After snowstorms on Monday and Tuesday in Carson City, state lawmakers are pushing ahead on scheduled hearings for a slew of bills affecting gaming, education and land sales.
Legislators have scheduled a mostly full day of hearings on Wednesday, with committees scheduled to hear legislation affecting various aspects of the gambling industry, making it easier for spouses of active-duty military to get teaching licenses and allowing counties to buy land at prices higher than appraised value.
Budget committees will also begin their business, with Assembly Ways and Means hearing from the governor’s office and the lieutenant governor’s office and Senate Finance focusing on the Governor’s Office of Workforce Innovation.
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.
Here’s what’s on deck for state lawmakers on Wednesday:
SB46: Registration of tout services and other changes to gaming law
This bill, which was submitted by the Gaming Control Board and will be heard within the Senate Judiciary Committee, will provide for the registration of touts — companies that provide advice or opinions on racing and other sports betting events in exchange for compensation — by the Nevada gaming regulators.
Tout services do not currently fall under the purview of Nevada’s gaming regulators. But the proposed change may be related to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which opened up sports betting to other states, and the likelihood that states will turn to Nevada for advice as they delve into the sports betting world, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie’s commercial gaming blog notes.
The legislation will also require the Nevada Gaming Commission to adopt regulations interpreting two clauses in existing state gaming law — that state that all gaming establishments must remain “open to the general public” and that “access of the general public to gaming activities” must not be restricted in any manner except provided by the Legislature. It also proposes to expand the definition of “gross revenue” that gaming licensees collect and that the state taxes to include cash received as entry fees for all contests or tournaments, not just ones conducted in conjunction with an inter-casino linked system.
The bill also makes a number of other tweaks to other portions of Nevada gaming law.
SB72: Registration of sports wagering ticket brokers
A second bill submitted by the Gaming Control Board and slated to be heard in Senate Judiciary proposes to require sports wagering ticket brokers to register with Nevada gaming regulators. It also makes a number of other changes including to various definitions in Nevada gaming law including “table game,” “cashless wagering system,” and “game” or “gambling game;” allows the GCB to temporarily suspend a gaming employee’s registration if he or she is arrested by a board agent; and makes changes to the way that open meeting law is applied to the board, among other changes.
SB73: Mobile gaming
A third Gaming Control Board bill to be heard in Senate Judiciary revises the state’s definition of “gaming device” to include mobile gaming. The change will make mobile gaming subject to the same regulation and control as gaming devices and repeal all individual references in law relating to mobile gaming.
The gambling and sports betting news website US Bets noted the legislation “appears to remove some red tape surrounding Nevada’s storied sports betting industry” and “relax some of the additional licensing requirements for operating, manufacturing, selling, or distributing a mobile gaming system or its associated equipment.”
SB100: Licensure of veterans, military personnel
Spouses of active-duty military members could get their teaching licenses approved faster under a bill sponsored by the Senate Education Committee.
If approved, the bill requires the state’s Commission on Professional Standards in Education to adopt regulations requiring the “expedited” processing of teaching applications for the spouses of active-duty military members. The bill also requires school districts to accept any military skills, training or occupational experience submitted by veterans applying for employment.
SB16: Federal grants for veterans
Legislators on the Senate Government Affairs committee are set to hear details of this bill sponsored by the state’s Department of Veteran Services. As written, the bill would authorize the department’s director to apply for federal and other grants for programs that assist veterans and their families.
In his State of the State speech, Gov. Steve Sisolak promised to add “additional veteran services officers” to help them and the state access untapped federal grants and benefits.
SB36: Land assessment
Submitted by Clark County and set to be heard by the Senate Government Affairs committee, this measure would make some significant changes as to how county commissions purchase and sell property.
Most significantly, the measure would allow a board of county commissioners to purchase property above the appraised value of the land as long as a public meeting is held first to “discuss the reasons for exceeding the appraised value.”
It also changes the process of selling county-owned land, which currently requires at least two independent appraisals or one and a public hearing on the property’s value. Current law requires county commissions sell the land for the highest price of the two appraisers; the proposed change would allow them to sell it at the average of the two appraised values.
The bill would also align the selection process for land appraisers to be the same for both buying and selling county-owned land. It also allows counties to use the Internet to auction off real property.