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Nevada Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – August 1, 2020

Government Affairs Daily Update

August 1, 2020

Our Government Affairs & Advocacy Team is dedicated to keeping you informed and up to date with political and COVID-19 information in Nevada.

Special Session Coverage

Special Session Day 2 – Legislators reconvened Saturday morning for the second day of the 32nd Special Session after holding several bill hearings and votes on Friday before adjourning late in the evening. Certain policy items that were identified in Governor Sisolak’s proclamation calling for the special session, including liability protections and revisions to unemployment insurance, have yet to be introduced in bill language. Lawmakers are expected to continue working through the weekend and into next week.

Status of Legislation (As of 5:00 p.m. August 1) –

Passed:

AB 2 (Remote Participation and Constitutional Changes) – Assembly Bill 2 codifies remote participation for legislators during the COVID-19 pandemic, creates the Office of General Counsel in the Legislative Counsel Bureau and provides authorization and guidance on the process of amending the Constitution during a special session.
Status: Passed 40-1 in the Assembly. Passed 16-5 in the Senate.

In-Progress:

AB 1 (Technical Changes) – Assembly Bill 1 corrects several technical errors in law relating to voting rights for those on probation and parole, as well as clarifying language relating to evictions.
Status: Passed in the Assembly 31-10.
AB 3 (Police Reform) – Assembly Bill 3 presents a number of reform policies for law enforcement agencies, which includes banning the use of chokeholds, creating a “duty to intervene,” requiring a drug test for those in an officer-involved shooting and allowing the recording of law enforcement if it does not obstruct proceedings.
Status: Passed in the Assembly 38-4.
AB 4 (Election Reform) – Assembly Bill 4 provides for an expansion of mail-in voting during a state of emergency, mandates the minimum number of in-person voting locations in each county and appropriates $3-million in state funds to conduct the November general election.
Status: Passed in the Assembly 29-12. Heard in the Senate and awaiting a vote.
SB 1 (Eviction Dispute) – Senate Bill 1 authorizes the halt of eviction proceedings for alternative dispute resolution and applies to those staying in apartments, mobile homes, recreational vehicles and low-rent housing programs.
Status: Heard in the Senate and awaiting a vote.
SB 2 – (Peace Officers) – Senate Bill 2, introduced Saturday, proposes changes to Senate Bill 242 that passed unanimously during the 2019 legislative session. The bill aims to provide accountability and transparency for both officers and residents by requiring investigations to occur within a reasonable amount of time and allows an investigation to be reopened without the discovery of new evidence.
Status: Heard in the Senate and awaiting a vote.

Mining Tax Resolution (SJR1) Passes Senate – Senate Joint Resolution 1 (SJR1) passed out of the Senate on a party-line 13-8 vote Saturday morning after a lengthy hearing and extensive floor arguments Friday evening. The resolution proposes to amend the state Constitution by removing the 5-percent maximum net proceeds of minerals tax and replace it with a 7.75-percent tax on the gross proceeds. As a constitutional change, it would require additional approval by the 2021 Legislature and by voters in the 2022 election. The resolution additionally removes the statute that requires any tax increase be approved by a two-thirds majority of the legislature, allowing a simple majority to do so. It requires 50-percent of the proceeds to go to a separate account to fund a program that would make payments to eligible residents. There was no support testimony for the bill. Opposition from the mining industry and associated trades warned against the adverse effects on the mining industry, namely for small companies. As it will require approval during the 2021 legislative session, there is opportunity for further discussion and changes to the resolution.

Election Reform Bill (AB4) Passes Assembly – Assembly Bill 4 (AB4), a bill that proposes vast election reform during a state of emergency, heard in both houses Friday evening and passed on a party-line vote in the Assembly. The topic of election reform was identified by Governor Sisolak as a priority in the proclamation his office issued for the special session as the state attempts to navigate conducting another election in the midst of a pandemic. Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske has indicated a desire to hold the November general election with less dependency on mail-in ballots and a stronger emphasis on in-person voting. AB4 requires election officials to provide a mail-in ballot to all registered and active voters in the state and allocates $3-million in state funds to conduct the election. It also provides for 100 in-person voting centers in Clark County, 25 centers in Washoe County and at least one location in all other counties. A provision of the bill that drew criticism from Republican lawmakers allows a non-family member designee to return mail-in ballots on behalf of voters.

Police Reform Bill (AB3) Passes Assembly – Assembly Bill 3 (AB3), which presents a number of police and criminal justice reform policies, passed the Assembly 38-4 Saturday afternoon. The bill includes a ban the use of chokeholds, implements a “duty to intervene” in the event of unjustified use of force, requires a written report on unjustified use of force within ten days of the incident, explicitly allows for the recording of law enforcement activity if it is not obstructive and requires drug testing for individuals in an officer-involved shooting. Notably, a provision of the bill removes language that allows law enforcement officers to use “all means necessary” to make an arrest and replaces it with “only the amount of reasonable force necessary.” The bill received substantial public comment, both in support and opposition, before passing with a minor amendment on the Assembly floor.

Governor Sisolak Extends Emergency Directives – Governor Steve Sisolak signed Emergency Directive 29 Friday evening, effectively extending previously issued directives that were set to expire on July 31. Among the policy directives that will continue is a mandated 50-percent occupancy limit in businesses, current restrictions imposed on restaurants, bars, pubs and taverns in high-risk areas, a limit on gatherings to no more than 50 people, and authorization for remote meetings to adhere to open meeting law. The continuation of several policies is on the heels of Governor Sisolak’s July 27 announcement that revealed a new state reopening plan in the works. The new plan is expected to utilize updated criteria based on data trends to provide county-specific guidance on mitigation efforts.

COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada

New Cases: 925
Total Cases: 49,076
Current Hospitalizations: 1,165 (+6)
Total Fatalities: 832 (+1)


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