How to Contact Legislators and Voice Your Opinion
The legislative website at www.leg.state.nv.us allows anyone, anywhere to follow Nevada’s legislative actions and reach their representatives through the Internet. Contact information for legislators, including email addresses, are readily available on the site (through the “Contact Information” link midway on the right side of the website; or through the “Assembly” and “Senate” links on the left). Another way for citizens to contact their legislators, or voice an opinion in favor of or opposition to proposed bills, is by phoning the Legislative Message Center using any of the following toll-free numbers depending on where you live in the State:
From the Las Vegas area – 702-486-2626
From the Reno/Carson City area – 775-684-6789
From other areas of Nevada – 800-995-9080; 800-978-2878; or 800-992-0973
Legislators receive, and pay attention to, regular tabulations on opinion calls as a measure of public interest in particular bills and legislative issues.
Committee Hearings and Actions (Second Week)
NEW!! Abbreviations Guide
On Monday, February 9:
AWM reviewed the budgets for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and the Public Employees’ Retirement System. The GOED presentation included Knowledge Fund Dashboards, a UNLV Knowledge Fund Projects Report, a handout explaining the Nevada Center of Excellence in Water, a report on the Applied Innovation Center for Advanced Analytics at the Desert Research Institute, information concerning the Collaborative Industry-NSHE Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program, and an overview of the Nevada Advanced Autonomous Systems Innovation Center at UNR. The Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance provided a statement in support of the GOED budget.
SFIN heard the budget for the Governor’s Office which included the Office of Science, Innovation and Technology (beginning on page 13 of the link) that focuses on STEM and Broadband issues. The Committee also received Audit Report Summaries from the Audit Division of the Legislative Counsel Bureau.
SCL received the 2015 Insurance Market Report, a biennial publication from the Division of Insurance to provide information on the agency’s activities, Nevada’s insurance market, and issues facing the State’s consumers and the insurance industry.
AJUD heard an overview presentation on Criminal Law Jurisdiction, Procedure, and the Courts from Ben Graham, Governmental Advisor to the Judiciary, in the Administrative Office of the Courts.
AHHS received a presentation from the Aging and Disabilities Division in the Department of Health and Human Services concerning its operations and issues.
SLOE heard a detailed presentation on the Nevada Ethics in Government Law from the Executive Director of the Commission on Ethics.
AED heard AB 27, which is sponsored by the Nevada Department of Education (NDE). Under current law, noncitizens and lawful permanent residents can only be licensed to teach if there is a shortage in a particular subject area. This bill, as proposed to be amended by NDE, would allow school districts and charter schools to request that a noncitizen or lawful permanent resident be licensed if a shortage of teachers exists or if the school district/charter school has not been able to employ a person with the needed skills.
On Tuesday, February 10:
AJUD was provided a Summary of Court Decisions of Importance to the Committee, from the Legal Division of the Legislative Counsel Bureau, which lists cases since 2013 that ruled Nevada statutes unconstitutional or preempted by Federal law, and those that interpreted statutes possibly contrary to legislative intent.
STRN and ATRAN heard presentations from the Nevada Department of Transportation and the Regional Transportation Commissions of Washoe County and Clark County, which also included a handout on Fuel Revenue Indexing.
ANRAM heard an overview from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
SED heard an overview of PK-12 education from the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The Committee also heard SB 25, which is sponsored by NDE. This bill makes several technical changes to education statutes. The Nevada Homeschool Network submitted testimony opposing a provision in the bill that would require the Superintendent of Public Instruction to coordinate education programs for children from birth through prekindergarten and provided a summary of empirical research on early childhood education. NDE also requested amendments to SB 25 related to State Board vacancies, the Advisory Council on Parental Involvement, teacher licensure, and distance education.
SREV focused its meeting on the services tax concept and received the Tax Foundation Report commissioned by the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce and a related presentation on the Nevada Sales Tax from Jared Walczak, Policy Analyst with the Foundation. Discussion followed with John Restrepo, RCG Economics; Professor Alan Schlottmann, UNLV-Lee Business School; and Carole Vilardo, Nevada Taxpayers Association.
ALOE received information on Clark County Elections.
