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Lawmakers approve doubling size of state pension plan’s investment team to two

May 6th, 2021 - 9:30am
Members of a joint budget committee on Monday approved closing the state employee pension system’s budget with the addition of a new investment officer alongside Edmundson to help manage PERS’s $54 billion in assets. The new position comes with a base annual salary of $189,222 along with benefits, paid for by PERS administration fees.

Bill would expand anti-discrimination protections to digital sphere

Assemblyman Howard Watts wearing a great sport coat and green tie while wearing an animal print face mask
May 6th, 2021 - 9:00am
But in Nevada and many other states, those protections do not explicitly extend to the digital realm. During a Senate Commerce and Labor Committee meeting on Monday, Assemblyman Howard Watts (D-Las Vegas) said he is looking to change that with AB207, a bill clarifying that Nevada's public accommodations law also applies to e-commerce.

Legislative Coverage

Check out our comprehensive, wall-to-wall coverage of the 2021 Legislature

Veterinary telemedicine hearing goes off the rails amid confusion, amendments

May 6th, 2021 - 2:00am
The bill’s intent is straightforward — allow licensed veterinarians to practice telemedicine only after an in-person examination of an animal. Under the proposed bill, veterinarians would not have to examine every member of a herd to consult with a veterinarian, and a doctor with access to medical records could also consult on a case via remote communication.

Nevada Recovery Dashboard

As the state’s economy continues its recovery, The Nevada Independent will track the most important economic indicators across the state on this page, including unemployment numbers, gaming revenue and housing prices.

Additional cuts coming to taxicab authority, amid ride decline blamed on pandemic, ride-sharing apps

May 3rd, 2021 - 10:00am
Steep declines in taxicab rides — annual double digit decreases over the last six years, culminating with a 62 percent revenue drop in the 2021 fiscal year — spells bad news for the state’s largely fee-funded Taxicab Authority, which oversees and regulates the industry in Clark County (taxi operations in other counties are overseen by the Nevada Transportation Authority).

Lawmakers push to fund statewide sexual violence support services through marriage license fee increase

State Senator Julia Ratti speaks with Secretary of the Senate Claire Clift
May 3rd, 2021 - 9:30am
Though existing marriage license fees support domestic violence services throughout the state, there is no statewide funding source for sexual violence services. Only the Rape Crisis Center of Las Vegas receives a 15 percent carve-out from marriage license fees for sexual assault services.

Change in state pre-kindergarten funding method could be on the horizon

May 3rd, 2021 - 9:00am
The subcommittee gave preliminary approval for two things — total funding of $19.8 million in each year of the upcoming biennium for entities participating in the state pre-kindergarten program as well as a methodology change for allocating those funds.

On ‘Denim Day’, lawmakers support sexual assault survivors while pushing for sexual violence reform

April 29th, 2021 - 10:30am
But lawmakers and advocates with the Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence said Wednesday that the denim was more than a solidarity fashion statement — it also provided a real opportunity to highlight bills this session aimed at curbing sexual misconduct and violence.

Lawmakers again propose streamlining ‘random’ interim committee process

April 29th, 2021 - 10:00am
Clearing up that interim work schedule — the last interim period saw 21 statutory committees, 7 study committees and 41 non-legislative committees — is the point of AB443, which was heard for the first time last week in the Assembly Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections (the measure was exempted from legislative deadlines).

Former DETR head opens up about the threats she received during hearing on anti-doxxing bill

April 29th, 2021 - 9:30am
It was the first time Korbulic — who left DETR in June — has spoken publicly about the personal toll of the threats she received.

Senator governing fate of death penalty bill points to governor’s office, but recently expressed support for abolition

April 29th, 2021 - 9:00am
“The lingering question about AB395 is whether the governor is going to be supportive, and so I know that he’s expressed publicly some concerns about it,” Scheible said in an interview on Wednesday. “If the sponsor can work with him to address those concerns and bring me an amendment, that would be an important step in the process, otherwise I’m still evaluating it.”

