State lawmakers introduced 141 new bills Monday in what was the busiest day yet in the 120-day Nevada Legislature.
And they are expected to introduce at least that many Tuesday.
Amid the scrambling to get bills drafted and introduced by what was supposed to be the first major deadline, lawmakers voted on a resolution Monday to allow more time for bills to be drafted and introduced citing “organizational issues” that arose in the aftermath of two high-ranking Democrats resigning from their seats in the past two weeks.
Former Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, D-North Las Vegas, resigned on March 5 after agreeing to plead guilty to misappropriating roughly $250,000 in campaign donations. Then last week, former Assemblyman Mike Sprinkle, D-Sparks, resigned after complaints of sexual harassment were raised against him.
The resolution also will allow for the bills that were sponsored by Atkinson and Sprinkle to be scrubbed of their names and then picked up by other lawmakers, if there are any takers.
All but one lawmaker, Assemblywoman Robin Titus, voted for the resolution.
“Rules are in place for a reason,” Titus, R-Wellington, told the Review-Journal after the vote.
Titus also raised concerns with allowing Atkinson’s and Sprinkle’s bills to live after their resignations.
“Somebody needs to be accountable that certain decisions were made and they’re still going to be able to legislate and not be here,” she said.
Some of the noteworthy bills introduced Monday included:
Assembly Bill 281 — would prohibit local or state law enforcement agencies from arresting a person purely at the request of federal immigration agents.
Assembly Bill 289 — deals with the state’s Read by 3 program, and would require parents to sign off on having their child retained for not getting a high enough score on the standardized state test, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium exam.
Assembly Bill 291 — sponsored by Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui, D-Las Vegas, would ban bump stocks and similar devices that attach to semi-automatic guns to simulate automatic fire.
It would also remove the language in state law that prevents local governments from passing their own local gun laws. This became an issue when Clark County and the city of Las Vegas wanted to ban bump stocks following the Oct. 1 Route 91 Harvest festival shooting, but realized that state law prohibited such a move.
And third, the bill would lower the blood-alcohol content allowed for handling firearms from 0.10 to 0.08, putting it in line with the threshold for DUIs.
Assembly Bill 333 — would authorize the DMV to design and issue special license plates to commemorate and memorialize the victims of the Oct. 1 Route 91 Harvest festival shooting. The funds generated by the license plates would go toward the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center, which provides resources and support for those affected by the Oct. 1 shooting.
Senate Bill 312 — requires private companies to provide paid sick leave to employees.
Senate Bill 326 — would restore voting rights to felony convicts in some cases.
Senate Bill 328 — would extend existing laws against obscene or threatening phone calls to other electronic communications, such as texts, instant messages or emails.
Senate Bill 333 — would require campaign donors who give $1,000 or more to file a report with the state. Those who don’t could face a civil penalty. The bill is sponsored by Sen. James Settelmeyer, R-Minden, the Senate minority leader, and seven other Republican senators.
Senate Bill 349 — is a Republican-backed bill that seeks revisions to correct legal deficiencies in the Educational Savings account program created by the Legislature in 2015 but never implemented because of a state Supreme Court ruling.
Senate Bill 354 — aims to reduce the size of the state higher education Board of Regents from 13 to 9 members, five elected from districts and four appointed by the governor.