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Opioid, juvenile justice bills signed by Nevada governor

Updated June 16, 2017 - 7:27 pm

CARSON CITY — Bills to reform Nevada’s juvenile justice system and combat opioid abuse were signed into law Friday by Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Flanked by first lady Kathleen Sandoval and former Nevada Supreme Court Justice Nancy Saitta, Sandoval first signed Assembly Bill 472, the result of work by an interim Juvenile Justice Task Force he established last year.

Kathleen Sandoval and Saitta oversaw the work of the task force and pushed for AB472 in the Legislature. It will establish a statewide framework for assessing juvenile offenders and deciding the treatment they need. The measure is intended to create a validated risk and needs assessment to guide sentencing for juveniles and plan the services they will get.

“It’s always important for us to look at what we can do better,” Kathleen Sandoval said. “And this is going to allow us to do that and to make a change for these kids who often don’t have a voice.”

The bill to fight the opioid problem, Assembly Bill 474, makes numerous changes to how the prescription drugs containing opioids are provided to patients and allows for disciplinary action against practitioners who inappropriately prescribe the drugs.

Sandoval also signed several bills Friday afternoon at the University of Nevada, Reno, including Assembly Bill 69, which allows autonomous vehicles to be tested in Nevada highways.

To celebrate the occasion, Sandoval arrived at the bill signing in an autonomous vehicle.

Autonomous vehicles will “be the norm in the very near future,” Sandoval told the audience of lawmakers, university officials and UNR cheerleaders gathered for the signing. He also joked that the bill puts Nevada “in the driver’s seat,” prodding the audience to laugh after he paused.

Sandoval also signed Senate Bill 546, which funds the state’s capital improvement projects. Big-ticket items include a $43 million UNR Engineering Academic Building and $33 million for the Northern Nevada Veterans Home in Sparks.

The governor signed Assembly Bill 522, which appropriates $300,000 to the Nevada Teach Funding program, which helps UNR students become certified to teach math, science and engineering in middle and high school.

Contact Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @seanw801 on Twitter.

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