Lawmakers approve spending $2 million to boost state’s computer security through two-factor authentication

April 26th, 2021 - 10:00am
During a budget subcommittee meeting on Thursday, lawmakers agreed to move forward with spending $2 million in reserve dollars for the state’s Enterprise Information Technology Services (EITS) division to fund a multi-factor authentication platform — a two-step process that uses both a password and a piece of information that only the user has, such as a special code sent to a phone or email address, or even a special hardware token.

To diversify Nevada’s economy, lawmakers push for study on developing hemp industry

A man in a plaid shirt and blue baseball cap standing in a field of hemp
April 26th, 2021 - 9:30am
The study proposes examining the available funding sources for research on the plant and reviewing current trends in the hemp industry along with researching innovative methods and legislation to spur industry growth. It would also focus on programs designed to promote economic development in coordination with hemp cultivation businesses and the production and sale of hemp products.

Under proposed bill, push to change community college governance will start as a study

Sign in front of the UNLV College of Engineering
April 26th, 2021 - 9:00am
Sponsored by the governor’s office and presented by Sisolak’s policy director, Heather Korbulic, AB450 stops short of implementing any immediate changes. Instead, it would create an interim committee that would study workforce development programs at the state’s community colleges, as well as the role a change in governance structure could have in the way such programs — and the colleges themselves — are funded.

Lawmakers agree to salary bump for traffic safety office head, who previously made less than deputies

Vehicles on U.S. 95 south of Tonopah
April 22nd, 2021 - 9:30am
But her position is considered unclassified — meaning she isn’t eligible for overtime — while the office’s deputy division administrator, which is considered a classified position in the state’s pay structure, is eligible for overtime — meaning that position ends up with annual compensation that “regularly surpasses” the head of the agency.

As state retools its pandemic-battered workforce, governor proposes relocating workforce agency

Sign in front of the Nevada State Capitol building
April 22nd, 2021 - 9:00am
As Nevada struggles to shake the economic side effects of being overly dependent on tourism and hospitality, there’s an increasing focus on how to help the more than 1 in 5 Nevada workers who are still claiming unemployment benefits each week transition back into the workforce before many of the programs supporting them are expected to go away in September.

Assembly, Senate split over funding for higher education research grants

April 22nd, 2021 - 2:00am
During a joint budget hearing on Monday, members of the Senate and Assembly split over funding for the Nevada Knowledge Account (also called the Knowledge Fund), a grant program for higher education facilities (UNLV, UNR and the Desert Research Institute) aimed at spurring “research and the commercialization of research in areas the state has targeted for economic growth.” The program was initially created under former Gov. Brian Sandoval nearly a decade ago.

Nevada first in nation to pursue seed funding to open savings accounts for people with disabilities

Nevada State Capitol
April 19th, 2021 - 10:00am
The bill, AB62, passed unanimously out of the Senate on Tuesday would enable the state Treasurer’s Office to provide startup money for people with disabilities to open an ABLE account, a tax-advantaged savings account. It now awaits a signature by Gov. Steve Sisolak to become law.

Lawmakers plan for enhanced federal Medicaid dollars to last through 2021

April 19th, 2021 - 9:30am
Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton, during a budget subcommittee meeting on Thursday, suggested that lawmakers plan for the extra federal health care funding to exist for an additional six months beyond the current date it is set to expire, June 30. Her recommendation comes as the federal government has indicated that the current public health emergency will “likely” extend through the end of the calendar year, which would, in turn, mean that the enhanced federal matching dollars would be available through March 2022.

Lawmakers look to end a lucrative green building tax abatement program

Madori Vista townhomes under construction
April 19th, 2021 - 9:00am
The state’s Green Building Tax Abatements program is still in heavy use — a state report estimated more than $25 million in property taxes were abated through the 2020 fiscal year, with $105 million in property taxes abated since 2010. State budget analysts say that more than 160 buildings in the state — from Park MGM, Wynn/Encore and even the T-Mobile Arena — enjoy partial property tax abatements through the program.

Nevada Recovery Dashboard

The Nevada Independent will track the most important economic indicators across the state on this page.

What Happened Here: A six-part series on COVID-19 in Nevada

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