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20 new Nevada laws that could affect you

Updated June 27, 2023 - 2:36 pm

Gov. Joe Lombardo signed 536 bills during the 82nd legislative session, from laws that protect out-of-state abortion seekers to legislation that provides funds for a new school on a tribal reservation.

Many of the newly created laws will affect Nevadans either directly or indirectly.

Sure, in a few years you’ll get to attend a Las Vegas Athletics baseball game in a new stadium, which Lombardo approved $380 million of public funding to help build.

But here is a list of some changes that new laws made that could affect you on a somewhat regular basis, whether on your morning commute or receiving packages at home.

You won’t have to renew your license plate every eight years.

Before Assembly Bill 457 became law, the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles required drivers to obtain a new license plate every eight years. You can still get a duplicate or substitute license plate by applying for it.

Another vehicle-related piece of legislation, with the signage of Assembly Bill 203, allows you to request a personalized prestige license plate to be combined with special license plates associated with military or public service.

Before this law was signed, people with a disability stemming from their military service who had those special license plates were exempted from paying any parking fees. This law expands that to include a veteran who has those military special license plates, regardless if they have a disability connected to their service.

There are also specially designed license plates that indicate a person is a family member of someone who died while on duty in the U.S. military. They are also exempt from paying any parking fees.

You might see more lights on the roads for construction projects.

Lombardo signed Assembly Bill 2, which will allow for vehicles at construction sites to be equipped with lamps that emit a non-flashing blue light. Similar to how you have to drive more slowly during a traffic incident or when approaching state-issued cars that have their blue tail lamps on, you will have to take the same precautions when driving past those vehicles with blue lights. That law will take effect Oct. 1 2023.

Senate Bill 107 also requires the Department of Transportation to establish a program that allows a contractor working on a highway to obtain a permit to use a law enforcement vehicle owned by the Nevada Highway Patrol. The contractor can use the law enforcement vehicle’s flashing red warning lamps only when construction workers are around.

If you ride public transit you get a slight one-up in traffic.

A new law, Assembly Bill 56, allows buses of public transit systems, emergency vehicles, tow trucks and coroner vehicles to drive on the paved shoulder of a highway where there is signage that allows.

You might start seeing more wildlife crossings.

Assembly Bill 112 created the Wildlife Crossings Account in the State General Fund and requires the Department of Transportation to consult with the Department of Wildlife to identify locations and strategies on where to place wildlife crossings. The funds will also be used to implement other highway features that aim to improve the permeability for wildlife.

It will be a little easier to buy cigarettes at your favorite casino.

State law previously prohibited a person from selling or distributing cigarettes and other tobacco products to a person under 40 years old without first performing age verification. Assembly Bill 122 makes an exemption for casinos, since people under the age of 21 are prohibited from loitering.

It will also be slightly cheaper to buy premium cigars.

Assembly Bill 232 limits the tax imposed on the receipt, purchase and sale of premium cigars, which are cigars that are rolled by hand, with a wrapper made of whole tobacco leaves and no filter or mouthpiece. That limit is no more than 50 cents or less than 30 cents. Before, the tax was 30 percent of the sale of the tobacco product.

Assemblyman Brian Hibbetts, R-Las Vegas, who sponsored the bill, said everyone looks at it as a cigar bill but it is also a small business bill that allows small businesses in Nevada to compete with surrounding states in internet sales.

“It’s not just good for Las Vegas, but also for Washoe County because they have premium cigar stores as well,” Hibbetts said.

You can book a virtual dentist appointment.

Assembly Bill 147 allows the use of teledentistry for the purposes of providing a diagnosis. It also sets forth a bunch of provisions related to how teledentistry will work and puts in requirements to make sure adequate in-person care is available to a patient who receives services through teledentistry.

You might start seeing more clean vehicles on the road, thanks to an incentive program.

Assembly Bill 184 establishes a voucher incentive program called the Clean Trucks and Buses Incentive Program, where vouchers can be issued to approved contractors for the sale of eligible zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

You could get a fine if you don’t follow rules on public transit.

Assembly Bill 214 allows for regional transportation authorities to issue fines to passengers who do not comply with state or regional health and safety standards or mandates.

There is a greater deterrence for people stealing Amazon packages.

Assembly Bill 272 establishes provisions relating to mail theft. Under the new law, if someone commits a crime of mail theft, they are guilty of a felony and could serve no less than one year in prison and no more than four years in prison, with a fine of no more than $5,000.

