Second major deadline hits Nevada Legislature
Another large batch of bills will die this week as the deadline for passing them out of the house where they were introduced hits on Tuesday.
The first deadline — committee passage by the first house — was just 10 days ago and left 246 bills and 10 joint resolutions behind. That’s a quarter of the total number of measures introduced this session.
Both the Senate and Assembly are expected to spend long hours on the floor to process the measures they want to continue moving forward. Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, has advised his members they may be there well after dark Monday. They might also have to work late Tuesday since anything that doesn’t win a floor vote by the close of business Tuesday is dead.
The priorities of the Democratic majority in both houses include reversing some changes put in place by the Republican majority two years ago. One of those, dealing with collective bargaining by public agencies, passed the Senate on a party line vote Friday.
Republicans are hoping Gov. Brian Sandoval’s veto will stop some of those measures.
Other measures are designed to protect parts of the Affordable Care Act the Trump administration seeks to repeal by putting them into state law. That includes protecting women’s healthcare measures in the ACA.
Lawmakers have already ratified the Equal Rights Amendment for women.
AB249 would let doctors prescribe 12 months of birth control with no co-pay. Insurance companies would be required to provide vasectomies as well. SB233 by Sen. Julia Ratti would go further, mandating coverage for prenatal screening as well as medical tests for conditions like diabetes.
There are also bills intended to make sure women receive equal pay for equal work and bills to raise the minimum wage in Nevada — one to $12 an hour, the other to $15 an hour.
Ford has made clear the Democrats will back public education, not the version of school vouchers approved at the last minute two years ago.
Because of the deadline, committee meetings are, for the most part, canceled Monday and Tuesday. Legislative work resumes, however, on Wednesday with both money committees set to close the budgets of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.
Following that deadline, the money committees take up some of the more complex and controversial budgets.
Welfare and Supportive Services, child support enforcement and assistance to the aged and blind budgets are up Tuesday.
Friday, they deal with public and behavioral health services provided in rural clinics, the southern and northern adult mental health services programs and the Lakes Crossing facility for mentally ill offenders.
The Assembly Judiciary Committee takes up SB279, a measure that would give mayors of Nevada cities the power to marry people.
That panel also reviews SB362, expanding the definition of racketeering to include forging credit cards, ID theft and having a financial forgery laboratory. Those crimes would be all elevated to Category B felonies mandating at least five years in prison.