Bill Hearing Highlights
AB97, a bill that would both create a work group to assist with federal studies on PFOS chemicals in drinking water as well as assist with clean up efforts on military bases throughout the state due to the high levels of the toxin in equipment, was heard by the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources. Committee members specifically asked questions on how the state will be impacted by the federal decisions regarding these chemicals. Those in support believe that this will allow for safer drinking water and will help prevent dangerous health conditions. Those in neutral voiced that they are in favor of the conceptual amendment but are still working with the sponsor.
AB246, a bill that would provide regulations for employers to notify employees on whether they have been exposed to COVID-19, was heard by the Assembly Committee on Commerce and Labor. Committee members asked clarifying questions on why these protections were important and needed in addition to federal guidelines. Those in support of this bill believe that it will continue to protect employees in their workplace. Those in opposition believe that this will not be necessary once COVID-19 is no longer as high of a concern and it could be difficult to place this into legislation.
AB249 aims to protect Nevada’s construction workers by outlawing limits on the hours they can work between May and September. In July, 78% of deaths in 2019 that were related to high heat exposure occurred in June, July and August. This bill will allow jobs that are at higher risk like cement mansions and roofers, to do more work before the hottest parts of the day.
AB321 proposes to add mail in voting as a permanent option for Nevadans. This bill is based largely on AB4 from the special session last year. This bill requires a minimum number of polling stations in each of the counties, annual signature verification training for poll workers and a daily accuracy test and audit on electronic signature reading devices to help protect against fraud. The bill had a lot of support and a lot of opposition, with most of the legislators asking questions to address misinformation about the mail in system used in the last election.
AB324, a bill that would create regulations that enable digital assets to be treated as their physical counterparts, was heard by the Assembly Committee on Judiciary. Committee members asked whether this would be possible to continue working on over the interim and bring it back next session since there were many mentioned variables that had not been considered. Other committee members thought that waiting would drive business out of Nevada. Those in support of this bill are in favor of the polarity between regulations. Those in opposition believe that this will have a negative impact on Nevada’s economy.
AB341, a bill that would create the licensure and regulation process for cannabis consumption lounges, was heard by the Assembly Committee on Judiciary. Committee members had multiple questions regarding the implementation of this legislation including how it would impact the Clean Indoor Air Act and whether this bill, as presented today, would have the outcome of reducing social inequity in the industry. Those in support of this bill believe that it will both improve the diversity in the cannabis industry as well as diversify Nevada’s economy by providing an additional marketplace in which both tourists and locals will partake. Those in opposition believe the social equity aspect of this legislation needs to continue to be worked on because, as written, it does not meet the intended goals.
AB349, a bill that would make adjustments to the current smog check standards in the state in an effort to apply new technologies and also reach 2050 emissions goals set forth by the state, were heard by the Assembly Committee on Growth and Infrastructure. Committee members asked questions about the impact of these policies on rural communities and whether there were statistics that demonstrated its effectiveness in reducing smog in other states. Those in support of this bill are in favor of the offered assistance for low-income families in participating in the EV market. Those in opposition believe that the attempt to close the loophole in one area of the legislation could open a new one regarding expanding technologies.
AB375, a bill that would allow wineries within the state to work with other wineries or distilleries within the state, was heard by the Assembly Committee on Commerce and Labor. Committee members mentioned that bills relating to this topic are brought forward every session, so they asked questions about what the long term goal is for the wineries. Those in support of this bill believe it will allow the wineries to continue with production in the event of unforeseen weather. Those in opposition are wanting to change the requirement to have at least 25% of the grapes used at a winery to be from Nevada.
AB379 would discontinue the use of year and month registration stickers on a vehicle registered in the state. Consistent throughout his conversations on this and a related bill Assemblyman CH Miller realized registration stickers were not always used to verify a car’s registration status. This bill would remove them from requirements and also the requirement to have a front license plate on your vehicle. The bill also allows fleet vehicle owners to self -license their vehicles as well.
AB383, a bill that would continue to expand on 2019 legislation regarding energy efficiency standards for certain appliances and applying them to more appliances, was heard by the Assembly Committee on Growth and Infrastructure. Committee members expressed their support for the bill specifically for the thought included to have the bill include methods on how to address developing technology in the future. Those in support were in favor of this bill’s potential impact on low-income families in the future by saving money on utilities and appliances. Those in opposition to the bill expressed that they would like wording changes to specific areas of the legislation.
AB400, a bill that would remove the per se regulations currently in place when determining impairment of an individual who has consumed marijuana, was heard by the Assembly Committee on Judiciary. Committee members expressed concern over how this would impact federal funding and worker’s compensation. Those in support of this bill believe that it will remove potential biased arrests for DUI incidents. Those in opposition believe that this bill could lead to more dangerous roads by lowering the standards of what someone can be arrested for.
