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Nevada laws on ‘pink tax,’ felons’ rights take effect Tuesday

CARSON CITY — Two new laws take effect in Nevada on Tuesday: the voter-approved “pink tax” exemption for feminine hygiene products and a bill from the 2017 Legislature dealing with the restoration of civil rights to some felons.

Here are the details and a look at other voter-approved measures that have not yet taken effect:

Pink tax

Question 2, which Nevadans approved in November with 56 percent of the vote, will exempt tampons and sanitary napkins from sales and use taxes through 2028.

The tax exemption was initially approved by state lawmakers in the 2017 Legislature before being sent to the voters. Supporters argued that the tax unfairly penalized women for their gender and biology.

Restoring civil rights for felons

Assembly Bill 181, which was championed by Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson, D-Las Vegas, in the 2017 Legislature, is set to take effect on Jan. 1.

The law will restore the right to vote and serve as a juror in a civil trial to those who were convicted of lower-level felonies — classified as category C, D and E offensesand given a “dishonorable” discharge from probation as well as those not currently on parole or probation or serving a prison term. They would also have their right to hold office restored after four years, and right to serve as a juror in a criminal trial after six years.

The new law also restores the rights of those who were discharged from parole or probation or released from prison before Tuesday.

For those convicted of a category B felony that didn’t result in substantial bodily harm, the new law would restore their rights to vote two years after being discharged from parole, probation or prison. Those who were convicted of a category A or category B felony resulting in substantial bodily harm will still need to petition a court to have their rights restored.

What about other referenda?

Nevadans approved several other laws in November, but only the Pink Tax takes effect with the turning of the calendar. Others, like Marsy’s Law (Question 1), a victim’s rights measure, and the medical device tax exemption (Question 4) will require the Legislature to make certain changes to implement them. That is likely to take place during the upcoming state legislative session beginning on Feb. 4, which would clear the way for their possible implementation later in the year.

The Nevada secretary of state’s office said in December that there’s no clear timeline on when automatic voter registration (Question 5) could be implemented and that it could cost upwards of $4.8 million depending on how much work is required by the office, such as creating a statewide database of registered voters.

Question 6, which would require Nevada to get 50 percent of its energy from renewable sources, is a proposed constitutional amendment and therefore would need to be approved again by voters in 2020 to become law.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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