Governor signs 73 bills |

Governor signs 73 bills

Geoff Dornan,Appeal Capitol Bureau

Gov. Kenny Guinn on Monday signed 73 of the more than 200 pieces of legislation on his desk.

He had held off signing anything except budget bills approved by lawmakers for 11 days since May 29, telling them he would hold off as long as possible until they gave him both a budget and a tax plan to pay for it.

Legislators sent him the Appropriations Act, detailing how the state will spend general fund money; and the Authorizations Act, which lays out how federal funds, grants and all other money will be spent, as well as the bill providing raises for state workers. Those were signed June 3 and Wednesday.

Now, Guinn is rapidly approaching the deadline for a decision on legislation. For all bills delivered to his desk by May 29 or later, he has until 10 days after the end of the 2003 Legislature, making Thursday the last day he could sign them.

Under the Nevada constitution, anything he doesn’t sign automatically becomes law.

He also signed SB241, designed to try fix problems between homeowners and contractors over construction defects. It gives the owner the right to demand the problem, whatever it is, be fixed and the contractor the right to try fix it to the satisfaction of the owner.

If the contractor refuses or can’t do the job right, the homeowner would still have the right to sue.

Most of the bills signed Monday were relatively noncontroversial, including increases in fees charged by the secretary of state and a long list of state agency bills.

One example is SB453, which implements federal requirements under the Help America Vote Act. Those include providing the chance for voters who can’t prove they are registered to vote “provisionally” and creation of a statewide voter registration list.

Along with that, Guinn signed SB309, which creates a 10-member Committee on Participatory Democracy within the Secretary of State’s Office to work on ways to increase voter participation and improve the state’s election laws.

He signed SB82, allowing health authorities to order individuals or a group which may have been exposed to harmful biological agents to be quarantined. The bill was amended to protect constitutional rights by ensuring that anyone under quarantine has the right to make phone calls and requiring the health authority to petition the court to keep the person locked up longer than 72 hours.

Also signed were AB431, creating incentives for development of solar energy in Nevada; and AB429, which deals with “net metering” and renewable energy sources.

Guinn signed AB223 to protect car buyers who don’t speak fluent English. It requires dealers who advertise in Spanish and seek Hispanic customers to also provide contracts of sale and other documents in Spanish, and not merely provide a Spanish-speaking salesperson.