During the 2015-2017 Legislative Session, 1,013 bills were proposed. At last count, 474 bills had been approved by both Houses and 433 had been signed by Governor Brian Sandoval. Below, the Guinn Center provides a summary of the major pieces of legislation in the Guinn Center’s five research areas: (1) Governing Nevada; (2) Growing Nevada; (3) Educating Nevada; (4) A Changing Nevada; and (5) Sustaining Nevada.
The 2015-2017 Legislative Session was marked by efforts to reform Nevada’s tax system in order to provide increased funding for education. The Nevada Legislature approved a historic tax package of $1.4 billion to help fund the $7.3 billion General Fund budget for the 2015-2017 biennium. The Legislature also revamped the live entertainment tax, made other tax changes, and proposed two constitutional amendments that could affect taxes in the future. To help contain costs for State and local governments, the Legislature also focused on reforms of the collective bargaining process and public employees’ retirement systems.
- Nevada Revenue Plan and Sunsets (SB483): This is the major tax bill of the Session. It makes the temporary Local School Support Tax rate permanent, extends the advance payment of Net Proceeds of Minerals Taxes through June 30, 2016, increases the cigarette tax by $1 per pack, and phases out the transfer of the governmental services tax to the General Fund so that 100 percent will go to the State Highway Fund by July 1, 2017. The bill also incorporates the Nevada Revenue Plan, which includes four components: (1) changes to the Business License Fee (BLF); (2) changes to the Modified Business Tax (MBT); (3) creation of a new Commerce Tax; and (4) increases in annual business filing fees. The BLF will increase from $200 to $500 for corporations and remain at $200 for all other businesses such as sole-proprietors, partnerships, and LLCs. For the MBT, the bill reduces the quarterly exemption from $85,000 to $50,000 and increases the tax rate from 1.17 percent to 1.475 percent for all businesses except for financial institutions and mining, which will pay a tax rate of 2 percent. The new Commerce Tax will apply to revenue exceeding $4 million. The tax rates vary by industry, ranging from 0.051 percent for mining to 0.331 percent for rail transportation. There will be a credit against a taxpayer’s MBT for 50 percent of the commerce tax paid in the preceding taxable year.
- Live Entertainment Tax (SB266): This bill revises the live entertainment tax (LET), which previously had various tax rates and exemptions. Under SB266, the LET will become an admissions tax with a uniform 9 percent rate and will not apply to food, refreshments or merchandise. It also closes several loopholes that previously excluded large events from the tax, including NASCAR, outdoor events, and events held by nonprofit organizations.
- Property Tax Constitutional Amendment (SJR13): This proposed Constitutional amendment would change the way property taxes are calculated in Nevada. Currently, the taxable value is multiplied by 35 percent to get the Assessed Value and then multiplied by the tax rate. Under SJR13, the taxable value would be called the base value and would be multiplied by a maximum tax rate of 1.25 percent. The base value would be reset when the property changes hands and could increase or decrease annually by a maximum of 3 percent. To become effective, SJR13 would need to pass unchanged during the 2017 Legislative Session and receive majority approval by voters in November 2018.
- Initiative Petition Constitutional Amendment (AJR8): This proposed Constitutional amendment would require initiative petitions that generate or increase any public revenue to receive a two-thirds vote to be approved. To become effective, AJR8 would also need to pass unchanged during the 2017 Legislative Session and receive majority approval by voters in November 2018.
- DMV Technology Modernization and Fee (SB502): This bill authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to assess a $1 technology fee through June 30, 2020, on paid transactions. The fee will be used for implementing, upgrading and maintaining DMV’s information technology system.
- Fuel Tax Indexing (AB191): This bill changes provisions that allow Clark County to increase motor vehicle fuel and special fuel taxes. It requires voter approval in November 2016 in order to continue increasing fuel taxes after 2016. It also requires voter approval in November 2026 to continue increases in fuel taxes after 2026. Funds must go to the State Highway Fund to finance projects for the construction, maintenance and repair of state highways in Clark County.
