Bill Hearing Highlights
AB28 restores the inverse preference for businesses that want to come to Nevada. Vendors that receive a preference in their home state will receive a penalty to their Nevada score by the same amount. This was in place from 2003-2009 but was removed when a preference for businesses owned by disabled veterans was introduced. 35 other states have this preference in place, and by using it again the State Purchasing Division does not anticipate any problems with other preferences.
AB44, a bill that would revise existing statute that governs hospital trustee board meetings to attempt to have more clarifying language that could be expanded to all hospitals, was heard by the Assembly Committee on Health and Human Services. Committee members were concerned with sections of the bill that would revise language that could potentially lead to a lack of transparency. Those in support believe that this will be beneficial towards hospitals in the rural areas. Those in opposition believe that the bill needs to be revised to clarify language to match the stated intent.
AB200 allows for veterinarians to use telehealth for follow up care on animals they’ve already seen in person. There was a heavy emphasis placed on the fact that animal care is a hands-on job, and it would be unethical to allow someone to practice through telehealth without any prior examination of the animal.
AB216 requires Medicaid to cover the cognitive assessment and care planning services for those who show signs of cognitive impairment. 16 other states have adopted similar language. The bill aims to help cover the costs of early onset diagnosis. Alzheimer’s cost of care outpaces the cost of cancer and heart disease at $305B in 2020 alone.
AB227 had a lot of opposition from private hiring companies. The intent is to prevent misclassification of employees that cost the state an estimated $31.3M shortfall in Nevada workers compensation, $11.8M loss in unemployment insurance, and $6.6M loss in the modified business tax back in 2018. The bill requires anyone who is performing work for a licensed contractor to sign a W4 and receive a W2 from the contractor or be a subcontractor. Does not apply to those who don’t do work that requires a contractor license like jobsite clean- up or staging.
AB240, a bill that is attempting to consolidate government agencies regarding mining, including the dissolving of the Commission on Mineral Resources and the Division of Minerals as well as the elimination of the Mining Oversight and Accountability Commission (MOAC), was heard by the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources. Committee members expressed their concern with eliminating MOAC. Those in support believe that consolidation of these government agencies could lead to an increase in efficiency. Those in opposition believe that the elimination of MOAC would remove vital oversight needed in this area.
AB256 provides for Medicaid coverage of doula services. A doula is a person who is trained to emotionally support a mother and her baby during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Research has shown that when using a doula while giving birth the likelihood of interventions and complications has been reduced. The Division of Healthcare Financing and Policy projects an estimated $1.2M in Medicaid savings if this were to be signed into law.
AB315 hopes to reduce the risk of suicide in retiring first responders. Within three months of a police officer or a firefighter’s retirement their employer needs to provide them with a maximum of two hours of in person counseling with a mental health professional. Assemblyman O’Neill would like to avoid adding any fiscal impact to the organizations that this applies to, but there was a discussion about potentially making it a two -hour minimum instead.
AB322, a bill that would allow events to have a designated space where limited amounts of cannabis can be sold and consumed, was heard by the Assembly Committee on Revenue. Committee members asked clarifying questions about the various regulations that could be in place and the presenters explained that most of the regulations that will be in place with this service would be created by the Cannabis Compliance Board. Those in support believe that this bill will provide more accessibility to communities of color to participate in the cannabis industry. Those in opposition have concerns with the social equity portions of this legislation as written.
SB96 increases the Medicaid reimbursement rate for a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) to $48/hr. The Autism Legislative Audit from 2019 shows that Medicaid and the Autism Treatment Assistance Program currently fund RBTs at $30.28/hr vs. the $62/hr through private insurance. This pay difference leads to many children going without a diagnosis and treatment for much of their lives. “With Autism Spectrum Disorders, early diagnosis and interventions can mean the difference between a child going to college or an institution” one support commented.
SB 109 Requires state agencies to collect information on a person’s sexual orientation and gender expression. This data will be provided to the legislature and will be used to help guide policy decisions that impact those in the LGBTQ+ community. Agencies that don’t have resources for data collection have until January 2024. Agencies that don’t collect this data must submit a report to LCB by December 31, 2022 on why they haven’t collected the data and what they have done in order to do so.