On Wednesday, February 11:
AGA heard a presentation from the Nevada League of Cities and Municipalities.
AWM/SFIN in its Joint Subcommittee on Human Services reviewed the budgets of the Division of Public and Behavioral Health in the Department of Health and Human Services.
AJUD/SJUD held a joint hearing with large attendance on AB125 to revise provisions relating to constructional defects. Several documents and items of testimony were submitted for consideration, and they are available here (click on the “Exhibits” tab on the left).
AED heard AB 111, which would increase the number of credit hours a community college student must be enrolled in to receive the Millennium Scholarship from 6 to 12 hours over a two-year period. The bill would also increase the amount of money students can receive in an individual semester but would keep the overall scholarship amount at $10,000. The Committee also heard AB 76, which is part of the Governor’s initiative to focus on veterans. The bill would: 1) require the Nevada Department of Education to share aggregate data of military-dependent children with the Interagency Council on Veterans Affairs annually; 2) require the Nevada System of Higher Education to gather and share pertinent data about student veterans; and 3) extend the provision of free Higher Education tuition for veterans beyond the current two-year period to be in compliance with Federal law. The Committee also heard a presentation by the Superintendent of Public Instruction on the status of PK-12 education in Nevada.
On Thursday, February 12:
AGA received local government presentations from Elko County, the City of Elko, and Douglas County, which included more details on its new, innovative Community and Senior Center opening in April 2015.
STRN/ATRAN in separate meetings heard a presentation on Opportunities to Capitalize on Competition: Strategies for Doing More with Less in Nevada from the California Nevada Cement Association which recommended continued use by the Nevada Department of Transportation of Life Cycle Cost Analysis and the Alternate Design/Alternate Bid Process.
ATAX received overview presentations (similar to the presentations to SREV on Feb. 6) on the Live Entertainment Tax (LET) from the Department of Taxation and the Gaming Control Board. The Board’s documentation included an Executive Summary, fact sheet and analysis charts. The Fiscal Analysis Division also furnished an overview document on the LET. The meeting included a discussion of the LET with Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick (D-LV).
SED heard a presentation by the Nevada System of Higher Education on creating a culture of college completion. The Committee also heard SB 76, which would make technical changes to statutes associated with the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.
SREV heard SB79 providing for the regulation and taxation of liquid nicotine, which was introduced on behalf of the Department of Taxation. Following numerous committee questions and lengthy testimony regarding the tax implications and health concerns, the Chairman indicated that it was not his intent to process the bill.
On Friday, February 13:
AJUD in work session, passed the constructional defects bill, AB125 as amended, on a party line vote (8 to 5).
SCL heard SB123 relating to new deferred deposits or high interest loans to remove a condition that the licensed business will not commence a civil action or alternative dispute resolution. No action was taken as the Committee sought more information, and submitted testimony is available here (click on the “Exhibits” tab on the left).
AGA received an overview presentation from the Attorney General on the activities, functions and organization of his office.
SREV had a discussion about the online sales tax that included information from the Department of Taxation, Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick (D-LV), the Retail Association of Nevada, and Carole Vilardo with the Nevada Taxpayers Association. A bill will be introduced on this issue.
Floor Actions (Second Week)
On Feb. 10, the Senate considered 5 bills from the 77th Session—SB185, SB221, SB312, SB 373, and SB457—that were vetoed by the Governor following adjournment of the 2013 Legislature. All of the vetoes were sustained. The veto messages and actions are recorded in that day’s Senate Journal (see page 3).
SB 119, which would extend school rollover bonds for 10 years and eliminate prevailing wage in the construction of public educational facilities, was read second time on Feb. 11, and moved to General File where it should be available for possible action on Monday, Feb. 16.
At the end of the second week, 152 bills had been introduced. The total number of Senate bills in 2013 was 522.
At the end of the second week, 164 bills had been introduced. The total number of Assembly bills in 2013 was 512.
Third Week’s Committee Schedule (Monday, Feb. 16—Friday, Feb. 20, 2015)
Please note that committee meetings are added, particularly toward the end of the week, and agendas frequently are changed. The Calendar of Meetings or NELIS should be checked regularly for such additions and changes as the week progresses. Some highlighted meetings currently scheduled for the third week are as follows.
