Lawmakers will consider whether to criminalize more activities linked to illegal prostitution, expand renters’ rights and require Nevada to keep closer tabs on carbon emissions.
They’ll also consider enshrining the right to same-sex marriage in the Nevada Constitution and explore ramping up the oversight over county public defender offerings.
For more information on the status of bills working their way through the Legislature, check out The Nevada Independent’s bill tracker. And for the bills in committee today, check out the Legislature’s website for committee times and links to watch live committee meetings and floor sessions.
Here’s what to watch for on Tuesday at the Legislature:
AB166: Making it a crime to “advance prostitution”
Members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee will consider a bill that would make it a felony to advance prostitution. That includes aiding someone in engaging in prostitution, providing a facility for prostitution or operating a house of prostitution.
The crime would be punishable as a Category D felony if the person is advancing prostitution without force, and a Category C felony if force or the threat of force was involved.
Republican Assemblywoman Jill Tolles, the bill’s sponsor, said the bill will be limited to venues where prostitution is not otherwise authorized by law — so it excludes people affiliated with legal brothels. Tolles said the target is places like massage parlors that act as a front for prostitution, but do not directly qualify as a pimp under existing anti-prostitution statutes.
Tolles said she is bringing an amendment that would apply the law to places where business operators know or should know that prostitution activity was taking place, but do not take action within 30 days to abate that activity by reporting it to police or taking other steps
The Assembly Judiciary Committee meets at 8 a.m.
AB81: More oversight over public defender services
Assembly Judiciary will also consider a bill that would create a Board on Indigent Defense to replace the Nevada Right to Counsel Commission, which is set to expire this summer. The board will oversee an executive director and will help establish minimum standards for indigent defense services, such as guidelines on how many cases individual attorneys should handle.
The board would also work with UNLV’s Boyd School of Law to consider incentives for lawyers to serve in rural and other underserved areas, and deputy directors of the board would exercise oversight over county public defender offices.
The bill comes after the ACLU filed a lawsuit alleging Nevada’s public defender services in rural counties is stretched too thin and violating offenders’ right to counsel.
The Assembly Judiciary Committee meets at 8 a.m.
Achievement School District budget
An education-focused subcommittee will hear about budget accounts within the Nevada Department of Education, including the controversial Achievement School District, which subsumes some of the state’s poorest performing schools and implements reforms.
A second Assembly-Senate subcommittee will hear budgets from the Department of Wildlife and the Department of Public Safety, including the Central Repository unit that conducts state background checks.
Both subcommittees meet at 8 a.m.
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider SB117, which specifies that any provisions in a real estate-related contract that restrict the sale or lease of a property on the basis of sex, disability or familial status are void. Existing law prevents such discrimination on the basis of characteristics such as race, religion and sexual orientation.
Familial status is defined as whether someone has children, is pregnant or is in the process of adopting.
The committee will also consider SB151, which would give tenants more notice before they are evicted. Existing law allows landlords to kick a tenant out if they don’t pay the rent by five days after they were notified they were in default. The bill would raise that threshold to 10 days.
The committee meets at 8 a.m.
The Assembly Education Committee is taking up AB205, which would require school districts take more steps to control pests and weeds.
The bill requires districts to establish an integrated pest management policy that includes procedures for removing pests and weeds and guidelines to determine when certain steps should be taken to address pests. It also requires the superintendent to appoint a chief integrated pest management coordinator to carry out the position and requires that at least 10 percent of district maintenance personnel are certified in pest management.
The bill, sponsored by Democratic Assemblywoman Michelle Gorelow, is considered an unfunded mandate because it does not allocate additional funds for districts to implement the measure.
Members will also take up AB219, which would require that if an English learner is not receiving adequate services from the school they are zoned for, the district would provide them transportation to a school that would better serve them.
The committee meets at 1:30 p.m.
SB254: Cutting carbon emissions
Members of both the Senate and Assembly Growth and Infrastructure Committees will hear presentations from leaders in Nevada’s energy sector.
Then, they’ll take up SB254, a bill that would require the state more closely track carbon emissions and develop recommendations.
The bill is sponsored by Democratic Sen. Chris Brooks and a long list of Democratic colleagues. The committee meets at 1:30 p.m.
SB164: Exempting bitcoin and other digital currency from taxation
This bill, sponsored by Republican state Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, would exempt virtual currency from taxation. It defines virtual currency as digital representation of a value that is created, issued and maintained on a public blockchain, is not attached to a tangible asset or government-issued currency, is accepted as a means of payment and may only be transferred, stored or traded electronically.
It will be heard in the Senate Revenue and Economic Development Committee at 1:30 p.m.
AJR2 of the 2017 session: Constitutional amendment on same-sex marriage
This proposed constitutional amendment would remove the “one man, one woman” marriage provision from the Nevada Constitution. Though same-sex marriage has been the law of the land since the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic ruling in the summer of 2015, this measure, sponsored by former Democratic Assemblyman Nelson Araujo, would make it official in the state Constitution.
In 2017, the measure passed 19-2 in the Senate and 27-14 in the Assembly. If both houses of the Legislature approve it this session, it will head to the voters for consideration on the 2020 ballot.
The measure will be heard in the Assembly Legislative Operations and Elections Committee at 4 p.m.