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Scores of bills pass committee on Nevada’s deadline day

Updated May 14, 2021 - 9:36 pm

CARSON CITY — In fits and starts, lawmakers on Friday moved some 80 bills through committees ahead of an end-of-day deadline, including measures to help former prison inmates gain housing, rein in police use of force, and ease access to birth control at the pharmacy as the Legislature closed in on its final two weeks of the session.

In the full Senate, lawmakers also passed a joint resolution that would amend the state constitution to simplify the state’s two-tiered minimum wage law, setting a uniform minimum of $12 per hour in 2024 if voters approve the measure in 2022. The vote was 13-8, with one Republican joining Democrats in support.

Assembly Joint Resolution 10, introduced and first passed in 2019, dovetails with a bill passed in 2019 that progressively raises the minimum wage to $12 by mid-2024. That 2019 law did not change the tiered system, which sets different rates based on whether employers offer health insurance.

The constitutional amendment, if approved by voters, also would tie future increases in the state minimum wage to changes in the federal minimum wage and allow the Legislature to vote on raising it. The measure earlier passed the Assembly on a 26-16 party-line vote, with Democrats in support.

Friday, the 103rd day of the 120-day session, was the last day for pending bills not otherwise declared exempt from deadline to move through their second house committees or die for the year. For the week, lawmakers moved more than 290 bills out of committee.

As of Saturday morning, 19 bills were listed as failing to make it out of committee, the most significant being Assembly Bill 395, abolishing the death penalty in the state. Gov. Steve Sisolak and legislative Democratic leaders announced the bill’s fate Thursday.

Bills passing out of committee on deadline day included:

■ Senate Bill 254, aimed at preventing previously incarcerated people from discrimination in seeking housing.

■ Senate Bill 166, aimed at changing the criteria for hate crimes.

■ Senate Bill 212, aimed at reforming reforms rules for when police may resort to force.

■ Assembly Bill 42, which, pursuant to a 2019 state Supreme Court decision, would make provisions for jury trials in misdemeanor domestic violence cases where weapons possession is at stake.

■ Senate Bill 150, which would set rules for communities to allow construction of so-called tiny homes.

■ Assembly Bill 222, which would expand whistleblower protections to cover employees who report workplace problems internally.

■ Assembly Bill 186, which would ban police from using ticket or arrest quotas.

■ Senate Bill 344, which would bar most people from keeping, breeding or trafficking in large wild animals.

■ Senate Bill 190, which would allow to women to obtain birth control at a pharmacy without a prior visit to a doctor.

■ Assembly Bill 141, which would automatically seal records of summary evictions for non-payment of rent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

■ Assembly Bill 296, which would allow people to sue if they are subject to “doxxing” — having their sensitive or personal data publicly disseminated.

■ Assembly Bill 396, which would revise provisions for use of deadly force by law enforcement. It was amended to remove a section that rewrote criteria for a justifiable homicide defense.

■ Assembly Bill 400, which would change the criteria for determining when someone is driving impaired from using marijuana by requiring more than a blood test that is positive for THC.

The next legislative deadline is Friday, when bills not otherwise exempt must be voted on in their second house. The session concludes May 31.

Contact Capital Bureau reporter Bill Dentzer at bdentzer@reviewjournal.com. Follow @DentzerNews on Twitter.

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