Education, gender-affirming care bills among more than 200 laws taking effect July 1

Eric Neugeboren
Eric Neugeboren
Gov. Joe Lombardo.

More than 200 of the roughly 540 bills that Gov. Joe Lombardo signed into law this legislative session will partly or fully go into effect Saturday, including laws that enhance insurance coverage of gender-affirming care and expand in-state tuition eligibility for beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Other laws set to take effect Saturday include measures that create a “bill of rights” for Nevadans with disabilities, prohibit landlords from imposing maintenance fees on tenants, overhaul the state’s school discipline policies, bolster pay for state employees and require gun dealers to provide lock devices upon any sale or transfer.

Here’s a look at the main bills that will take effect:


AB112 – $5 million for wildlife crossing efforts

State officials continued their efforts to construct wildlife crossings through AB112, which would allocate $5 million for wildlife friendly road infrastructure.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife and Nevada Department of Transportation have led the wildlife crossing effort. Roads have broken migratory habitats for animals including mule deer, and they have also posed dangers for drivers who could collide with animals.


SB294 – Improve gun storage laws

SB294 requires that gun dealers include a locking device when they sell or transfer a gun. 

The bill does not say whether gun dealers must pay for the devices. Dealers who do not provide locking devices could be fined up to $500.

The bill comes as more than 10 people have died in Clark County during the past few years in situations directly traced to improper storage of firearms, according to testimony earlier this year by John Jones, a lobbyist for the Clark County District Attorney's Office. As of 2021, 11 other states had passed similar laws, Jones said.

The law, sponsored by Sen. Fabian Doñate (D-Las Vegas), follows a measure the Legislature passed in 2019 that criminalized the negligent storing of a firearm in a place that could pose a danger to a child.

The law was a rare win for gun control advocates this year. Lombardo vetoed three Democrat-sponsored gun control bills and pledged in his campaign to “veto any legislation” that would take away the “right to build a firearm for personal use.”

Health Care

SB315 – ‘Bill of rights’ for people with disabilities

In a victory for disability rights groups, Nevada will have a “bill of rights” for certain populations with disabilities, including K-12 students. Older children with disabilities who are receiving transition services through an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) are also entitled to assistance with higher education opportunities and education in financial literacy. 

Supporters said the legislation is necessary to ensure that people with disabilities are treated with respect and can make their own life decisions.

Senator Melanie Scheible, center, stands with supporters of SB163 during a Senate Commerce and Labor Committee hearing at the Legislature on March 15, 2023 in Carson City. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent).
Sen. Melanie Scheible (D-Las Vegas), center, stands with supporters of SB163 during a Senate Commerce and Labor Committee hearing at the Legislature on March 15, 2023 in Carson City. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)

SB163 – Enhances insurance coverage of gender-affirming care

SB163 requires health insurers including Medicaid to cover gender-affirming care and scrap exclusions that have historically been used to deny coverage for procedures considered to be “cosmetic.”

Lombardo’s approval of the bill was a surprising victory for the LGBTQ community, as it had no Republican support in the Legislature. Other GOP governors have prioritized legislation this year that restricts gender-affirming care for minors.

When asked about his decision to sign the bill, Lombardo told KRNV, “I implore people to read the bill … It's not as draconian or detrimental or immoral as people are portraying it to be.”

Leading medical associations have supported gender-affirming care, which has been shown to reduce depression and suicidality among transgender individuals. LGBTQ youth and adults are far more likely than cisgender people to experience depression and suicidal thoughts.

Higher Education

AB226 – Loosening of in-state tuition for DACA recipients 

AB226 allows DACA recipients who move to Nevada to qualify for in-state college tuition within one year of living in the state.

Nevada law previously allowed DACA recipients who received a high school degree in the state to qualify for in-state tuition. But many DACA recipients, who came to the U.S. illegally as children, are now adults and may be looking to further their education, according to Assemblyman Reuben D’Silva (D-Las Vegas), the bill’s sponsor.

As of September 2022, there were about 11,460 DACA recipients living in Nevada.

Signage as seen at Nevada State College in Henderson on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. (Daniel Clark/The Nevada Independent).
Signage as seen at Nevada State College in Henderson on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. (Daniel Clark/The Nevada Independent)

SB273 – Nevada State College renaming

Nevada State College will officially become Nevada State University on Saturday after a monthslong naming process.

University administrators have advocated for the change, arguing that it is necessary to distinguish the school from the state’s community colleges and an apparent benefit for students to graduate from a “university” rather than a “college.”

