legislation isn’t optional since the requirements are imposed by federal law.

The Real ID Act requires that, within the next two years, all states require drivers to show proof of their identity and their legal right to be in the U.S. and issue a drivers’ license which has security features  designed to prevent identity theft.

– Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.

There’s nothing new about a good number of the proposals that will be introduced today.

SB2 is legislation Sen. Mike Schneider, D-Las Vegas, has introduced for the past two sessions to require Nevada’s public schools be funded at a calculated national average. The estimated cost of the bill over the next two years would be nearly $1.7 billion.

AB70 is another in the long line of attempts to make English the official language in Nevada.

AB87 would make the state controller Nevada’s official debt collector, requiring all agencies to submit their past due debts to her office.

AB91 would authorize the state treasurer to securitize ” essentially sell ” the tobacco settlement revenue for a one-time payment. Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki has tried without success to get that measure through the Legislature every session since the tobacco settlement was first reached.

There are at least two bills, including AB1, which would attempt to prohibit certain demonstrations at funeral services, primarily aimed at anti-war protesters who periodically threaten to demonstrate at military funerals. Again, past attempts to pass such restrictions have failed.

And while it isn’t among the pre-filed bills, Assemblyman Don Gustavson has requested a bill he has brought in the 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2003 sessions: Elimination of the helmet law for motorcyclists.

Once introduced, each piece of legislation is referred to the committee which handles its subject matter for review, hearings and action.