On Monday, Feb. 16:
AGA (9 am) hears AB3 that would increase the size and change certain qualifications of the Public Employees Retirement Board, and AB54 relating to local governments existing in a severe financial emergency.
AWM/SFIN (9 am) in a joint meeting hears the budget of the Public Utilities Commission, and discusses issues relating to the exemption of Executive Branch agencies from the State Budget Act, the removal of employees from the classified and unclassified service, and the exemption of certain salaries from limitations.
AED (3:15 pm) hears AB 26 to revise provisions governing when written parental permission is required for surveys, analyses and evaluations administered to pupils in public schools, and AB 107 relating to reports of accountability for public schools to include certain information regarding pupils who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches under Federal law.
On Tuesday, Feb. 17:
STRN (8:30 am) receives presentations from the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, Nevada Airports Association/Minden-Tahoe Airport, Elko Regional Airport, and National Business Aviation Association.
ATAX (1 pm) has an overview presentation on the Tax Expenditure Report from the Department of Taxation.
ATRAN (3:15 pm) receives overview presentations from the Taxicab Authority, Nevada Transportation Authority, and the Nevada Trucking Association.
SREV (3:30 pm) has presentations and discussions on economic development programs and incentives related to data centers.
On Wednesday, Feb. 18:
AWM/SFIN (8 am) in Joint Subcommittee on General Government reviews the budget of the Public Employees’ Benefits Program.
AWM/SFIN (8 am) in Joint Subcommittee on Human Resources reviews budgets of the Director’s Office and Division of Health Care Financing and Policy in the Department of Health and Human Services that includes Nevada Medicaid.
AGA (8:30 am) hears AB 104 that authorizes the Governor to designate any department in the Executive Branch as a charter agency that would have an annual performance agreement and certain operational authorities, exemptions, limitations and reporting requirements.
SGA (1:30 pm) hears SB72 that makes extensive changes to the Division of Enterprise Information Technology Services in the Department of Administration and designates the Administrator as the Chief Information Officer of the State.
AED (3:15 pm) receives a presentation on the State Public Charter School Authority.
ALOE (3:30 pm) hears SB19 that would authorize boards of trustees of school districts to place an advisory question on the ballot at a general election, and SB62 that revises provisions governing the employment, promotion, dismissal, demotion, and suspension of state employees.
On Thursday, Feb. 19:
AWM/SFIN (8 am) in Joint Subcommittee on K-12/Higher Education/CIPS reviews the following budgets of the Department of Education: the Distributive School Account; Other State Education Programs, including Full Day Kindergarten; School Remediation Trust Fund; and Professional Development Programs.
AGA (8:30 am) receives a local government presentation from Storey County.
ATAX (1:30 pm) has a presentation from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and hears AB17 that provides for the establishment of a nonprofit entity for certain economic development purposes.
ATAX/SREV (3:30 pm) in joint meeting hears SB93 to authorize aircraft businesses to apply to the Office of Economic Development for the partial abatement from certain taxes.
SREV (upon adjournment of Joint Meeting) hears SB51 to create the Nevada Main Street Program within the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and SB74 to revise provisions governing the partial abatement of taxes for new or expanding businesses for economic development purposes.
ATRAN (upon adjournment of ATAX, or 4 pm) receives an Overview and Demonstration of Regulator Approved Transportation Technology (Ride Genie and Ride Integrity).
On Friday, Feb. 20:
AWM/SFIN (8 am) in a joint meeting reviews the budgets of the Controller’s Office, Legislative Counsel Bureau, and the Commission on Judicial Discipline.
SREV (3:30 pm) hears SB94 that makes various changes to transferable tax credits for film and other productions.
U.S. Representative Joe Heck is scheduled to address the Legislature on Monday, March 30, at 5 pm in the Assembly Chamber.
U.S. Senator Harry Reid is scheduled to address the Legislature on Wednesday, April 1, at 12:00 pm in the Assembly Chamber.
U.S. Senator Dean Heller is scheduled to address the Legislature on Monday, April 6, at 5:00 pm in the Assembly Chambers.
The State of the Judiciary address is scheduled for Wednesday, April 15, at 5 pm in the Assembly Chamber.