CARSON CITY — A proposal backed by Las Vegas card dealers and other tip-earners to ban certain tip-sharing agreements is in legislative limbo after its scheduled hearing was abruptly canceled last week.
Assembly Bill 248 was scheduled for a Friday hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee but was yanked out of the committee earlier in the week and sent to the Commerce and Labor Committee on a voice vote along party lines in the Republican-controlled Senate.
State Sen. Terry Care, D-Las Vegas, asked Senate Commerce and Labor Chairman Randolph Townsend, R-Reno, for a commitment to give the bill a hearing, saying he wanted to have something to tell hundreds of constituents who have e-mailed him in support or opposition to the bill.
"What do I tell them now?" Care asked Monday in saying that he has not received any such commitment from Townsend.
Townsend declined to say if or when the bill would come up for a hearing in his committee. When asked about a hearing date, he said only, "When it gets posted, that’s when it will be posted."
Care said he has concerns about the bill, which has "big problems," but the issue deserves proper discussion in the Senate.
"At a hearing, I could listen to the testimony and decide," Care said.
Lawmakers have just four weeks left in the 2007 session.
In August, Wynn Las Vegas ordered dealers to share their tips with supervisors. Dealers have testified that resulted in a 15 to 20 percent cut in their tip wages.
The bill’s original sponsor, Assemblyman Bob Beers, R-Henderson, has said he wants to stop what he termed the confiscation of employee tips.
Wynn Las Vegas executives, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, Nevada Restaurant Association and the Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association all opposed the bill, saying it would take away business autonomy and harm lower-income employees such as busboys and bar backs.
The proposal originally was debated as AB357, which died in committee after missing an April 14 deadline for approval. The proposal was revived by being amended into AB248 and was approved by the Assembly on a 32-10 vote and sent to the Senate on April 24.2007 Nevada Legislature