Things picking up as Legislature begins week 5
By SANDRA CHEREB
School reforms, prisons, concealed weapons, water rights, gender identity, helmet laws and more budget reviews are scheduled as the Nevada Legislature enters the fifth week of a 120-day session.
On Monday the Senate Judiciary Committee will take up SB180, a bill that would allow enhanced penalties for crimes committed because of a victim’s actual or perceived gender identity or expression. Nevada’s sovereignty from federal mandates is the topic of a joint resolution to be discussed by the Senate Government Affairs Committee. SJR6, sponsored by Republicans in both the Senate and Assembly, denounces federal legislation that directs states to comply under threat of sanctions.
The Senate Select Committee on Economic Growth and Employment will hear presentations on emerging technologies and renewable energy in Nevada, while the Assembly Commerce and Labor Committee takes up AB90, concerning prohibitions against abusive conduct in the workplace.
Nevada Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Douglas delivers a speech to lawmakers Monday night on the state of the judiciary.
On Tuesday, Assembly Judiciary considers AB205, which would exempt veterans and National Guard reservists from the 21-year-old age limit to acquire a concealed weapons permit. The bill would also require sheriffs to conduct investigations before renewing a permit, abolish a requirement to re-qualify for a renewal, and raise fees from $25 to no more than $60.
Senate Judiciary will hear SB201, which would establish an ombudsman for offenders within the attorney general’s office to oversee inmate complaints. SB217 would require public disclosure of cases and names of offenders being considered for pretrial release.
AB200, a bill to allow brew pubs to obtain a special permit to transport their own frothy malt beverages to charitable or nonprofit events, is before Assembly Taxation, while Assembly Legislative Operations and Elections is scheduled to consider AJR5 of the 2009 session. The proposed constitutional amendment would authorize the Legislature to convene special sessions, a power currently reserved for the governor.
Another bill to outlaw texting and driving will be considered by Assembly Transportation. AB151 is one of three bills introduced so far addressing using cell phones or other devices while behind the wheel.
Water rights, the state engineer and permit fees will be discussed Wednesday in Assembly Government Affairs, while Assembly Judiciary considers AB93, a bill setting up a pilot program creating intermediate facilities to provide intense treatment for probation violators or others offenders with serious drug or alcohol addictions. AB135, on the committee’s agenda for Thursday, would prevent a judge from sending an offender to prison for violating probation unless another crime is committed.
Joint panels Wednesday hear more presentations for school district superintendents, while the Senate Education Committee will consider several school reform measures. SB39 extends probationary periods for teachers and administrators; SB196 expands empowerment schools; and SB35 deals with student achievement reporting. Another bill, SB96, requires Millennium Scholarship recipients to perform community service.
You’ll need a $10 permit to pick up shed antlers from big game animals if you don’t have a Nevada hunting license under SB102, to be heard Wednesday by Senate Natural Resources. The bill also orders regulations for commercial gathering of antlers and fees up to $1,500. Another bill, SB108, increases fees for boat registration decals.
Thursday, mental health and cultural affairs budgets will be discussed by Assembly Ways and Means and Senate Finance subcommittees.
The Assembly Natural Resources, Agriculture and Mining Committee gets an overview from the state Board of Wildlife Commissioners, while joint Assembly and Senate Legislative Operations and Elections committees hear presentations on redistricting.
Motorcyclists over 21 who’ve had their motorcycle license for more than year and took safety courses would no longer have to wear a helmet in Nevada under SB177, to be considered Thursday by Senate Transportation. The bill also repeals the helmet law for motorcycle passengers over the age of 21.
On Friday, joint money panels consider budgets for the Department of Corrections.