- Collective Bargaining (SB241): This bill makes various changes to collective bargaining for local government and school employees. Key provisions include: (1) authorizing local governments to provide leave to employees when conducting union activities as long as the union pays for the cost, or the cost is covered by concessions made in a collective bargaining agreement; (2) changing the timeline for the Employee-Management Relations Board to hear certain complaints; (3) eliminating the ability to implement automatic pay increases after a collective bargaining agreement expires; and (4) increasing the number of bargaining sessions needed before submitting issues to an arbitrator from four to eight. Provisions affecting school administrators include: (1) excluding school administrators with salaries greater than $120,000 from collective bargaining; (2) making school principals at-will employees during their first three years; (3) making post-probationary school principals at-will employees and subject to dismissal if, for two consecutive years, the school’s rating drops one or two stars or 50 percent of teachers request to be transferred to another school; and (4) requiring post-probationary principals to reapply for their jobs every five years.
- Collective Bargaining and Fiscal Emergency (SB168): This bill authorizes a local government to reopen a collective bargaining agreement during a fiscal emergency, which exists if ongoing General Fund revenue decreased by at least 5 percent during the preceding year, or the unreserved ending fund balance is four percent or less. For local governments other than school districts, the bill also specifies that if the budgeted ending fund balance is not more than 25 percent of non-capital expenditures, it is not subject to negotiation and cannot be considered by a fact finder or arbitrator in determining ability to fund pay increases.
- Collective Bargaining Disclosure (SB158): This bill requires local governments to post a proposed collective bargaining agreement and supporting material three days in advance of a hearing to approve the agreement.
- Prevailing Wage (AB172): This bill reverses provisions in SB119 that exempted K-12 and higher education capital projects from prevailing wage requirements. Under AB172, school districts and Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) institutions will now be subject to prevailing wage requirements but charter schools will continue to be exempt. The bill sets the prevailing wage for school projects at 90 percent of the rate of prevailing wage on other public works. It also increases the prevailing wage threshold for all public works projects from $100,000 to $250,000.
- Public Retirement Systems (SB406): This bill makes various reforms to public employees’ retirement systems, including: (1) revising the formula for calculating retirement allowances for persons who become members of certain public retirement systems on or after July 1, 2015; (2) amending the amount of postretirement increases for persons who become members of public retirement systems on or after July 1, 2015; (3) amending the age of eligibility to receive retirement benefits; and (4) revising provisions relating to the calculation of the years of service.
- Construction Defects (AB125): This bill addresses residential construction defect reform for single and multi-family housing. The provisions of the bill: (1) amend the definition of constructional defects; (2) address indemnification issues; (3) require notices of constructional defects to specify each defect and its location; (4) remove the ability for claimants to recover attorneys’ fees; and (5) clarify the claims submission process.
In response to lagging educational outcomes statewide, the Legislature placed an emphasis on providing funding for targeted education programs, addressing persistently underperforming schools, and implementing accountability measures. The Legislature also invested in efforts to improve the teacher pipeline and enhance teacher quality. In addition, several bills were approved to significantly expand educational choices for parents. For higher education students, the Legislature created a teacher scholarship program and approved Nevada’s first need-based scholarship for community and State colleges. Lastly, the Legislature focused on increasing availability of funding for school construction and renovation.
Funding formula and new programs
- New funding formula (SB508): This bill lays the groundwork for transitioning to a weighted funding formula for K-12 education. A weighted formula will provide additional funding for students in special populations (English Language Learners, at-risk pupils, Special Education students, and gifted and talented students). The bill implements a weighted formula for Special Education students in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 and requires the Department of Education to develop a plan for implementing a weighted formula for the other special populations by October 1, 2016. The bill requires that the plan be fully implemented by FY2022.
- Full-Day Kindergarten (SB515): The education budget includes approximately $50 million in new funding to expand full-day kindergarten to all schools by FY2017. The total state investment in full-day kindergarten is $171.5 million over the biennium. Full-day kindergarten will remain optional. As under current law, schools will not be required to offer full-day kindergarten and students will not be required to attend kindergarten
- Zoom Schools (SB405): This bill expands the Zoom schools program, which targets schools with high numbers of English Language Learners and low achievement. The program began in 2013, and required designated elementary schools to provide pre-kindergarten, full-day kindergarten, reading skills centers, and extended year programs. SB405 expands the uses of funds and allows up to 2 percent to be used for professional development, family engagement, and recruitment/retention incentives for teachers. The bill also expands Zoom schools to middle and high schools and provides a list of eligible uses of funds. SB515, the K-12 Education Finance bill, includes $50 million each year for this program.
