Big bills that passed, failed at the 2013 Legislature


GAY MARRIAGE: Both houses approved Senate Joint Resolution 13, a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize gay marriage. The resolution must be approved by both houses of the Legislature again in 2015 before it can go before voters in the 2016 general election.

MINING TAX: Both houses approved Senate Joint Resolution 15, which allows voters next year to decide whether to change how the mining industry is taxed. They could amend out of the state constitution a clause that now limits mining taxes to a rate of 5 percent on the value of minerals they sell, minus deductions.

DRIVER AUTHORIZATION CARDS: Both houses overwhelmingly approved, and Gov. Brian Sandoval signed, Senate Bill 303, which will allow people who are in the country illegally to acquire driver authorization cards. These drivers will have to pass written and driving tests and, if they buy a vehicle, purchase liability insurance.

GUN BACKGROUND CHECKS: Sen. Justin Jones, D-Las Vegas, just before Legislature adjourned won final approval 23-19 in the Assembly of Senate Bill 221 to require universal background checks before people can buy guns and to prevent mentally ill people from securing weapons. Now the bill goes to Sandoval, who is expected to veto it.

ONLINE GAMING: Assembly Bill 114 was passed by both houses and signed by Sandoval. It allows online poker. Ultimate Poker already has opened a website offering the game.

MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES: Both houses approved Assembly Bill 374, which creates state-regulated marijuana dispensaries and grow farms for the state’s 3,785 medical marijuana users. Sandoval is expected to sign the bill.

CONSOLIDATED TAX: Assembly Bill 68 became law in March. It makes changes to the “C” or consolidated tax law, providing what proponents say is a more equitable way to distribute state taxes to local governments. But North Las Vegas, which wanted $26 million more a year, will get only $3 million more.

BRIANNA’S LAW: Sandoval signed Senate Bill 243, Brianna’s Law, which will require anyone arrested on a felony charge to give a DNA cheek swab to police. The bill is named after Brianna Denison, a 19-year-old Reno woman raped and killed in 2008 by James Biela, now awaiting execution at Ely State Prison.

SEX TRAFFICKING: Both houses approved, and Sandoval is expected to sign, Assembly Bill 67, Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto’s bill to provide tougher prison sentences to pimps who use the services of underage prostitutes. Life imprisonment sentences can be given those who use prostitutes under age 16. Masto emphasized she is going after pimps, not people who hire prostitutes who they assume are at least 18.

HATE CRIME: Both houses approved, and Sandoval signed, Senate Bill 139 to add crimes committed because of someone’s “gender identity or expression” to the list of hate crimes. Judges could require longer prison sentences for people convicted of such crimes.


TAX INCREASES: Unable to muster enough Republican support to pass them, Democrats let die their bills to raise $255 million through increases in the modified business or payroll tax and their bill to raise $50 million by an 8 percent tax on entertainment and admissions.

Also, Democrats did not hear a bill by Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, to let voters next year decide whether to levy a 10 percent net tax on mining revenue.

SEX EDUCATION: The Senate did not vote on an Assembly-passed Assembly Bill 230 to require development of new medically accurate, age-appropriate sex education school courses that discuss abortion, contraceptives and abstaining from sex. Democrats said it was futile to vote because Sandoval would veto it.

SPEED LIMIT: Senate Bill 191, which would have raised the speed limit to as high as 85 mph on portions of freeways in Nevada, was approved in the Senate but died in the Assembly.

VOTER ID: Neither house conducted a vote on Senate Bill 63, Secretary of State Ross Miller’s photo ID bill designed to prevent fraudulent voting. Miller wanted to create electronic poll books for use at polling locations that contained driver’s license photos of voters.

LEGAL MARIJUANA: The Assembly Judiciary Committee let Assembly Bill 402, which would have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, die without a vote. Sandoval opposed the idea.

GUNS, AMMO AND TAXES: Assembly Bill 234 to levy a $25 sales tax on gun purchases and a 2 cent tax for each round of ammunition died without a vote in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

CAMPUS CARRY: For the second straight session, a bill to allow people with concealed-weapons permits to take their weapons onto Nevada college campuses died without a vote.

YOUNG STRIPPERS: The Senate Judiciary Committee did not vote on Senate Bill 413, which would have required dancers in adult entertainment clubs to be at least 21 years old. Some as young as 18 are permitted to dance completely nude in “juice bars.”

ANDREW MARTIN BILL: The Senate let die Assembly Bill 407, which specified new language to the law to determine a candidate’s residence. The bill was created after Assemblyman Andrew Martin, D-Las Vegas, was elected to his District 9 seat though a district judge ruled he could not run because he lived outside his election district.