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The Guinn Center for Policy Priorities reports weekly on the 80th Session of the Nevada Legislature, summarizing major legislative developments from the previous week and discussing the current week’s schedule.
How to Contact Legislators and Voice Your Opinion
The legislature’s NELIS system allows anyone to follow Nevada’s legislative actions and share their opinions on pending legislation. Within the legislator information section, constituents may also find the information for contacting their representative directly via e-mail, mail, or telephone. The NELIS system also provides for the creation of a Personal Legislative Tracking account, in which anyone for free (up to 10 measures) can track multiple legislation and receive updates on both designated and newly introduced legislation. Furthermore, the system provides an opportunity to review the Legislative calendar, look up committee agendas, and watch both live and recorded committee sessions.
For a list of all members of the Senate and Assembly and their contact information, click here. For a list of Senate Committee Assignments, click here. For a list of Assembly Committee Assignments, click here. See here for a list of committee abbreviations.
Feb. 18: A review of last week and a peek at what’s ahead
Second Week (2/11-2/15) Highlights
On Monday, February 11, the SGA heard SB 103. Currently the counties of Washoe and Clark, and cities of Boulder, Henderson, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Mesquite, Reno, and Sparks are required to file an annual housing report under NRS 278.235. Included in this statute are conditions that cities and counties subject to this regulation must adopt at least six of twelve approved measures including fee reduction, direct subsidies, and the transfer of public lands to stimulate the development of affordable housing. This bill relates to one of those measures in which it would authorize a governing body to reduce or subsidize impact fees, building permit fees, and enterprise fund fees. Senator Ratti (D) proposed an amendment, which would include rent control and inclusionary zoning policies as part of the possible approved measures jurisdictions could use to stimulate the development of affordable housing. This bill is closely related to SB 104, which will aid in the reporting of efforts to stimulate affordable housing.
On Wednesday, February 13, the SED heard SB 91, which would establish the commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education to develop a statewide vision and implementation plan to improve the public education system. The commission will conduct a study comparing education policies of Nevada to high-performing education systems in the U.S. and abroad. The commission would synthesize these findings and make recommendations on how to adapt the appropriate education policies of other high performing systems.
On Friday, February 15, the Assembly passed SB 143 (28-13 with one excused vote) on a party line vote. Earlier this week (February 13), the bill was passed by the Senate 13-8 on a party line vote. SB 143 will repeal, revise, and reenact provisions relating to background checks for certain sales or transfers of firearms. This measure was initially approved by voters in November 2016 via a ballot initiative. However it was not enacted due to the opinion issued by former Attorney General Adam Laxalt. Similarly, a background check bill (SB 221) was passed during the 2013 77th legislative session but was vetoed by then Governor Brian Sandoval. SB 143 had eight primary sponsors and 28 co-sponsors, in addition to support from both Governor Steve Sisolak and Attorney General Aaron Ford who testified in favor of the bill. As of February 16, there were a total of 1,598 submitted (written) opinions addressing SB 143, 411 of which expressed support, and 1187 of which were opposed to the measure. SB 143 is the first bill to be passed in the 2019 80th Legislative Session.
Summary of Committee Hearings & Actions
Second Week (2/11-2/15)
SFIN received a budget hearing from the Director of the Governor’s Office of Finance. In addition, they also heard from Lieutenant Governor Kate Marshall regarding the Lt. Governor’s Office. As part of the presentation, the committee received information about the new Office of the Small Business Advocate, the creation of which Governor Sisolak announced in his State of the State address. (See here for more information.)
AJUD received a presentation by the Division of Parole and Probation, in addition to opening hearings for AB 8 and AB 69. AB 8 revises provisions governing the levels of supervision for probationers and parolees, changing probation reviews for parole/ probation to at least once every six months to a regular schedule determined by the Nevada Risk Assessment System. AB 69 revises provisions relating to residential confinement of violators of parole.
SGA heard two bills related to government services and two bills relating to housing. SB 12 would revise provisions telephone systems used for reporting emergencies. SB 13 authorizes the board of county commissioners of county to form a nonprofit corporation to aid the county in providing certain services during an emergency or time of need. SB 104 revises provisions requiring the inclusion of certain of reports as sources of information for the statewide low-income housing database. SB 103 will authorize certain local governments to reduce or subsidize impact fees, building permit fees, and enterprise fund fees, among others, in order to help stimulate the development of affordable housing. A proposed amendment to SB 103 would include rent control and inclusionary zoning policies among the approved measures local governments can use to stimulate the development of affordable housing.