SB10 faced a lot of opposition from homeowners in the state. The bill removes the ability for the 3% resident and the 8% commercial property tax caps to fall below 3%. Lower cap rates create revenue shortfalls in the following years and leads to less recognized revenues over time.
SB215 requires school districts and charter schools to put together and present a plan for distance education 20-45 days before the school year. They need to improve technology access for those who do not have access to distance learning requirements. It also allows students that finish a course through distance learning faster to move on with their studies instead of having to wait until the course is over.
SB236 requires an early warning system to be implemented in a law enforcement agency in order to identify trends that may indicate a bias in an officer. Requires a collection of traffic stop reporting data to uncover if there is a bias in police profiling. An interim study also needs to be done to look at how to use police effectively
AB254, a bill that would remove discrimination against ex-felons who are seeking to open a lease on a residential property, was heard by the Senate Committee on Government Affairs. Committee members asked for clarification on the eviction of a tenant as well as the language on warrants. Those in support of this bill believe that it will move Nevada a step closer to rehabilitation of individuals who were formerly incarcerated by providing them a chance to have a place to live. Those in opposition believe that this goes too far in denying renters the right to keep the rest of their tenants safe.
SB269 hopes to add a layer of protection from surprise billing on dental patient’s claims. When an insurer overpays a dental claim they will have up to one year to attempt to collect that money. In order to do so they must provide notice to the dental office of their intentions and provide a process of appealing their decision. A current practice is for an insurance company to reduce the amount they pay on a new claim to make up the difference; with the proposed amendment that practice would be illegal.
SB279 allows TNCs to charge surge pricing under an emergency after 1 week of the emergency was declared and that all extra revenue from that fare is paid to the driver. Aims to get more drivers working during surge times by revising the prohibition Wait times at the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas have been reported at 45 minutes during surge prices because of the lack of drivers willing to drive.
SB293 prohibits employers from asking about an applicant’s past pay history. Past pay can be discussed during salary negotiations but should not be used as a primary source to determine wages. This bill aims to bolster the equal pay for equal work statutes from last session.
SB314, a bill that would both define a “high volume seller” as well as require the marketplace to verify retailer information and provide that to the public if applicable in order to directly target the rise in organized retail theft, was heard by the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor. Committee members asked questions about how this would directly impact small businesses and asked clarifying questions on what instances would be categorized under this bill. Those in support are in favor of the transparency that this bill is attempting to create. Those in opposition believe that this bill could create obstacles for small businesses that will inadvertently harm their business.
SB320, a bill that would make a variety of changes to food delivery service platforms in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, was heard by the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor. Committee members asked questions about why provisions that were existing law were being included in this legislation, and it was explained that food delivery service platforms did not qualify under existing law and it needed to be adjusted. Those in support believe that the market transparency in this bill will provide for more consumer protections and allow for more market negotiations to be made. Those in opposition believe that there could be unintended consequences to requirement of pricing information being disclosed from restaurants because it could lead to a decrease in competition. They are also against fee caps.
Energy Storage systems are seen as a critical piece to fighting greenhouse gas emissions and are becoming cheaper to use. SB328 aims to make sure they are installed safely and properly by requiring training and certification for a licensed contractor. Lithium- ion batteries hold a large amount of energy and dispense it effectively. But when they run hot, and a fire is started, they are basically unstoppable.
SB329 aims to increase transparency on health care market actions. Market consolidation often results in higher prices of care with little to no change to the quality of care. Pricing at hospitals with no competitors around were found to be 12% than those that were near 4 or more competitors. If prices in the food industry were subject to the same rates of inflation a dozen eggs would cost $65 and a gallon of milk would be $160
SB335, a bill that would create the Division of Occupational Licensing withing the Department of Business and Industry to create more administrative oversight of occupational therapy boards across the state, was heard by the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor. Committee members were interested in what implementation processes would look like and how long it would take for Boards to be completely overseen by this Division. Those in support believe that this legislation will encourage more physician retention across the state by removing barriers to access. Those in opposition believe that, while this oversight may benefit some Boards, others will be severely impacted and may even disappear completely.
SB387 allows the PUC to create regulations around service rates for intrastate calls. A service provider must file an application with the PUC and have its rates approved in order to avoid unnecessary fees and charges to the rate. In 2018 the average cost for 15 minutes for an inmate was $5.47, a long -distance landline call was $1.50 or less in comparison. Ancillary charges can add 40% to the cost of a call from prison or jail. This bill requires a service provider to file an application with the PUC and have its rates approved in order to avoid unnecessary fees and charges being added to the rate.
AB9 Read third time. Passed. Title approved. (Yeas: 21, Nays: None.) To Assembly.
AB227 Read third time. Passed. Title approved. (Yeas: 25, Nays: 16, Excused: 1.) To Senate.
First Committee Passage: April 9
First House Passage: April 20