Deadline for committee passage of bills hits this week at Nevada Legislature
Lawmakers face a major deadline this week: the final day to pass bills out of committee in the house of origin.
Any bills that don’t get out of committee in the house where they were introduced are dead unless they’re exempt (money bills) or given a special exemption by leadership.
That deadline, adjournment on Friday, will bring the first major reduction in the number of bills still in the hopper, including not only bills the majority Democrats don’t support but a considerable number of measures by their own members.
To process the measures they want to pass, there will be lengthy committee meetings throughout the week.
That deadline will be followed 11 days later by the deadline for passage of legislation by the house where it was introduced. That deadline also thins out the number of bills remaining for possible action.
On Monday, the Assembly Commerce and Labor Committee will take up Assembly Bill 431, the bill restricting how brewpubs can do business in the state. First, it would restrict brew pubs from having more than two pubs in a county. It also prohibits operators from selling at retail more than 2,000 barrels of beer for consumption off-premises.
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee will take up Senate Bill 261, the bill authorizing doctors to prescribe controlled substances designed to end the life of a patient. The bill would protect those health care providers from lawsuits or criminal action for prescribing those drugs. It also declares the cause of death to be the terminal condition that justified the prescription and barring the inclusion of insurance provisions that would void that policy for ending their own life.
Monday evening, the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee’s energy subcommittee will take up a half-dozen energy efficiency and resources bills.
On Tuesday, the Assembly Judiciary Committee will take up a measure revamping the penalties for drug possession and trafficking. Among the things AB438 does is consolidate the penalties for drug possession, making possession of more than one pound of drugs a Category A felony punishable by life in prison. At the same time, it would reduce penalties for lower level drug offenses.
The Assembly Natural Resources committee will decide whether to support passage of AB391, which would create the crime of bestiality in Nevada. Nevada is one of nine states that, currently, doesn’t have a crime of bestiality.
The Assembly Legislative Operations and Elections Committee will decide whether to support passage of measures creating a task force to modernize state government, study Nevada’s property tax system and studies of public education and making traffic violations civil instead of criminal offenses.
The Senate Education Committee will take up SB430, which would eliminate the Achievement School Districts, the program designed to allow the state to take over failing schools from county districts.
The Senate Revenue and Economic Development Committee will hear arguments for and against SJR14, a proposed constitutional amendment to create a Senior and Disabled Taxpayers Protection Act, a program to provide assistance to people in Nevada who are 62 or older, or disabled, offering those residents refunds on their property taxes.
Wednesday’s Assembly Judiciary Committee will hear AB97 which is designed to fix the lack of timely testing of rape kits. It would require law enforcement to submit the forensic test kits to a lab no more than 30 days after receiving the kit and mandate it be tested no later than 180 days after the lab receives the kit. There are several thousand of those kits in Nevada that haven’t been tested, in some cases for years.
Also Wednesday, a money committee subcommittee will close the various Judicial Branch budgets including the Supreme Court.
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee will decide whether to support passage of SB233. Existing law mandates some health plans cover contraceptive drugs and devices, vaccinations, mammograms and other reproductive issues. SB233 would expand those requirements to all public and private health insurance plans in the state.
Finally Wednesday, the Senate Legislative Operations and Elections Committee will vote on AJR2, the proposed amendment to the Nevada Constitution requiring recognition of all marriages regardless of gender.
On Friday, there are two joint subcommittees of the money committees. The first will review the governor’s proposed Public Works and Capital Improvements programs. The second will resolve and close budgets of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.