ACL received overviews of the Legislative Audit Division and Certain Audits, and the Sunset Subcommittee of the Legislative Commission. Among these was an audit of the Department of Business and Industry’s Division of Industrial Relations, which includes “nine recommendations to improve regulatory oversight of elevators, boilers and mines;” and an audit of the Department of Business and Industry’s Division of Financial Institutions. As previously reported, the audit found that “nearly a third of Nevada payday lenders have received a less-than-satisfactory rating from state regulators over the last five years.”
AHHS received overviews of public health priorities in Nevada from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Washoe County Health District, Southern Nevada Health District, and Carson City Health and Human Services. In addition, the committee received an overview of the Behavioral Healthcare System in Nevada.
SCL heard four bills. SB 21 enacts the Insurance Data Security Law, which will implement a program to help maintain the security of nonpublic information. SB 86 makes various changes relating to the regulation of insurers by the Division of Insurance of the Department of Business and Industry. SB 87 makes benefits established by a long-term care rider to a life insurance policy or annuity contract to be the same type of benefits as provided in a basic policy, and revises other provisions governing the Nevada Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association. SB 88 revises provisions governing of insurance and other persons regulated by the Commissioner of Insurance.
SED received presentations regarding the external evaluation of recent education programs (e.g., Zoom, Victory, Read by Grade ) conducted by ACS Ventures and MYS Project and Brand Management. They also received presentations concerning the (1) Annual Report of the State of Public Education and an (2) Update on Fastest Improving State in the Nation by representatives of the Nevada Department of Education. In addition, SED heard SB 41, which would eliminate the special qualifications license to teach and replace it with separate categories of licensures for paraprofessionals, and would transfer the authority to revoke or suspend a teaching license from the Nevada Department of Education to the Commission on Professional Standards in Education. The two biggest urban school districts in Nevada expressed opposition to the measure, while NSEA expressed concern.
ANRAM received overviews on Alert Wildfire Systems by representatives of the Nevada Seismological Laboratory and a local government affairs specialist. In addition, they received an overview on the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry, from representatives of the Division of Forestry, N. Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, Humbodoldt-Toiyabe National Forest, and the Bureau of Land Management.
SHHS received overviews of the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services and the Division of Health Care Financing and Policy from representatives of the Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, they received an overview of the Health and Human Services-Related Budgets from a representative of the Legislative Council Bureau, Fiscal Analysis Division.
SLOE received an overview of the programs and Activities of the Office of the Secretary of State and Review of Election Issues by the Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske and Deputy Secretary of State Wayne Thorley. Furthermore, they heard three bills regarding elections and public offices. SB 107, sponsored by Senators Goicechea (R) and Settlemeyer (R), would require an elected public officer to resign before filing nomination papers for any other elected public office. SB 118, sponsored by Senator Settlemeyer, would make the office of registrar of voters an elected position. SB 122, sponsored by Senator Settlemeyer, would prohibit a person from being a candidate of certain political parties if the person has not designated his or her political affiliation with that party on an application to register to vote.
SJUD and AJUD held a joint meeting to hear SB 143. SB 143 will repeal, revise, and reenact provisions relating to background checks for certain sales or transfers of firearms. This measure was initially approved by voters in November 2016 via a ballot initiative. However it was not enacted due to the opinion issued by former Attorney General Adam Laxalt. Similarly, a background check bill (SB 221) was passed during the 2013 77th legislative session but was vetoed by then Governor Brian Sandoval. SB 143 had eight primary sponsors and 28 co-sponsors, in addition to support from both Governor Steve Sisolak and Attorney General Aaron Ford who testified in favor of the bill. As of Feb. 16, there were a total of 1,598 submitted written opinions addressing SB 143, 411 of which expressed support, and 1187 of which were opposed to the measure. SB 143 is the first bill to be passed in the 2019 80th Legislative Session.
SFIN and AWM held a joint meeting of the Subcommittees on Public Safety, Natural Resources, and Transportation. The subcommittees held a budget hearing regarding public safety, receiving presentations from the Commission of Peace Officer Standards and Training and the Department of Public Safety
SREV and ATAX held a joint meeting and received an overview and held a discussion of economic development programs in Nevada. The following made presentations: Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance (LVGEA), Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN), Northern Nevada Development Authority (NNDA), Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), and the Raiders Stadium Project.
AJUD heard three bills relating to courts: AB 9, AB 14, and AB 17. AB 9 revises provisions governing the proper venue or place of trial for certain small claims actions brought in the justice court. AB 14 provides the juvenile court with exclusive jurisdiction to grant or issue temporary or extended orders of protection when certain children are involved. AB 17 revises provisions allowing bail to be exonerated under certain circumstances.
