Legislative briefly | NevadaAppeal.com

Legislative briefly

Coffin calls for school uniforms

Sen. Bob Coffin, D-Las Vegas, has introduced legislation that would mandate uniforms for public school students.

“Parents really want it,” he said. “It would be a lot cheaper for parents.”

Coffin said he originally introduced school uniforms legislation 20 years ago but “it didn’t get anywhere.” Now, he said, there is more support for the idea.

“I got a couple hundred signatures from one high school in favor of it,” he said.

That school was Valley High in Las Vegas. But Coffin said there also is opposition: “One lady said she wanted the right to dress her daughter in fuchsia pink if she wants to.”

Townsend starts bills on treatment of dogs

Sen. Randolph Townsend, R-Reno, Thursday introduced two bills to toughen state laws dealing with the protection of animals.

Existing law makes promoting animal fights ” whether dogs or other animals ” a gross misdemeanor for a first offense and a felony for further offenses. SB133 expands the ban on animal fights to include anyone who owns or possesses any kind of animal for the purpose of fighting.

He said the legislation was suggested after the arrest of football player Michael Vick for involvement in a dog fighting ring.

The second piece of legislation, SB132, requires that anyone who ties a dog up for any length of time during the day provide a leash at least 12 feet long. He said it also requires a pen at least 60 square feet for a small animal and up to 200 square feet for a large dog. The legislation is aimed at owners who go to work and leave their pet on a foot-long leash with no water and no way to get out of the sun.

Bill would mandate coverage for autism

The Assembly is considering legislation that would require health insurance plans to provide coverage for screening and treatment of autism.

Existing law already requires insurance plans to cover procedures including mammograms. AB162, introduced Thursday, would add autism to the list for all health care plans. Only the state Medicaid plan would be exempt from the requirement.

If passed, the legislation would take effect Oct. 1. It was signed by all 50 Democrats in the Senate and Assembly and referred to the Committee on Commerce and Labor for study.

Low emission vehicles would get carpool lane access

Low emission and energy efficient vehicles such as hybrids would get access to carpool and other preferential highway lanes under legislation introduced in the Assembly Thursday.

AB163 anticipates the potential creation of highway lanes for high-occupancy vehicles in the state. The proposal calls on the Department of Transportation to work out regulations consistent with federal laws on the subject.