The change creates a new “second tier” of the state’s public colleges, slotting Nevada State University in between the “state university” designation that UNR and UNLV have and the tiers making up the state’s community colleges and the Desert Research Institute.

A “phased rollout” of the name change will begin on Saturday, according to the college.


SB381 – Prohibits landlords from imposing maintenance fees on tenants

SB381, sponsored by Sen. Dallas Harris (D-Las Vegas), restricts Nevada landlords from imposing maintenance and repair fees on tenants.

The restriction does not apply to damages caused by a “deliberate or negligent act or omission” by the tenant, a member of the tenant’s household or someone the tenant has consented to be on the premises.

The legislation earned the backing of groups including the Nevada Housing Justice Alliance (NHJA) and the Culinary Union.

“Countless Nevadans are one small step away from crisis and eviction, and burdensome, unnecessary costs like these fees add to those tensions,” read a statement from the NHJA in support of the bill.

SB450 – Windsor Park Environmental Justice Act

The state will begin funding the relocation of residents of WIndsor Park, a neighborhood in North Las Vegas that for decades has suffered from subsidence after groundwater was removed.

The state is allocating $37 million — $12 million from the state housing division and $25 million from unused pandemic relief funds — to help relocate members of the blighted community who, for years, have dealt with doors that can’t lock, burst pipes and slanted houses.

Previous investments to relocate residents or fund home repairs have been hard to track and insufficient. Residents earlier this month expressed optimism and wariness about the law.

The legislation earned support from both parties in the Senate but passed the Assembly along party lines, with all Republicans opposed.


AB407 – Prohibits DMV from releasing any personal data to immigration authorities

AB407 forbids the Department of Motor Vehicles from releasing personal data to immigration authorities — a measure immigration groups said was necessary amid increasing data privacy concerns.

Sponsored by Assemblyman Max Carter (D-Las Vegas), the bill received the support of the Nevada Immigration Coalition. The group said immigrants are particularly vulnerable to privacy breaches, and that ensuring their data is kept private is “pressing.”

K-12 Education

AB285 – School discipline bill

AB285 is one of two bills passed this session to overhaul the state’s restorative justice law, established in 2019, that placed limits on student suspensions and expulsions with the goal of disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline.

Democrats backed that bill, while Lombardo brought forward AB330, which increases penalties for student discipline. Both bills make it easier for administrators to suspend or expel violent students.

Lombardo’s signing of the bills came at a critical time for the Legislature. The bills advanced following a compromise between Lombardo and Democratic leadership, who agreed to amend AB285 to include the governor’s wish for stricter penalties for students who committed battery against school staff with the intent to cause bodily harm. That compromise paved the way for Lombardo to sign two major budget bills and avert a budget crisis.

School officials have pressured lawmakers to repeal the restorative justice law, which Lombardo called a “disaster,” following an uptick in school violence and disruptive behavior.

AB400 – Wide-ranging education bill

Key aspects of this major education bill will go into effect Saturday, including the creation of an early education literacy fund in the general fund and the ability for the Commission on School Funding to track student performance to gauge the success of a new funding formula.

The literacy fund, an extension of Lombardo's promise to expand the Read by Grade 3 program, will provide grants to school districts and to sponsors of charter schools and nonprofits aimed at supporting early childhood literacy and readiness programs. A new requirement that students be held back if they do not read at grade level by third grade will not be enforced until 2028.

The authorization of charter school transportation funding, a late addition to the bill, will also take effect. Provisions allowing for new city- and county-sponsored charter schools will also begin, as well as the rules and requirements for the Nevada Teacher Advancement Scholarship, which is for aspiring teachers.

The education bill played a key role in the legislative session, with Democrats and Republicans at odds over a major expansion of a school choice scholarship program. That  Lombardo priority was eventually left out of the deal.

AB519 – Bill to replace Owyhee school

The appropriation of more than $65 million to build a new campus for Owyhee Combined School on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation will begin Saturday, along with a requirement that Elko County apply more property tax revenue to schools.

The passage of AB519 came as officials from the current Owyhee school reported their 70-year-old campus is experiencing numerous defects, including apparent bat feces falling from the ceiling, Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno (D-North Las Vegas) said during her presentation of the bill in May.

The legislation also requires Elko County to levy a tax of at least 1 cent and no more than 25 cents for every $100 of assessed value of taxable property for projects within the school district.

