Lawmakers catch breath in Week 11

The Nevada Legislature's 11th week opens today with lawmakers recovering from their hectic 10th week.

The legislators worked overtime last week to meet a deadline for hearing and taking initial committee action on most proposals - and wound up pushing scores of bills through the committees by Friday.

This week, lawmakers will catch their breath, starting with a quiet Monday. Only a handful of hearings are scheduled, including an Assembly Ways and Means session on several measures - among them SB87, eliminating a fee for renewing drivers license by mail.

The Assembly money panel also will consider AB300, an appropriation of $2 million to help low-income families pay rent.

Senate Finance Committee will discuss AB97, a plan to spend $20,000 for a portrait of Gov. Kenny Guinn, and SB404, creating a state Commission on Educational Excellence.

Also today, a proposal to require boats to carry a life ring or safety device will come before Senate Natural Resources. AB112, which requires the device's rope to be 60 feet long, was requested by a woman whose husband drowned in Lake Mead.

On Tuesday, Senate Judiciary will consider a bill that tries to protect Spanish speakers from being conned by people falsely advertising legal services. AB227, backed by Assemblyman Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, would bar notaries public from advertising with the term "notario publico," the Spanish translation of notaries public, but also a common term for "lawyer" in some Spanish-speaking countries.

In Senate Legislative Operations and Elections, lawmakers will consider letting the governor, secretary of state and treasurer in on the redistricting process. SJR10 creates a Reapportionment Commission, comprised of those officials and four legislators, and tasks it with drawing new districts every 10 years. Currently, lawmakers themselves do the job, in a typically contentious and political process.

Also Tuesday, Assembly Elections will debate a plan that would allow lawmakers to keep confidential documents, testimony and records presented to legislative committees. AB543 would let lawmakers keep the information secret if "the committee determines it necessary."

That committee also will consider a move in the opposite direction. AB415, backed by Assemblyman Bob McCleary, D-North Las Vegas, would force lawmakers to put their names on every bill they request.

On Wednesday, Senate Finance will consider spending $200,000 on courting the Winter Olympic Games in 2014. SB374 states that the money is for the Nevada Commission on Sports and is to be used for the costs related to submitting an application for the Games. Nevada is proposing to host the Games in the Reno and Lake Tahoe areas, which last held the games in 1960.

Senate Judiciary will review a bill to abolish the death penalty for killers who commit capital crimes as minors. The proposal was introduced by Assemblywoman Chris Giunchigliani, D-Las Vegas, before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that executions in such cases amount to cruel and unusual punishment. At the time of the ruling, Nevada was one of a handful of states that still allowed executions of minors.

On Thursday, Assembly Judiciary will look at bill to make it easier for domestic violence offenders to get therapy.

SB75 would permit judges to require offenders to attend group and individual therapy by videoconference if they live more than 50 miles away from a counseling site.

Senate and Assembly money committees plan more budget closings on Friday. Lawmakers also have a long list of bill waiting to be passed on the floors of the Assembly and Senate, and those votes can occur any day of the week.


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