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Sandoval vetoes apprenticeship bill, signs dozen others into law

CARSON CITY – Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed an apprenticeship bill and signed a dozen other bills into law Tuesday, the day after the Legislature adjourned the 120-day session.

Sandoval vetoed Senate Bill 357, which would have prohibited public agencies from awarding construction projects to contractors unless they meet requirements for apprentices. Those requirements include having apprentices perform at least 3 percent of their work to qualify for projects that are $1 million or more in scope.

For Sandoval, the restrictions made the bill a deal-breaker. In his veto message, Sandoval said apprenticeship programs in Nevada’s economy are crucial, but added that the bill would “provide a significant advantage for some contractors, while penalizing others, based not upon the performance of the contractors, but simply upon the number of apprentices the contractor is able to employ.”

He called the bill’s provisions “restrictive and burdensome” and expressed concerns the legislation could shut otherwise qualified contractors out of public bidding.

Highlights among the bills he signed:

  • Assembly Bill 122, which allows non-Nevada residents to seek compensation for crime victims from the State Board of Examiners. The new law also removes a prior restriction that disqualified applicants if they lived in Nevada but were undocumented.
  • Assembly Bill 124, which requires the Commission on Professional Standards in Education to establish a code of ethics for educators in public and charter schools for activities including electronic communication with students. Under the legislation, schools must train teachers in these ethics. The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s “Broken Trust” series about teacher misconduct with students reported in May that the Clark County School District has no social media or texting policies guiding student-teacher contact.
  • Assembly Bill 288, which institutes tougher penalties for perpetrators who abuse, exploit or neglect elderly or vulnerable people under their care. The law makes actions that result in substantial bodily harm or death a felony carrying six to 20 years in prison. Previously, the crime carried two to six years of prison.
  • Assembly Bill 291, which expands courts’ authority to correct errors in the presentence reports used for sentencing criminal defendants.

Contact Ben Botkin at bbotkin@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-0661. Follow @BenBotkin1 on Twitter.

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