Legislative briefly May 29
Assembly raises fine on poaching animals
(AP) – Nevada lawmakers are cracking down on poaching the most sought after prize animals.
Members of the Assembly passed a bill Saturday raising the fines for illegally killing a trophy big game mammal to at least $5,000 and no more than $30,000.
Animals in the trophy category include black bears, mountain goats, certain bighorn sheep and deer with outside antlers measuring at least 2 feet.
The proposed law sets a fine for killing a regular big game animal at $250 to $5,000.
Animals in that class include a moose, bobcat, swan or eagle.
The bill also calls for the Board of Wildlife Commissioners to adopt a policy about taking antlers naturally shed by a deer.
Senators already approved the bill in April.
Lawmakers approve bill to tally death penalty cost
(AP) – Lawmakers are putting the death penalty under financial scrutiny.
Senators approved AB501 with an 11-10 vote Saturday. The bill charges the state with the responsibility of tallying the cost of the state’s death penalty. The assessment would include costs associated with pre-trial preparation and the trial itself. It would also include the cost of post-conviction proceedings, which encompasses challenges to the conviction and the competency of the defense.
Nevada has never tallied the cost.
During a hearing on the bill, supporters cited a 2008 study from the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice that found life without parole cost California taxpayers $11.5 million a year, compared with $137 million for those on death row.
The bill returns to the Assembly.
Assembly votes to promote paying with plastic
(AP) – Paying bills to the State of Nevada could be getting easier.
Members of the Nevada Assembly passed a bill Saturday promoting credit and debit card use among state agencies. The bill requires agencies to make contracts to accept electronic payments unless it would be impractical.
Democratic Assemblywoman Debbie Smith of Sparks says it will help move the state more in line with consumer habits.
Smith says Nevada faced $400,000 in returned checks in a single quarter. Letting consumers use cards could ease the problem.
One obstacle in the switch from paper checks to plastic cards is transaction fees. The state needs to negotiate reasonable fees with credit card companies to avoid runaway costs for consumers.
The bill now heads to the Senate for considerationc