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Former speaker misses weeks of Legislature because of knee injury

Assemblyman John Hambrick sits as the Nevada Legislature opens the 80th session on Monday, Feb. 4, 2019 in Carson City, Nev. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)

Republican Assemblyman John Hambrick, absent from the Legislature for the past several weeks, said he is recovering from knee surgery but hopes to return to Carson City in the coming weeks.

Hambrick, a former Assembly speaker who was re-elected to a sixth term in 2018, said he hopes to return to the Legislature in the near future but is still recovering from a knee injury suffered last year. He estimated the recovery period, which includes meeting with a physical therapist, would last another two weeks but said it was possible it could extend longer.

“I fully intend to go back to Carson City as soon as I get medical clearance,” he said.

Hambrick, 73, was present for the first day of the Legislature on Feb. 4, but has remained at home in Las Vegas in the following weeks to focus on his knee. He said he’s remained in close touch with his legislative assistant and is actively following committee hearings and floor sessions from the live videos on the legislative website.

The assemblyman’s absence leaves the Republican caucus with just 12 members in the 42-member lower house, well short of being able to block the Democratic supermajority. Hambrick also serves as a member of the Assembly budget committee, Health and Human Services Committee and Legislative Operations and Elections Committee.

Hambrick said he plans to present several of his bills focusing on human trafficking next week from the Grant Sawyer government building in Las Vegas and has made travel arrangements with legislative police.

The Republican assemblyman has introduced two measures designed to protect victims of human trafficking, including AB158, which would allow judges to avoid sentencing people convicted as adults for crimes they commit under the age of 18 if the offender was a victim of human trafficking or abuse and the offense was against their abuser.

The other bill, AB157, requires law enforcement to inform any victims of human trafficking if they are eligible for any crime victim compensation and provide them information about state services and requires the state health department put together a plan for servicing victims of human trafficking.

Both bills are scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Judiciary Committee at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, March 6.

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