AWM and SFIN held a joint meeting of the Subcommittees on Human Services; the Subcommittees received a budget hearing from the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health.
AWM and SFIN held a joint meeting of the Subcommittees on General Government; the Subcommittees received a budget hearing from the Department of Administration.
SJUD received agency overviews from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Clark County’s and Washoe County’s Office of the District Attorney, and Clark County’s and Washoe County’s Office of the Public Defender.
SGA heard three bills: SB 10, SB 11, SB 113. SB 10 would increase the amount members of a board of trustees of a general improvement district may receive in compensation. (This bill was filed on behalf of the Nevada League of Cities & Municipalities) SB 11 would provide for an extended exemption from certain regulations concerning building codes for cities in counties with over 700,000 residents. (This bill was filed on behalf of the City of Las Vegas). SB 113 revises provisions relating to the membership of the Nevada Commission on Homeland Security.
ACL received an overview of the State Contractors Board. This presentation directly tied into the four bills relating to contractors that the committee heard the following four bills: AB 25, AB 26, AB 27, and AB 29. These bills make various revisions regarding the Contractors Board and various regulations on contractors.
AHHS received presentations on the role of health insurance, general health care access, hospitals, and rural clinics. Moreover, the committee received a presentations regarding the Regional Behavioral Health Policy Boards: Washoe, Southern, Northern, and Rural Regional Behavioral Health Policy Boards.
SED received a presentation on “No Time to Lose”, a study on high performing international education systems by Senator Woodhouse and representatives of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). They also received presentations on improvement of quality and access to early childhood programs by the Children’s Advocacy Alliance, and presentations on early childhood education programs and licensure by the Nevada Department of Education. Moreover, the committee heard SB 91 and SB 126. SB 91 would establish the commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, which would aim to develop a statewide vision and implementation plan to improve public education. SB 126, sponsored by Senator Denis, repeals the provisions governing reappointment of a post-probationary administrator.
ANRAM received an overview by the Department of Wildlife. The committee also heard two bills related to wildlife, AB 74 and AB 83. AB 74 would make it unlawful for a person to engage in the business of buying, selling, trading or dealing in certain antlers or head of a big game mammal without obtaining the proper license. AB 83 revises various provisions governing wildlife, including but not limited to killing of animals if necessary, to protect property, and the issuance of hunting tags.
SHHS heard two bills, SB 17 and SB 18. SB 17 would make changes related to the enforcement of child support obligations, authorizing certain government entities to revoke recreational licenses and permits if a subject routinely fails to pay court ordered child support. SB 18 revises provisions relating to persons with intellectual development disabilities and services related hereto.
SLOE received a presentation regarding county election administration by representatives of the Clark, Washoe, Carson City, Douglas, Nye County Registrar of Voters. They also heard SJR 3 which would amend the Nevada Constitution to provide certain rights to voters.
AJUD received a presentation of the Office of the Attorney General. In addition, the committee heard AB 101 and AB 109 and had a working session on SB 143. AB 101 would authorize private plaintiffs to bring a declaratory judgment regarding violations of state law or local ordinance by government entities. AB 109 would revise provisions governing credits awarded to reduce a sentence of imprisonment allowing credits to be earned during residential confinement. SB 143, which passed the Senate the previous day, would enact background check regulations on private transfers of firearms.
AWM and SFIN held a joint meeting of the Subcommittees on Public Safety, Natural Resources, and Transportation. They received a budget hearing on the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Protection, and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.
AWM and SFIN held a joint meeting of the Subcommittees on K-12/Higher Education/CIP. The subcommittees received budget hearings from the Treasurer’s Office and the Department of Administration State Public Works Division including an additional project on Capital Improvement Projects.
SJUD received an agency overview by the Department of Corrections. In addition, the committee heard two bills relating to the Department of Corrections, SB 30, SB 49, and SB 45. SB 30 would provide for programs within the Dept. of Corrections the employment of offenders. SB 49 would require the Dept. of Corrections to establish programs for offender with substance use disorders. SB 45 would allow certain business, such as those with limited liability, to not require a state business license.
AED received a presentation concerning Nevada Career and Technical Education (CTE) related organizations. In addition, they heard a presentation on AB 92, which seeks to extend the English Mastery Council for three additional years. The English Mastery Council, established in 2013, seeks to improve the quality of English Language Learner education in Nevada.