- Victory Schools (SB432): This bill creates the Victory schools program for schools in low income areas that are low-performing. This program is similar to Zoom Schools but includes a more expansive list of eligible uses of funds and requires the school to submit a plan to receive funds. The state can require Victory schools that demonstrate unsatisfactory performance to take corrective action and can withhold money if unsatisfactory pupil achievement continues. SB515 includes $25 million each year for this program.
- Read by 3 (SB391): This bill creates the Read by 3 initiative, which seeks to ensure students read proficiently by grade 3. The bill requires early identification and intervention for students with reading deficiencies. It also emphasizes professional development by requiring each school to designate a learning strategist who can train teachers with implementation of best practices in reading instruction. Students who do not meet designated performance criteria by the end of third grade will be retained unless they meet certain exceptions. SB515 provides $27 million over the biennium for the program and SB391 creates a competitive grant process to distribute the funds.
- Great Teaching and Leading Fund (SB474): This bill creates the Great Teaching and Leading Fund, which will be a competitive grant to fund professional development, teacher preparation, peer assistance and review, leadership training, and recruitment and retention. SB515 includes $4.9 million each year for these grants. The bill also creates the Advisory Task Force on Educator Professional Development to study certain issues relating to professional development of teachers, school administrators and other educational personnel.
- Teacher Pipeline Development (SB511): This bill aims to address Nevada’s teacher shortage. The bill creates the Teach Nevada Scholarship program, which provides up to $3,000 per semester for students studying to be teachers at institutions of higher education and alternative route to licensure programs. Students will receive 75 percent of the scholarship while in school and would receive the final 25 percent if they graduate and teach in Nevada for five years. The bill also increases base pay for two years by up to $5,000 for new teachers who teach at a Title I school or a school rated as one or two stars under the Nevada School Performance Framework. The final budget includes $2.5 million per year for Teach Nevada Scholarships and $10 million per year for pay incentives through SB511 and SB515.
- Need Based Scholarships (SB227): This bill creates the Silver State Opportunity Grant Program. This program establishes a shared responsibility model to provide need-based grants to help pay education costs to eligible students who are enrolled in Nevada’s community and State colleges. SB514, the Appropriations Act, includes $2.5 million annually for this program.
- Underperforming Schools (SB92): This bill aims to address the quality of teachers at underperforming schools. The bill: (1) establishes procedures for designating and managing underperforming schools; (2) revises provisions regarding transfers of teachers to other schools; (3) creates financial incentives for employees working in underperforming schools; and (4) requires that reduction in force decisions be based first on employee performance instead of seniority.
- Achievement School District (AB448 and SB509): AB448 creates a statewide Achievement School District to address chronically underperforming schools. Beginning in FY2017, up to six schools per year will be placed in the Achievement School District and converted to achievement charter schools. Schools will remain in the Achievement School District for six years. SB509 also includes accountability measures for achievement schools that do not improve within six years.
- Teacher Evaluation (AB447): This bill revises the Nevada Educator Performance Framework (NEPF) used to evaluate licensed educational personnel. Legislation approved in 2011 required that 50 percent of the evaluation be based on student achievement beginning in FY2014. However, implementation of the use of pupil data was delayed by the 2013 Legislature. AB447 further delays implementation of this provision to FY2017 and changes the percentage of the evaluation that will be based on student achievement to 20 percent in FY2017 and 40 percent in FY2018. The bill also makes changes to evaluation processes for probationary and post-probationary teachers.
- Alternative Schools and Charter Restart (SB460): This bill: (1) provides an alternative performance framework to evaluate schools which serve certain populations; (2) requires the statewide system of accountability to include a method to distribute the $2.5 million in annual school turnaround grants included in the approved budget; (3) revises provisions relating to the revocation or termination of charter schools and authorizes restart of charter schools; and (4) prohibits consideration of a charter school’s FY2015 accountability rating when imposing consequences.
- Spending and Government Efficiency Commission (AB421): This bill creates the Spending and Government Efficiency Commission to study K-12 public education. The Commission is required to make periodic recommendations to the Governor identifying: (1) areas in which the public costs of public education may be reduced; (2) areas in which increased efficiencies in public education may be found; and (3) any means by which public education may be improved.
- School District Reorganization (AB394): This bill allows school districts to consolidate and creates a process to reorganize the Clark County School District (CCSD). The bill: (1) creates an advisory committee to develop a plan and recommendations to reorganize CCSD into local school precincts by the 2018-19 school year; (2) requires the advisory committee to study the distribution of Federal, State, and local funds and the impact of school precincts on public school financing; (3) requires the advisory committee to report to the 2017 Legislature with the results of the study and recommendations for legislation; and (4) requires the State Board of Education to approve regulations to implement the plan not later than the 2018-19 school year.
