Override of property tax plan veto on agenda

CARSON CITY -- Nevada lawmakers start their third week of the 2009 session on Monday, Presidents Day, with a full schedule of hearings and a scheduled Senate vote on whether to override a 2007 veto by Gov. Jim Gibbons.

Working on a holiday is the norm for lawmakers, Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, said. "We only have a 120-day session, and we can't afford to take holidays off when we have limited time to work."

Lawmakers already had concluded the 2007 session when Gibbons vetoed SB146, which would have allowed small counties to raise property taxes by 4 cents for every $100 of property value to build juvenile detention facilities. They had to wait until the regular 2009 session to consider an override.

Besides the overrride vote, Monday's agenda includes joint Senate-Assembly budget subcommittee hearings on services and programs for children; and on services to workers, including those who don't have jobs or need rehabilitation because of injuries.

The Assembly Health and Human Services Committee will consider AB76 and AB83, which deal with child welfare services and investigations into cases of child abuse and neglect. The Assembly Education Committee will discuss ways to increase Nevada's high school graduation rate.

On Tuesday, the Senate Energy, Infrastructure and Transportation Committee plans a work session on SB51, which expands investigative powers of police before they are armed with a search warrant from a judge. Critics say the bill is too broad.

The same Senate panel and Assembly Transportation members will meet later in the week to review the federal stimulus plan that's expected to net Nevada about $1.5 billion. That includes just over $200 million for transportation-related projects.

Measures dealing with sex offenders will be debated by the Assembly Corrections, Parole and Probation Committee. They include AB38, which blocks automatic restoration of civil rights for sex offenders under lifetime supervision.

Wednesday's schedule includes a speech to lawmakers by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., whose long political career included one term in the state Assembly 30 years ago. As lieutenant governor, Reid also presided over the state Senate in the early 1970s.

The Assembly Judiciary committee will review AB1, barring demonstrations within 300 feet of a funeral or memorial service. Such restrictions have faced court challenges in other states on grounds they limited free speech.

A joint budget panel will review Nevada's Medicaid program, in line for more than $400 million of the federal stimulus funds, and the Assembly Health and Human Services Committee will get an update on the investigation into a hepatitis C outbreak that linked nine cases of the infection to two Las Vegas clinics.

A hearing on legislation proposed as a result of the hepatitis C outbreak is planned Saturday in Las Vegas.

On Thursday, a Senate-Assembly budget panel will review Nevada's K-12 education funding, which would be cut under Gov. Jim Gibbons' budget proposal. The federal stimulus money for Nevada could ease or avert those cuts, depending on guidelines for use of the money.

The Senate Energy, Infrastructure and Transportation Committee will review SB116, which would let officers stop a driver not wearing a seat belt. Under current law, someone can be ticketed for not wearing a seat belt only if initially stopped for another offense.

The Senate Judiciary Committee considers SJR9, a proposed constitutional change to allow for an intermediate appeals court between Nevada's existing district courts and the state Supreme Court.

The Senate-Assembly tax panels will review the many tax breaks and abatements now allowed under state law.

On Friday, Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-North Las Vegas, plans to detail his "green jobs" initiative in the Senate Energy, Infrastructure and Transportation Committee, and the Assembly Ways and Means Committee will review efforts to fight plans for a nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain.


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