SB190, a bill that would allow pharmacists to dispense self-administered hormonal contraceptives over the counter, was heard by the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor. Committee members expressed their support for the bill and asked clarifying questions about what barriers this removes for women. Those in support believe that this will improve the health and lives of women by increasing access for individuals who are unable to schedule a timely physician appointment.
SB205, a bill that is revising emergency response statute regarding safety regulatory checks on water boilers to include tankless water heaters, was heard by the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. Committee members did not ask questions but expressed their support for those involved in this legislation for responding to the UNR Argenta Hall explosion. Those in support believe it’s important to revise this oversight. Those in neutral believe that existing language could provide a loophole to install a boiler without a permit.
SB229, a bill that would attempt to remove barriers relating to the creation of collaborative practice agreements between physicians and pharmacies, was heard by the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor. Committee members mentioned their concerns with removing the informed consent requirement that would inform patients that pharmacists are not physicians. Those in support believe that this bill will make access to care more flexible and reduce barriers for individuals to receive quick care.
SB274 is another step for Nevada’s shift away from criminally prosecuting children that have been sexually exploited. This bill allows DCFS to establish regulations for receiving centers and create the certification for centers and programs outside centers that will serve this population. When a survivor is rescued there is a period of time where it needs to be decided if the parents of that child can take on responsibility of care or if the child needs to remain in care of the child welfare system. These receiving centers would be a location that can prevent a child from running away back to their “pimp” or from someone coming to take the child while that initial period is determined. While both Washoe and Clark are supportive of the idea, they cited underfunded budgets and massive shift in services as a reason they are neutral to the bill.
SB278, a bill that would exempt cannabis that is transferred from one cannabis cultivation facility to another owned by the same individuals as the other of a 15% excise tax, was heard by the Senate Committee on Revenue and Economic Development. Committee members were concerned with how this bill would impact the definition of “wholesale.” There were no callers to provide public testimony, but the Nevada Department of Taxation said they will continue to work with the Cannabis Association to clarify specific areas of the bill.
SB326 creates a registration through the board of examiners that allows an out of state licensed physician to practice telehealth in Nevada. Once the registration has been received, a physician has a one-time, one year period where they can use telehealth. The idea is modeled after the Governor’s emergency directive from April 2020 to bring healthcare professionals into the state. Ideally, through this process, a physician would be incentivized to come into the state of Nevada.
AB1 Read third time. Passed. Title approved. (Yeas: 42, Nays: None.) To Senate.
AB57 Read third time. Passed, as amended. Title approved. (Yeas: 26, Nays: 16.) To Senate.
AB103: Read third time. Passed. Title approved. (Yeas: 42, Nays: None.) To Senate.
AB150 Read third time. Passed. Title approved. (Yeas: 42, Nays: None.) To Senate.
SB9 Read third time. Passed. Title approved. (Yeas: 21, Nays: None.) To Assembly.
SB29 Read third time. Passed. Title approved. (Yeas: 42, Nays: None.) To Senate.
SB25: Read third time. Passed. Title approved. (Yeas: 21, Nays: None.) To Assembly.
SB35 Read third time. Passed. Title approved. (Yeas: 21, Nays: None.) To Assembly.
SB42: Read third time. Passed. Title approved. (Yeas: 21, Nays: None.) To Assembly.
SB58 Read third time. Passed. Title approved. (Yeas: 21, Nays: None.) To Assembly.
SB65: Read third time. Passed. Title approved. (Yeas: 21, Nays: None.) To Assembly.
SB103: Read third time. Passed, as amended. Title approved. (Yeas: 18, Nays: 3.) To Assembly
SB196: Read third time. Passed. Title approved. (Yeas: 21, Nays: None.) To Assembly.
SJR8* Resolution read. Passed. Title approved. (Yeas: 18, Nays: 3.) To Assembly.
SJR8*: Resolution read. Passed. Title approved. Preamble adopted. (Yeas: 30, Nays: 12.) To Senate.