You won’t be able to buy a certain balloon as easily for a celebration.

Lombardo signed Assembly Bill 321, which would ban the sale of foil balloons that are filled with helium unless there is a weight attached to it. There also can’t be an electrically conductive string or tether attached to the balloon. If someone is caught selling those balloons, they could receive a civil penalty of no more than $50 for each balloon, and no more than $2,500 for each day a violation occurs.

According to the law, electric utilities report that foil balloons are among the top causes of outages. They are coated with a shiny metallic film that conducts electricity and can cause damage to power lines, cause blackouts and start fires.

Police can more easily tow your car if you’re caught driving recklessly.

Assembly Bill 408 allows for police to tow vehicles of people who are driving recklessly without actually having to arrest them.

Assemblywoman Tracy Brown-May, D-Las Vegas, said there are a number of situations in Clark County where a group of people participate in what is called “trick driving,” where they take over an intersection, perform tricks and burn rubber. “It stops traffic, and it’s erratic and unsafe,” Brown-May said in an interview.

There is a provision in the bill that makes it cheaper for someone to get their car back after it’s been towed. If, for instance, a teenager who has their parents’ car gets caught driving recklessly, “We wanted to make sure the mom and dad could afford to get the car back.”

If a person has a financial hardship, the tow company can decrease the fees for towing and storing your vehicle, Brown-May said.

Another law, with the passage of Senate Bill 322, increases penalties for driving recklessly. Known as “Rex’s Law,” the bill increases the maximum term of imprisonment from six to 10 years if it involves a vehicle going 50 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit or is in a pedestrian safety zone or school zone.

You might start seeing some changes with street vendors.

Lombardo signed Senate Bill 92, which legalizes sidewalk vendors in residential areas and provides them the opportunity to become legitimate businesses by obtaining local permits and licenses.

The new law prohibits a city or county governing bodies from enacting a complete ban on sidewalk vending and imposing criminal penalties for sidewalk vending in a residential area. It also authorizes a governing body to require that a sidewalk vendor have certain state or local permits and licenses and to impose different requirements regulating the time, place and manner of sidewalk vending.

If you’re summoned to be a juror, you’ll get a little bit more money.

Senate Bill 222 increases the payment that a person summoned as a juror is entitled to from $40 to $65.

Medical use of shrooms could be in your future.

Senate Bill 242 does not immediately affect Nevadans right now, but it could in the future. It requires the Department of Health and Human Services to establish the Psychedelic Medicines Working Group to study the therapeutic use of entheogens, or psychoactive substances like psilocybin, also known as magic mushrooms.

You might get more access to local wine.

Existing law allowed for a winery that had a wine-maker’s license issued before Sept. 30, 2015 to sell or serve wine that it produced, blended or aged by the winery on its premises as well as one other location. Senate Bill 259 expands that law to include wineries that got a license after Oct. 1, 2015.

You cannot keep your dog locked up for more than 10 hours a day.

Under Senate Bill 269, you cannot restrain your dog using tethers, chains, choke collars or other similar restraints for more than 10 hours in a 24-hour period. One exception to this law is if you take your dog camping.

It will be easier for you to get birth control.

Senate Bill 161 closes a loophole that prevents people from getting a full 12-month supply of birth control.

“So now everybody in the chain of commerce is required to approve a 12-month supply of a contraceptive,” said Sen. Melanie Scheible, D-Las Vegas, in an interview. “You can walk in (to a pharmacy) and get a full 12-month supply.”

If you buy a gun, a locking device will come with it.

Senate Bill 294 requires a licensed gun dealer to provide a locking device that secures a firearm with each sale or transfer of a gun. You’ll also start to see a notice posted on the gun store that says the unlawful storage of a firearm may result in imprisonment or a fine.

Your pets are more a part of town emergency management plans.

Emergency management plans must address the needs of people with pets and service animals, but Senate Bill 331 requires that an emergency management plan designate at least one shelter that can accommodate people with pets, and it must include provisions for the evacuation and transport of people and their pets.

If you have a medical condition, you can get a symbol on your driver’s license.

Senate Bill 362 requires a peace officer to ensure that medical aid is given to a person who indicates they cannot breathe. The bill also allows the DMV to begin imprinting a symbol that indicates a person has a medical condition on their driver’s license or ID card.

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jess_hillyeah on Twitter.

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