Students from the Owyhee Combined School, located on the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation in northeastern Nevada, attend a press conference outside the Legislature on Thursday, April 27, 2023, in Carson City. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent).
Students from the Owyhee Combined School, located on the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation in northeastern Nevada, attend a press conference outside the Legislature on Thursday, April 27, 2023, in Carson City. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)

State Government

AB522State worker pay

State employees will receive raises ranging from 10 percent to 13 percent beginning Saturday, the first day of the 2024 fiscal year.

It’s the first major salary hike in decades for state employees, who will also receive an additional 4 percent raise in one year. Employees are also eligible for an additional 7 percent raise beginning next July because Lombardo vetoed AB498, a Democrat-backed bill that would have halved employees’ required contributions to their pensions.

The bill’s passage came after disputes between Democrats and Republicans over state employee pay. Lombardo had pledged to give state workers a bonus, but Democrats wanted additional pay incentives, including more cost-of-living raises and lower quarterly bonuses, so that workers could take more money home with them. Democrats said the money for quarterly bonuses could be better used for other compensation perks.

SB431 – Government modernization

Almost all parts of this government modernization bill, a priority for Lombardo, will go into effect Saturday, but it is significantly less expansive than what the Republican governor had envisioned.

The aspects still in the bill include the removal of a limit on state worker salaries at 95 percent of the governor’s salary and the creation of an office overseeing the state’s boards and commissions. Another key aspect, a raise on the statutory cap on the Rainy Day Fund from 20 percent to 26 percent of the general fund, already went into effect with the bill’s passage.

The bill did not end up including measures that would have launched a proposed cabinet for the executive branch, reorganized and renamed the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, limited the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee and created a fund that would have been used to finance public-private partnerships.

Tribal Nations

AB125 – Improves records for missing and murdered Indigenous people

AB125 requires local law enforcement to accept reports from a Native American reservation or colony of a person who is missing under suspicious circumstances, then enter that information into a national database.

Local, state and federal officials have access to that national database, called the National Crime Information Center.

Indigenous people face higher abuse and abduction rates than white, non-Indigenous people, and the murder rate of Native women is more than 10 times the national average. But law enforcement often ignore cases of missing and murdered Indigenous people or mislabel them as runaways, supporters of the legislation said.

Indigenous women are also often misclassified as another racial category in missing person forums.

AB84 - Free parks pass for tribal members and veterans

Veterans and members of Nevada tribes will have free access to state parks and recreational areas.

The law, sponsored by Assemblyman Howard Watts (D-Las Vegas), expands an existing program that gives fifth graders in Nevada free access to state parks. It received unanimous support in the Legislature.

AB150 — Expansion of fee waiver for Native students

More Native students in Nevada will be eligible for waivers for registration fees, laboratory fees and other mandatory fees from higher education institutions.

AB150 expands a pre-existing fee waiver for Native Americans to include students who have resided on tribal land in the state for at least one year. The fee waivers will apply to summer and winter terms, in addition to the academic semester they already applied to.

Criminal justice

AB50 — AG can target organized retail crime

The attorney general’s office will have more power to investigate organized retail theft through this new law.

The office previously did not have jurisdiction over organized retail theft, defined as a series of retail thefts for personal gain. The bill also grants the attorney general’s office jurisdiction over people who sell, display or advertise goods with an unauthorized or counterfeit label or trademark.

Sen. Robin Titus (R-Wellington) was the only legislator opposing the bill.

SB322 – Increases penalties for reckless driving

Reckless drivers in Nevada can soon face 10 years in prison if they are driving more than 50 miles per hour above the speed limit or if the crime occurred in a pedestrian safety, school or traffic control zone.

The previous maximum penalty for reckless driving was six years in prison.

The bill, known as Rex’s Law, was named after Rex Patchett, a 13-year-old who was killed in front of Mannion Middle School in Henderson. The bill passed unanimously.


AB356 – Misdemeanor for tracking device on vehicle

Placing a mobile tracking device on a vehicle without the owner’s consent will become a misdemeanor in Nevada.

Existing law had not criminalized the placement of a GPS tracking device. The severity of the crime is increased to a gross misdemeanor for a second offense and a class C felony for any subsequent offenses.

AB356 passed unanimously in the Legislature.

AB151 — UNR 150th anniversary license plate

Nevadans can purchase a license plate commemorating the 150th anniversary of the University of Nevada, Reno.

The initial charge for the plate is $60, with an additional $30 fee for renewing the plate. The funds go to the university’s foundation and the DMV.

This story has been updated at 3:45 p.m. on 6/29/2023 to correct that AB150 does not apply to students who are members of a Native tribe outside of the state


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