AGI received overviews on the Nevada Trucking Association, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and a presentation on the benefits of Rural Renewable Energy (Part 2 of presentation here). Moreover, they heard three bills relating to motor vehicles, AB 23, AB 24, and AB 63. AB 23 allows the DMV to adopt regulations pertaining to remotely controlled vehicles. AB 24 limits the type of bonds accepted by the DMV. AB 63 which revises and expands the authority of the Director of the DMV.
SGI received a presentation from DMV. The committee heard three bills: SB 23, SB 71, and SB 134. SB 23 which would require the testing of blood samples for controlled substances. SB 71 revises provisions governing the Motor Carrier Division of the DMV. SB 134 would authorize advanced practice registered nurses to make certain certifications, diagnoses and determinations in lieu of a physician or other provider of health care.
AJUD received an overview of the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Furthermore, they heard AB 45, which would create the Nevada Threat Analysis Center and the Nevada Threat Analysis Center Advisory Committee within the Investigation Division of the Department of Public Safety, which would collect and maintain certain information regarding potential threats to public safety, including acts of terrorism.
Looking Ahead: Committee Schedule
Third Week (2/18-2/22)
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 on 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, February 18th
AWM and SFIN (8am) will receive budget hearings from the Secretary of State and the Public Utilities Commission.
SJUD (8am) will hear SB 137 which would revise the definition of the crime of robbery.
AGA (9am) will hear two bills, AB 21 and AB 103. AB 21 relates to appoints of local governing boards. (This bill was submitted on behalf of the Nevada Association of Counties). AB 103, sponsored by Assemblyman Wheeler, makes certain changes relating to collective bargaining.
AHHS (Upon Adjournment) will hear two bills relating to public health and Medicaid, AB 97 and AB 116. AB 97 would create the Account for Public Health Improvement and restrict the use of grants to federally qualified health care centers. AB 116 would require the DHHS Division of Health Care Financing and Policy to conduct an actuarial study for the purpose of determining the cost to the State of revising certain reimbursement rates.
SCL (1:30pm) will hear two bills, SB 39 and SB 130. SB 39 revises provisions governing appraisers and appraisal management companies. SB 130, sponsored by Senator Woodhouse, provides for the licensing and regulation of certain persons who administer radiation.
SED (1:30pm) will hear two bills relating to teachers and school supplies. SB 99 would create a Task Force on the Creation of a Career Pathway for Teachers. SB 106 , sponsored by Senator Kieckhefer, would revise provisions relating to required expenditures by schools on certain school supplies for gifted and talented students.
SHHS (4pm) will hear two bills, SB 93 and SB 115. SB 93 revises provisions relating to the Nevada Commission for Persons Who are, Deaf, Hard of Hearing or Speech Impaired. SB 115, sponsored by Scott Hammond, would require the State Plan for Medicaid to include coverage for donor breast milk. As reported, the estimated cost of the program is $24.9 million, including $8.8 million in general fund dollars over the biennium.
SLOE (4pm) will hear SB 108, sponsored by Senator Woodhouse, which will make various changes relating to the Nevada Youth Legislature, among these an increase in the number of members and days/activities of the body.
On Tuesday, February 19th
AJUD (8am) will receive an overview of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. Moreover, they will hear two bills, AB 100 and AB 115. AB 100, sponsored by Assemblyman Sprinkle, would revise provisions governing enhancements of penalties for committing assault and battery under certain circumstances. AB 115, also sponsored by Assemblyman Sprinkle, would provide a privilege to an organized committee of certain groups of physicians to refuse to disclose certain information.
SFIN and AWM (8am) will hold a joint meeting of the Subcommittees on K-12/Higher Education/CIP, the subcommittees will receive a budget hearing from the Nevada Department of Education (NDE). NDE will present information on the new Nevada Education Funding Plan and the Distributive School Account.
AED (1:30pm) will hear AB 123, sponsored by Assemblywoman Munk, which will revise requirements concerning immunizations for student enrollment in schools.
AGI (1:30pm) will receive overviews of the Nevada Highway Patrol and the Tahoe Transportation District. Furthermore, they will hear AB 28, which will revise provisions in which someone can declare status as a veteran on a government ID, and AB 98 which will revise provisions relating to a new convention center to be built and operated by the Tahoe-Douglas Visitors Authority.
ATAX and SREV (4pm) will receive an overview of property taxes in Nevada by the Department of Taxation. This is pertinent due to SJR 14, which is scheduled to be heard later this session and pertains to an increase in property taxes. For background on this issue, please see the Guinn Center 2017 report on Property Taxes, our new Property Taxes & K-12 Financing in Nevada report and infographic essay.
