Nevada Legislature Women

In this Feb. 6, 2017, file photo, spectators look down on the Nevada State Assembly on the opening day of the Legislative Session in Carson City, Nev. Nevada voters could soon make history by electing the country's first female-majority state legislature.

CARSON CITY (FOX5) -- With the 80th session of the Nevada Legislature scheduled to end on June 3, lawmakers were expected to work late into the night as they work through dozens of bills.

EDUCATION

Nevada lawmakers passed Senate Bill 555 late Friday night, a proposal that outlines K-12 funding for schools across the state for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years.

According to the bill's language, $6,067 would be allocated per student within the Clark County School District. Other students in other counties would receive about $10,000 per pupil.

SB 555 also proposes an average support guarantee of $6,218 per pupil for the 2019-2020 school year, which is an increase of about 4% from the current rate. The bill marks the 2021 figure at $6,288.

Overall, the bill would allocate approximately $327.2 million for a class-size reduction program and $62.9 million for the Read by Grade 3 program. Additional funds were included to allow for raises to teacher pay, but the Clark County Education Association said if more money is not included, their members would strike.

The Clark County School District said it needed between $110 to $120 million to fund the merit pay raises, cost-of-living pay raises and increases in health care. State Democrats announced legislation that would reroute funds from a 10% sales tax on retail marijuana sales toward education funding, away from the state's "rainy day" fund.

"Senate Democrats firmly believe corporate tax breaks aren't worth shortchanging our public schools," Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro said in a statement announcing the plan.

SB 555 must be signed by Gov. Steve Sisolak before becoming law.

FINANCE

Senate bills 557 and 311 deal with campaign finance and expanding protections against discrimination for credit applicants.

Specifically for SB 557, the languages states a candidate or public officer is prohibited from paying himself or herself a salary with campaign contributions. The bill also requires certain organizations, such as labor unions and corporations, that make monetary contributions to candidates to file a report with the Secretary of State.

The bill is sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Cannizzaro. SB 557 requires any money that wasn't spent for campaigning purposes be returned to contributors. Candidates may also use the money to campaign in the next election cycle, according to the bill's language. The money can also be donated to a nonprofit entity or any governmental agency.

SB 557 was introduced months after former Senate Majority Leader Kevin Atkinson resigned on the Senate floor after announcing he took campaign funds for personal use.

SB 557 passed in the Senate and will be headed to the Assembly before reaching Gov. Sisolak's desk.

The other financial bill, SB 311, was signed into law on Saturday. The bill revises the state's policy regarding individual applications for credit that creditors may not discriminate against an applicant's sex, race, religion, gender identity, disability or national origin.

SB 311 also prohibits creditors from discriminating against applicants based on their martial status. An provision was included in the bill for the Commissioner of Financial Institutions to "study the nature and extent" of any credit discriminatory practices in Nevada.

GUN REFORM

Assembly Bill 291, proposed by 1 October shooting survivor Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui, aims to keep guns out of the hands of what the bill considers "at-risk" individuals.

The bill describes those individuals as anyone who "uses, attempts to use or threatens the use of psychical force against another person" and "communicates a threat of imminent violence towards himself or herself against another person."

Also known as the "1 October bill," AB 291was voted along party lines in the Assembly Friday and will be sent to Gov. Sisolak's desk. State Democrats argue the measure would help prevent mass shootings and suicides, while Republicans say the legislation is too broad and unconstitutional.

"Our objection on 'Red Flag Laws' is that it's taking away a person's constitutional rights, not based on a criminal conviction or a mental adjudication but based on third party allegations with low evidentiary standards," said Western Regional Director for the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, Daniel Reid.

The "red-flag" provision included in the bill allows authorities and family members to seek a court order to take firearms from a person who poses a danger to themselves and others, though a detailed description of the person's behavior is required.

A ban on bump stocks was also included in the bill. 

SAFETY

Senate Bill 204 was signed by Gov. Sisolak on Saturday and requires schools to adopt suicide prevention policies, including policies that would help students deemed at-risk for suicide. 

Teachers and other school employees would be trained on how to spot at-risk students, according to the bill's language. The law would specifically target students from grades seven to 12 and would provide mental health services.

SB 204 also requires a review of the school's suicide prevention policy at least once every five years and be updated as necessary. Each board of trustees within a school district has to provide instruction to provide suicide prevention services and to ensure "that each school resource officer receives training in the prevention of suicide." 

The bill calls for the Superintendent of Public Instruction's director of the office to maintain a 24-hour, toll-free statewide hotline and website so that anyone can make a report. The website would also include resources regarding suicide prevention and the relationship between bullying, cyber-bullying and suicide.

A proposal to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products -- Assembly Bill 544 -- is also making its way through the legislature. With the exception of active military members, AB 544 requires anyone be 21-years-old or older to purchase any tobacco or vapor products. 

AB 544 was passed overwhelmingly in the Assembly and has been moved to the Senate for consideration. The bill's sponsor, Republican Assemblyman Jim Wheeler, said military members need only to show their military I.D. when purchasing tobacco products. 

If the bill is passed before midnight Monday and approved by Gov. Sisolak, the law would not go into effect until July 2021, after the next legislative session.

WORKERS RIGHTS

State workers who've been fighting for the right to collectively bargain may see their vision become a reality.

The Assembly passed approved Senate Bill 135, and the bill is now heading to Gov. Sisolak's desk. Union supporters of the bill said it would lead to improved services, less turnover and better working conditions. 

SB 135 would cover works such as prison guards, janitors and secretaries. 

According to the bill's language, "an employee who is aggrieved by the failure of a public body" can file a complaint with the Employee Management Committee. SB 135 also requires proper rooms and accommodations for new mothers who are breast-feeding their newborns. 

Workers, under the right to collectively bargain, can negotiate wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment. During his State of the State address, Sisolak had called for such measures.

SB 135 would not cover teachers and workers would not be permitted to strike.

"Today is a historic step forward for thousands of state public service workers who have long demanded a voice on the job," said AFSCME Local 4041 President Harry Schiffman. "Much work remains to be done, and this bill shows that we can make real progress when we come together as a union."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2019 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved 

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.