- Nevada Education Choice Scholarship (AB165): This bill provides tax credits against the Modified Business Tax to businesses that donate to a nonprofit scholarship organization. The nonprofit organization will award scholarships to students from families with incomes up to 300 percent of the Federal poverty level. The maximum scholarship amount is $7,755 per year and must be used to attend private schools. The maximum amount of tax credits that can be awarded is $10.5 million over the biennium.
- Education Savings Accounts (SB302): This bill creates Education Savings Accounts. Families will receive a grant equal to 90-100 percent of the statewide basic support guarantee and will be required to use funds to attend private schools or obtain other educational services. These funds can also be used for a student who receives instruction at home. There are no income qualifications for the program but students must attend public school for 100 school days prior to participating.
- Charter School Harbor Master Fund (SB491): This bill creates the Harbor Master Fund to recruit high quality charter schools to Nevada to serve low-income pupils. Total funding will be $10 million per year ($5 million from the State and a $5 million private match). A nonprofit organization will be selected to administer these funds.
- Charter School Best Practices (SB509): This is a comprehensive bill implementing best practices for charter schools. Key provisions include: (1) making changes to the governance and staff structure of the State Public Charter School Authority (SPCSA); (2) revising qualifications for charter school teachers; (3) revising the charter school application process; (4) authorizing an application to be submitted by a nonprofit charter management organization; and (5) changing what actions must be taken when a charter school persistently underperforms.
- Millennium Scholarship (SB128): This bill revises the Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship by: (1) increasing the number of credit hours in which a community college student eligible for the scholarship must be enrolled from 6 to 9 credit hours beginning July 1, 2015; and (2) increasing the amount that a student may receive from a Millennium Scholarship each semester from the cost of 12 credits to not more than 15 credits.
- School Rollover Bonds (SB119 and SB207): These bills legislatively extend expired rollover bond authority for construction and renovation of schools for 10 years without voter approval. For CCSD and the Washoe County School District, these bills extended authority to issue bonds through 2025. For other school districts, this legislation will extend bonding authority for 10 years once the original authority expires.
- Public Schools Overcrowding and Repair Needs Committee Advisory Committee (SB411): This bill allows all school districts except for CCSD to create a Public Schools Overcrowding and Repair Needs Committee, which can recommend one or more statutory taxes for consideration by the voters at the 2016 General Election to fund the capital projects of the school district. The bill limits the taxes that can be proposed to room taxes, governmental services taxes, real property transfer taxes, sales and use taxes, and property taxes. It also exempts any property taxes proposed from the 3 percent and 8 percent property tax abatements, as well as the $3.64 per $100 statutory property tax cap.
As Nevada continues to recover from the Great Recession, the Legislature put in place several measures to help spur economic development in targeted sectors. The Legislature also passed measures aimed at providing workers with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills so they can be prepared for highly skilled jobs in Nevada’s emerging economy. Legislation was also approved to regulate new industries such as Transportation Network Companies and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
- Film Transferable Tax Credits (SB94): This bill amends the current film tax credit program to limit the credits to production companies, change eligible expenditures that serve as the basis for issuance of credits, and remove the sunset for the program.
- Data Center Tax Credit (SB170): This bill authorizes the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) to grant a partial abatement of property taxes and local sales and use taxes to a data center that locates or expands in Nevada for up to 20 years. The abatement also applies to businesses that collocate at the data center. The property tax abatement is capped at 75 percent of the amount of personal property taxes for eligible equipment and machinery. The sales tax abatement applies to machinery and equipment purchases.
- Changes to Tax Abatements (SB74): This bill changes eligibility criteria for businesses receiving tax abatements from GOED for local sales taxes, property taxes, and Modified Business Taxes. The legislation is intended to shift the State’s economic development focus from job creation to higher quality and better paying jobs. Key provisions include: (1) requiring an applicant to offer primary jobs to be eligible for the partial abatement; (2) requiring an applicant to meet certain employment requirements by the eighth calendar quarter after the abatement is approved, rather than the fourth quarter; (3) providing that only wages paid to new employees are considered when determining whether an applicant satisfies the hourly wage requirement; (4) limiting the amount of the partial abatement when the average hourly wage fails to meet certain requirements; and (5) prohibiting GOED from approving certain partial abatements when the average hourly wage paid by the business to its new employees will be less than a designated percentage of the average state or county hourly wage.
