Panel looks at indigent care bill

CARSON CITY — The 11th week of the 2007 Nevada Legislature opens Monday with hearings on measures dealing with the death penalty, medical care for indigents and the makeup of the state Environmental Commission.

The Assembly Ways and Means Committee reviews AB444, which appropriates $200,000 for a pilot program to provide medical care to the indigent.

The Senate Judiciary Committee debates AB192, an Assembly-approved measure that spells out the governor’s authority to stay a death sentence. The measure cites wording in the Nevada Constitution which says the governor has the power to grant reprieves “for all cases, except in cases of impeachment.”

The Senate Natural Resources Committee will study AB217, another Assembly-endorsed bill that revises the makeup of the state Environmental Commission so that the five members appointed by the governor would include one member with experience in advocating conservation issues.

On Tuesday, a joint Assembly- Senate budget panel will hear from Jim Austin, an expert on corrections, as part of a review of Gov. Jim Gibbons’ proposed $634.7 million corrections budget. Another $300 million in capital construction funds will be needed for expansion.

Austin also will address the Senate Judiciary Committee and an Assembly panel on corrections later in the day.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will review AJR5, a proposed constitutional amendment to allow a Nevada lottery to raise money for books, computers and other educational materials for schools.

On Wednesday, the Assembly Judiciary Committee considers SB10, a Senate-approved bill to criminalize videotaping “private areas” of people in circumstances in which they have “a reasonable expectation of privacy.”

Also on the committee’s agenda is SB57, which would require parental permission before schools get the names of children who are victims of a sexual offense.

A joint Assembly-Senate budget panel reviews millions of dollars worth of capital improvements for various state agencies. That includes $32 million for the state Department of Corrections.

The Senate Judiciary Committee takes up AB137, which outlaws distributing hoax terrorism substances and increases penalties for false threats. The bill would increase penalties for making a false threat from one to six to two to 20 years in prison. It also makes it a crime to deliver or disperse a hoax substance that appears to be a weapon of mass destruction, a toxin or a lethal chemical, biological or nuclear agent.

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee considers AB92, which requires a DNA sample from all felons; and AB112, which prohibits someone who is arrested for violating a restraining order for domestic violence, stalking or harassment from being released on bail for 12 hours if they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The panel also will review AB482, which prohibits police from requiring a sexual crime victim to take a polygraph test.

Joint budget panels are scheduled to wrap up work on spending plans for the state Health Division and for the state Department of Information Technology.

On Friday, the Senate Judiciary Committee considers AB90, an Assembly-approved measure that would penalize men involved in paternity disputes who send a friend to take court-ordered tests aimed at identifying a child’s father.

AB90 makes it a misdemeanor for anyone ordered to take a paternity test to solicit someone to take the test instead. It provides the same penalty for someone who takes the test on behalf of someone else.

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