First batch of bill requests for 2011 Legislature released |

First batch of bill requests for 2011 Legislature released

A total of 178 bill draft requests have been filed with the Legislative Counsel Bureau for the 2011 Legislature.

But fully 26 of those have no sponsor either because the lawmaker requesting them was termed out of office or lost in the primary election. To be introduced in the Senate or Assembly, another lawmaker would have to adopt them.

On the list are numerous familiar proposals that have been presented in several previous legislative sessions but failed to win enough support to become law.

They include Sen. Barbara Cegavske’s perennial proposal to provide for school choice, Sen. Dennis Nolan’s request to let police stop drivers they think may not be wearing seat belts and the constitutional amendment to allow a lottery in Nevada with the proceeds going to K-12 education.

Nolan’s proposal is dead unless it gets a sponsor since he was defeated in his primary re-election bid. Under present law, a belt citation can only be issued if the driver was stopped for another reason. Opponents of changing that rule say it would amount to open-ended probable cause for police to stop anyone without a good reason.

Casinos have generally opposed the lottery plan as competition for their Megabucks and similar games. Others argue Nevada is so small, its lottery would be unable to compete with the much richer California lottery.

This year, Assembly-woman Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, is carrying the bill to require an interlock device on vehicles owned by a convicted DUI offender. The interlock is a breathalyzer device which would prevent the car from starting if the driver had alcohol on his breath.

Sen. Mike Schneider, D-Las Vegas, has resurrected his bill to mandate Nevada fund public schools at a level which meets or exceeds the national average. With a price tag of more than $1.5 billion, opponents have repeatedly killed the plan by arguing it is too expensive.

Assemblyman Don Gustavson, R-Reno, has brought back another version of California’s property tax limiting Proposition 13 as a proposed constitutional amendment.

A number of the proposals call for action from federal authorities. Sen. Mike McGinness, R-Fallon, wants Congress to “stop enacting mandates that exceed the scope of powers delegated to Congress by the United States Constitution.”

Outgoing Assemblywoman Bonnie Parnell, D-Carson City, wants the federal government to limit pharmaceutical advertising on television.

There are new proposals involving cell phones and driving. Two would ban text messaging while driving. Assemblyman Harvey Munford, D-Las Vegas, asked for a bill to restrict the use of cell phones while driving.

Completely absent from the list are any bills proposing new or increased taxes.

Eight of the proposals are from Parnell’s Committee on Education – including bills to expand empowerment schools, fund regional training programs for teachers and create a K-12 education stabilization account.

In response to construction related deaths in Southern Nevada, a study committee has proposed several changes to strengthen occupational safety and health enforcement to try to prevent jobsite deaths.

The committee studying senior citizens, veterans and adults with special needs has submitted a laundry list of proposals ranging from changes to veteran license plates to laws involving guardianships for those unable to care for themselves.

Every session, about 1,000 bills and resolutions are introduced in the two houses. The growth in requests over the years prompted lawmakers to limit the number their own members, agencies and others can