On Wednesday, February 20th
AJUD (8am) will hear two bills related to the Department of Corrections, AB 10 and AB 61. AB 10 would revise existing provisions to allow the Dept. of Corrections to issue photo identification cards to offenders leaving prison, even if officials have not verified the person’s full legal name and age using documents that would be required for identification at the Department of Motor Vehicles; and AB 61 would revise provisions governing the authority of the Dept. of Corrections to assign certain offenders to serve a term of residential confinement.
SFIN (8am) will receive a budget hearing from the Treasurer’s Office.
AGA (8:30am) will receive a presentation by the Department of Business and Industry Office of the Nevada Labor Commissioner.
AWM (9:30am) will receive a budget hearing from the Treasurer’s Office.
SGA (1pm) will hear three bills: SB 25, SB 28, and SB 141. SB 25, submitted on behalf of the City of Reno, would revise provisions governing the administration of the surcharge imposed on telephone users. SB 28, submitted on behalf of the Nevada Equal Rights Commission, would revise provisions governing confidentiality of information gathered by the Nevada Equal Rights Commission (NERC). SB 141, sponsored by Senators Gansert, Hardy, Pickard, Hammond and Settelmeyer, would revise provisions relating to the Nevada Equal Rights Commission; specifically, it would require the NERC to “conduct outreach efforts to educate employers, employees and members of the public regarding the Commission and its role with respect to sexual harassment.”
ACL (1:30pm) will hear AB 132, sponsored by Assemblywoman Dina Neal and Assemblymen Edgar Flores and William McCurdy, which would prohibit the denial of employment because of the presence of marijuana in a screening test taken by a prospective employee.
AHHS (Upon Adjournment) will hear AB 122, which would require DHHS to seek a federal waiver care for persons who are aged, infirm, or disabled may be included in the State Plan for Medicaid.
SCL will hear three bills, SB 37, SB 38, and SB 90. SB 37 will revise provisions relating to the regulation of marriage and family therapists and clinical professional counselors. SB 38 will make changes related to the practice of court reporting, recording, and transcribing. SB 90 would make changes to health insurance relating to children requiring plans to include coverage for hearing aids, asthma and includes grants for the assistance in the purchase of diapers. They will also hold working sessions on five additional bills: SB 40 (revises provisions governing penalties for violating occupational safety laws), SB 86 (changes provisions related to the regulation of insurers), SB 87 (related to provisions governing the Nevada Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association), SB 88 (related to provisions governing producers of insurance and other persons regulated by the Commissioner of Insurance), and SB 125 (revises provisions relating to landscape architecture).
SED will hear three bills: SB 139, SB 147, AB 159. SB 139, sponsored by Senators Gansert, Hammond, Pickard, and Settelmeyer, would create the Program to Develop Leadership Skills for Public School Pupils and would create the related Account for Leadership Skills in the State General Fund. SB 147 would revise provisions relating to the educational attainment of homeless students in elementary and provides for alternatives to awarding high school diplomas to said students. SB 159 would require public and private schools to adopt a policy concerning safe exposure to the sun.
ANRAM will receive an overview of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Division of Environmental Protection. The committee will also hear AB 1, which would revise provisions governing the adoption of certain regulations by the State Environmental Commission.
SHHS will hear three bills: SB 77, SB 92, SB 95. SB 77 would revise provisions governing the purchasing by a county hospital. SB 92 would revise provisions concerning group housing. SB 95 would require certain medical facilities to adhere to a diet that is ordered or prescribed for a patient.
SLOE will hear SB123, which would allow for same day registration and extend the period for early voting.
On Thursday, February 21st
AJUD (8am) will receive presentations on both recreational and medical marijuana. Presenters include the Department of Taxation, Department of Business and Industry, Nevada Dispensary Association, representatives of both the recreational and medical marijuana industry, among others.
AWM and SFIN (8am) will hold a joint meeting of the Subcommittees on General Government; the subcommittee will receive a budget hearing from the Nevada Supreme Court.
AWM and SFIN (8am) will hold a joint meeting of the Subcommittees on Human Services. The subcommittees will receive a budget hearing from the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Welfare and Supportive Services.
AGA will (8:30am) hear two bills, AB 56 and AB 86. AB 56 would require the State Public Works Board to submit biennially to the Government and Legislature its recommendations for projects for deferred maintenance. AB 86 would revise provisions relating to governmental purchasing of local government such as metropolitan police departments.
AGI and SGI (1:30pm) will hold a joint meeting and will hear overviews from the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada and Washoe County, the Nevada Department of Transportation, and a presentation on Electrifying Nevada’s 21st Century Transportation System.
SREV and ATAX (4pm) will receive overviews by the Department of Taxation on state and local sales taxes and marijuana taxes.