- Modified Business Tax for Insurance Companies (SB103): This bill classifies businesses that are primarily engaged in the sale, solicitation or negotiation of insurance, as taxable under the regular Modified Business Tax rate instead of the Modified Business Tax rate for financial institutions.
- STEM Workforce Challenge Grants (SB514): The appropriations bill, SB514, includes $3 million over the biennium for the STEM Workforce Challenge Grant program ($1 million in FY2016 and $2 million in FY2017). The program will provide grants of up to $150,000 for industry-led, sector-specific skills training, aligned with the workforce needs of local STEM firms. The grants will be administered by Office of Science, Innovation and Technology in the Office of the Governor.
- STEM Advisory Council (AB485): This bill moves the STEM Advisory Council from the Department of Education to the Office of Science, Innovation and Technology. It also decreases the number of Council members and expands the Council’s duties to conduct surveys and make recommendations to GOED and the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board. It also requires the Council to establish annual events to recognize students and schools that demonstrate exemplary performance in STEM.
- Catalyst Account Tax Credits (SB507 and SB514): SB514 provides $7 million during the biennium for the Catalyst Account. Previously, the Catalyst Account could only be used to provide grants and loans to cities and counties for economic development. SB507 allows the Catalyst Account to be used for transferrable tax credits for new and expanding businesses. Applications for transferable tax credits must promote economic development. The tax credit can be taken against the Modified Business Tax, the gaming license fee, and the insurance premium tax. The maximum amount available for transferrable tax credits is $500,000 in FY2016 and $2 million in FY2017.
- Knowledge Fund (SB514): The appropriations bill includes $14 million over the biennium for the Knowledge Fund ($9 million in FY2016 and $5 million in FY2015). This fund provides financing to NSHE institutions to spur research, innovation, and commercialization in Nevada.
- Small Business Development (AB399): This bill directs the Office of Economic Development within the Office of the Governor to create a pilot program (that will operate from January 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017) to encourage growth and expansion of existing small businesses that are located in Nevada. The Nevada Small Business Development Center in Clark and Washoe Counties and the College of Southern Nevada will work together to support growth of existing small businesses in the State.
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (AB239): This bill regulates the operators of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Nevada in a manner similar to that of traditional aircraft by: (1) establishing the right to operate an unmanned aerial vehicle in Nevada; (2) clarifying that this bill cannot conflict with Federal law or apply to UAVs owned or operated by the Federal Government; (3) clarifying the applicability of state law to torts and crimes resulting from the operation of UAVs; and (4) specifying when a person cannot operate or use a UAV.
- Transportation Network Companies (AB175 and AB176): These bills establish a regulatory framework for Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft to operate in Nevada. These companies will be regulated by the Nevada Transportation Authority. Key provisions cover minimum qualifications for drivers, background checks, annual vehicle inspections, insurance requirements, and a complaint resolution process. AB175 creates an excise tax of 3 percent of the total fare for both TNCs and taxis. The first $5 million from the excise tax will go to the State Highway Fund and the remainder collected will go to the State General Fund.
- Nevada Advisory Council on Federal Assistance (SB214): This bill creates the Nevada Advisory Council on Federal Assistance to help State and local agencies obtain and maximize Federal assistance. The bill requires the Council to address methods and models for identifying, procuring, utilizing and maintaining Federal assistance, and to develop legislative and executive recommendations.
- Unexpended Grant Funds (SB473): This bill requires State agencies to notify the Office of Grant Procurement, Coordination and Management of any grant funds that will not be expended by the end of the grant period. The bill also requires the Office to serve as a clearinghouse for disseminating information related to unexpended grant funds by compiling information and making a list available on the Department of Administration’s website.
A CHANGING NEVADA
Nevada has faced significant challenges in the quality of mental health care and in the availability of health professionals to address mental and physical health needs. The Legislature approved measures to facilitate cooperation between states for mental health and to expedite licensing for health professionals coming from other states. To help address the physician pipeline, the Legislature approved funding for a new medical school and graduate medical education.
- Interstate Compact on Mental Health (SB35): Nevada joined 45 states and the District of Columbia by approving the Interstate Compact on Mental Health. The Compact allows mental health patients to be transferred from one state to another when patient care and treatment would be facilitated or improved through a transfer.
- Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (SB251): Nevada is one of nine inaugural states to create the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. This compact creates a streamlined process for medical licensure for physicians interested in practicing medicine in multiple states.
- Expedited Licensing (AB89 and SB68): These bills create expedited timelines for licensing of certain health professionals who are already licensed in other states. Several health fields are included in these bills: physicians, osteopathic physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, clinical professional counselors, and alcohol, drug, and gambling counselors. AB89 also allows regulatory bodies of health professions to create reciprocity agreements with other states. These agreements would allow a provider to practice concurrently in Nevada and other states.
- New Medical School (SB514): The appropriations bill includes $26.7 million over the biennium for a new medical school at University of Nevada Las Vegas ($7.1 million in FY2016 and $19.5 million in FY2017).
- Graduate Medical Education (SB514): To expand training opportunities for physicians in Nevada, the appropriations bill includes two allocations to expand graduate medical education. The bill includes $5 million annually for start-up grants to begin residency and fellowship programs. It also includes $1.9 million in FY2016 and $2 million in FY2017 for NSHE to expand public undergraduate and graduate medical education.
The Nevada Legislature approved several measures aimed at conserving Nevada’s natural resources and increasing energy efficiency. Legislation was also approved to revise provisions related to net metering and to increase fees for oil and gas extraction.
- Water Conservation (AB198): This bill requires the Legislative Committee on Public Lands to conduct a study concerning the laws, regulations and policies relating to the use, allocation and management of water in Nevada.
- Use of Water on Federal Reclamation Project (AB415): This bill revises the definition of a “farm” to include two or more tracts of land within a federal reclamation project under common ownership and primarily used for agricultural purposes, regardless of whether the tracts are contiguous to one another.
- Public Utility Resource Plans (SB87): This bill authorizes the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to issue an order modifying a resource plan submitted by a public utility that furnishes water or sewage disposal services and allows the utility to file a notice consenting to or rejecting some or all of the modifications. The measure also authorizes the PUC to issue an order modifying a resource plan submitted by a public utility that supplies electricity and provides that the utility may consent or reject some or all of the modifications by filing a notice to that effect.
- Energy efficiency programs and clean energy financing (SB360): This bill directs the Legislative Committee on Energy to conduct an interim study concerning the development, viability, expansion and implementation of energy efficiency programs and the viability of establishing green banks and similar entities to help finance the use and harnessing of clean energy in Nevada, for both commercial and residential properties.
- Energy conservation standards and net metering (SB374): This bill includes provisions related to energy and net metering. Among the provisions are: (1) revising the amount of cumulative capacity for which utilities are required to offer net metering; (2) requiring that each electric utility offer net metering to customers who submit an application to the utility to install net metering systems after the date on which such revised cumulative capacity requirement is met in accordance with a tariff filed by the electric utility and approved by the PUC; (3) establishing authority for the PUC to approve newly proposed tariffs and authorizing the PUC to determine whether and the extent to which any tariff is applicable to existing customer-generators; (4) requiring each electric utility to submit the proposed tariff to the PUC by July 31, 2015, and requiring the PUC to review and approve (or reject) the proposed tariff not later than December 31, 2015; (5) requiring the PUC to conduct an analysis of appropriate costs and subsidies for solar generation by July 1 of every third year; and (6) authorizing the PUC to establish a new rate class to reflect “just and reasonable rates and charges” for rooftop solar customers that do not unreasonably shift costs to other users.
- Oil and Gas Extraction (SB44): This bill revises provisions relating to certain fees for permits to drill and operate oil and natural gas wells. These provisions: (1) revise the statutory limit on the fee for a drilling permit; (2) establish a statutory limit on the fee for a request to change the terms of an existing drilling permit; (3) authorize the Commission on Mineral Resources to include reasonable administrative costs in fees relating to the filing and examination of applications for such permits and requests; and (4) raises the statutory limit on the fee for each barrel of oil or each 50,000 cubic feet of natural gas produced in Nevada from 20 cents to 30 cents.
- Natural Gas Utility Infrastructure Expansion (SB151): This bill requires the PUC to adopt regulations authorizing a public utility which purchases natural gas for resale to expand the infrastructure of the public utility in a manner consistent with a program of economic development proposed by the public utility and approved by the PUC.