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Assembly approves collective bargaining reform bill

CARSON CITY – The first collective bargaining reform bill of the 2015 legislative session was headed to Gov. Brian Sandoval’s desk on Wednesday after getting a unanimous vote in the Assembly.

Senate Bill 158, one of the more modest proposals to change the law, would require three days of public notice of collective bargaining agreements before they could be approved by a local government elected body.

The bill was introduced by the Senate Government Affairs Committee and already has passed the Senate.

Committee Chairman Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka, said about the bill earlier this session: “I think it is good policy to let the public know what the public body has agreed to before they actually sign the paper. It’s all about transparency. I think the public has a right to know.”

The bill would require a local government employer to post a copy of any agreement, along with supporting materials, on its website three days before a vote is scheduled on the proposal.

Included in the posting would be any exhibits or other attachments to the proposed agreement, and if the agreement is a modification of a previous agreement, any language added or deleted. Supporting materials relating to the fiscal impact of an agreement also would have to be posted.

Assembly Minority Leader Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas, supported the bill, but said the transparency required with the measure should apply to the salaries and benefits of all public officials.

Other measures still under consideration by the Republican-controlled Legislature would make more substantial changes.

Among them are Assembly Bill 182 by Randy Kirner, R-Reno, which would prohibit supervisory employees, firefighters above the rank of captain, police officers above the rank of lieutenant and school administrators above the rank of principal from participating in collective bargaining.

It also would allow a government employee to resign from a union at any time and prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars to fund union activities by local government employees.

Assembly Bill 280 by Erv Nelson, R-Las Vegas, would allow local governments to opt out of collective bargaining entirely with local unions. Police officers would be exempt from the provision.

Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, has a measure as well. Senate Bill 241 would make changes to the rules for school administrators, including principals.

Contact Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3900. Find him on Twitter: @seanw801

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