Understanding the Committee Process
Most standing committees (e.g., Senate Committee on Health and Human Services) do not take action on a bill at its initial hearing, unless it is noncontroversial or deemed to require prompt action. Time is provided for Committee members to review testimony, and consult on possible amendments with their colleagues, lobbyists and other groups. Usually, when issues are resolved, bills will be placed in a “work session,” often toward the end of a week, to be considered for adoption. In general, work sessions are reserved for open discussion among the Committee members and public testimony is not taken. The opportunity for general public comment is included at the end of every agenda and hearing. Some complicated and/or contentious bills may be heard in one or more subsequent committee meetings to further discuss issues, proposed changes, and conceptual amendments.
Committee Hearings and Actions (First Week)
On Wednesday, February 4:
ACL heard AB 89, which would put in place provisions to encourage employment of veterans and their spouses in Nevada. Several licensing boards presented amendments to address issues unique to their professions. The Guinn Center testified regarding provisions in the bill that aim to expedite licensing and presented recommendations from its report: Nevada’s Mental Health Workforce: Shortages and Opportunities.
SGA heard SB 119, which would extend school rollover bonds for 10 years and would eliminate prevailing wage in the construction of public educational facilities. Almost all speakers testified in favor of extension of rollover bonds. However, there was controversy over whether eliminating prevailing wage would either save money or lead to poor construction quality and a reduction in the standard of living for construction workers. The Guinn Center testified that the bill would not generate sufficient funding to meet facilities needs and presented recommendations from its report: Expanding Financing Options for Nevada’s K-12 Facilities.
SLOE heard an elections overview from the Secretary of State.
On Thursday, February 5:
AJUD was presented an agency overview from the Gaming Control Board.
AGA received a presentation on the functions of the Nevada Controller’s Office.
SREV received revenue presentations from the Secretary of State, Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Taxation, and the Gaming Control Board. The Department of Taxation included more details with its 2014 Annual Report and 2015 Elements and Applications booklet on property taxes, along with reports on the Net Proceeds of Minerals, Property Tax and Real Property Transfer Tax. The meeting concluded with the previously postponed comparison by the Fiscal Analysis Division of estimates from the Economic Forum and the Governor’s recommended budget.
On Friday, February 6:
SCL heard SB 68, which would expedite licensing for medical professionals coming from other states. The Guinn Center provided written testimony, which highlighted recommendations from its report: Nevada’s Mental Health Workforce: Shortages and Opportunities.
SGA held a work session on SB119 (see Feb. 4). Senator David Parks (D-LV) moved to remove the prevailing wage provisions from the bill but the amendment died for lack of a second. SGA approved the bill on a 3-1 vote. It will next be considered on the Senate Floor.
AHHS heard presentations on State and local efforts to address the re-emergence of measles and boost immunization rates. The Committee also heard an update on preparedness on Ebola. Informative presentations from Tracey D. Green, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, and others included an Ebola Overview and the activities of the State’s Ebola Advisory Task Force, along with information and data on the current measles outbreak.
SREV heard overview presentations 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 flow chart. The Fiscal Analysis Division also furnished an overview of the LET. A discussion followed with Senator Mark Lipparelli (R-LV) and Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick (D-LV) who will be sponsoring upcoming legislation on this issue.
Second Week’s Committee Schedule (Monday, Feb. 9—Friday, Feb. 13, 2015)
Please note that committee agendas can and do change during the week as bills, presenters and other items are added or deleted. The Calendar of Meetings or NELIS should be checked frequently for such changes as the week progresses. Some highlighted meetings currently scheduled for the second week are as follows.
On Monday, Feb. 9:
AWM (8 am) reviews legislative audit summaries, and conducts budget hearings on the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Public Employees’ Retirement System.
AGA (9 am) receives presentations from Washoe County and the cities of Sparks and Henderson.
AJUD (9 am) has scheduled an overview of the Basics of Criminal Procedure and Court System from Ben Graham with the Administrative Office of the Courts.
ACL (1:30 pm) hears AB72 to revise provisions governing state professional licensing boards, AB84 relating to citations by the State Contractors’ Board, and AB85 concerning alcohol, drug and gambling counselors.
AHHS (1:30 pm) has an overview presentation from the Aging and Disability Services Division and hears AB28 to revise the duties of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman.
SGA (1:30pm) has a hearing on SB11 to grant power to local governments to perform certain acts or duties not prohibited or limited by statute (relates to Dillon’s Rule).
AED has hearings on AB27 regarding the licensure of educational personnel, AB30 relating to plans to improve pupil achievement, and AB55 concerning licensing of teachers and other educational personnel.
On Tuesday, Feb. 10:
AGA (8 am) receives presentations from Clark County and cities of Las Vegas and Reno.
STRN (8:30 am) has presentations from the Department of Transportation and the Regional Transportation Commissions of Southern Nevada and Washoe County.
ANRAM has an overview from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
ATAX (1:30 pm) receives a presentation from the Department of Taxation, and hears AB57 concerning the taxation of purchases of direct mail and AB70 to provide for the administration and enforcement of excise taxes on medical marijuana.
SNR has presentations from the Division of Minerals and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
ATRAN receives presentations from the Department of Transportation and the Regional Transportation Commissions of Southern Nevada and Washoe County.
SED (3:30 pm) hears SB25 relating to public schools and receives a presentation on Pre K-12 Education Overview from the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
SREV (3:30) reviews the service tax concept and has sales tax presentations from the Tax Foundation and the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, and others.
ALOE (4 pm) has a presentation on County Election Administration from county election officials.
On Wednesday, Feb. 11:
AGA (8 am) has a presentation from the Nevada League of Cities and Municipalities, and hears three bills including AB25 to revise provisions governing the residential construction tax.
AWM/SFIN (8 am)—The Joint Subcommittee on Human Services reviews the budgets for the Division of Public and Behavioral Health.
AJUD/SJUD (8 am)—This joint meeting hears AB125 to revise provisions relating to constructional defects.
AED (3:15 pm) hears presentations on Pre K-12 Education Overview from the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and one on Creating a Culture of Completion through Policy from the Nevada System of Higher Education. The bills to be heard are AB76 relating to the education of veterans and their dependents, and AB111 to revise provisions relating to the Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship.
SLOE (3:30 pm) has a presentation on County Election Administration from various county election officials.
On Thursday, Feb. 12:
AGA (8 am) has presentations scheduled from Elko County, the City of Elko, and Douglas County.
AWM (8 am) reviews budgets for the Gaming Control Board and the Treasurer’s Office.
SFIN reviews the budgets of the Treasurer’s Office and receives a presentation on a Proposed Alternative State Budget for the 2015-2017 Biennium from the State Treasurer.
STRN (8:30 am) has presentations on Opportunities to Capitalize on Competition: Strategies for Doing More with Less in Nevada from the California Nevada Cement Association, and another from the Nevada Trucking Association. It also has a hearing on SB2 to increase the maximum speed limit.
ATRAN (3:15 pm) has the same presentation from the California Nevada Cement Association as STRN above, along with overviews from the Departments of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety.
SREV (3:30 pm) has hearings on SB21 relating to special fuels taxes, SB22 concerning certain licenses pertaining to intoxicating liquor, and SB79 providing for the regulation and taxation of liquid nicotine.
On Friday, Feb. 13:
AGA (8:30 am) has a presentation from the Office of the Attorney General and hears AB53 relating to administrative procedure, and AB20 to revise provisions relating to the budget of the Executive Department of State Government.
The Guinn Center for Policy Priorities will be hosting a breakfast for legislators and staff on February 16th from 7:30 to 9:00 am in Room 3100 at the Legislative Building to highlight its Fact Sheet on Nevada K-12 Education Finance.
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.
The State of the Judiciary address is scheduled for Wednesday, April 15, at 5 pm in the Assembly Chamber.