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Indy Explains: What happens now that traffic tickets are decriminalized?

Trooper Brian Eby traffic stop
June 18th, 2021 - 2:00am
Although there is a provision in the bill to cancel all bench warrants for minor traffic infractions in 2023, the bill’s sponsor, Assemblywoman Rochelle Nguyen (D-Las Vegas), said that people with unpaid traffic tickets should still seek to pay and clear them or risk arrest.

Lawmakers considering bill to ensure rural counties appoint public defenders independently from the judiciary

May 24th, 2021 - 10:30am
Across the state, there have long been issues with the legal defense provided to indigent defendants — people with low incomes who are unable to obtain qualified, competent legal counsel on their own without substantial hardship. The state has been sued in the past over its sparse public defender system in its rural counties and has dealt with disparities in indigent defense from county to county.

Legislative Coverage

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

Despite changes, Las Vegas police argue traffic stop data collection bill would cost millions

A group of recently graduated police officer sits on stage.
May 20th, 2021 - 10:00am
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) at first indicated that the bill would cost the agency an estimated $22.6 million for the biennium to implement, but Harris said the agency informally, through emails, had submitted an updated fiscal note that would bring down that amount to about $7 million after the bill was amended to only include traffic stops, not all kinds of stops. All other police agencies that had submitted fiscal notes on the bill withdrew them after the amendment was adopted.

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.

$2 million price tag divides correctional officials and lawmakers over bill enrolling released prisoners in Medicaid

Guards walk inside High Desert State Prison as seen on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019.
May 17th, 2021 - 9:30am
AB358, sponsored by Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson (D-Las Vegas), would in theory help alleviate medical expenses that the Nevada Department of Corrections currently covers with general fund dollars by signing up eligible members for Medicaid before release, Assemblywoman Rochelle Nguyen said as she presented the bill Tuesday during an Assembly Ways and Means Committee meeting.

Lawmakers and advocates seek to keep youth offenders from adult criminal system through juvenile justice reforms

May 16th, 2021 - 2:00am
Lawmakers this session are seeking to further separate the juvenile justice system from the adult criminal justice system at nearly every level, with legislation aimed at reducing referrals into the system, promoting rehabilitation programs and housing young offenders separately.

Sisolak, Democrats spike efforts to repeal the death penalty in Nevada

May 13th, 2021 - 1:09pm
Gov. Steve Sisolak said there is “no path forward” for efforts by Democratic lawmakers to move forward on abolishing capital punishment, striking a blow to the hopes of criminal justice reform advocates that the state’s Democratic trifecta in the Legislature and governor’s office would finally take steps to end the death penalty.

TitleMax and state argue over short-term loan term limits before the Supreme Court

The exterior of a MoneyTree branch
May 13th, 2021 - 2:00am
The most recent case that challenges the creative use of title loan refinancing as a way to circumvent the 210-day loan term limit allowed by the state.

Contentious bill banning ‘ghost gun’ assembly kits sees heated hearing

Various handguns as seen on display inside Discount Firearms & Ammo in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2018.
May 12th, 2021 - 2:00am
The bill has attracted the typical amount of partisan fervor and impassioned testimony on firearm-related legislation — attracting the most opinions of any bill this legislative session and passing out of the Assembly on a party-line 26-16 vote in April. Still, Jauregui said the legislation was a necessary step to address the “rising epidemic of unmarked untraceable guns, also known as ghost guns.”

After slashing budget last year, lawmakers approve restoring funding to ‘Going Home Prepared’ recidivism program for parolees

Ely State Prison
May 10th, 2021 - 9:30am
Restoration of program funding will cost about $228,000 annually for the program housed within the Division of Parole and Probation. Though lawmakers didn’t comment on the funding restoration during their Thursday meeting, leaders of the state parole division have previously touted the program as an extremely helpful tool in reducing recidivism.

After more than a year without visitation, families remain hesitant to visit inmates because of restrictions

Inmates in the yard of a correctional facility.
May 9th, 2021 - 2:00am
The department reopened visitation for inmates on May 1, with significant safety restrictions in place, including limits on the age of visitors, number of allowed visitors per inmate and physical contact between inmates and visitors. Those restrictions have left some Nevadans feeling reluctant to visit their incarcerated loved ones.

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.”

After 14-month suspension, Department of Corrections announces phased return of visitation at prisons

Looking down at inmates in the yard at Northern Nevada Correctional Center
April 29th, 2021 - 2:00am
The Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) on Wednesday announced a phased approach for reopening visitation for inmates, beginning on May 1 with COVID-19 safety restrictions in place and then dependent on vaccination levels at individual facilities.

After more than a year, prisons director announces plans to reopen visitation May 1

April 20th, 2021 - 5:18pm
Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) Director Charles Daniels announced Tuesday that the department is planning to reopen visitation for inmates starting on May 1. The department originally suspended visitation on March 7, 2020, when there were growing concerns that COVID-19 could be spread to the state’s prison population.

Attorney general warns against scammers selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards

April 19th, 2021 - 3:56pm
Attorney General Aaron Ford warned Nevadans Monday about scammers selling fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards and said “awareness” is the first line of defense against those scams.

Senate advances criminal justice reform bills, including limits on police use of force, hate crimes reporting

State Senators Dallas Harris, right, and Melanie Scheible arrive at the Legislature on Friday, July 31, 2020 during the first day of the 32nd Special Session of the Legislature in Carson City.
April 15th, 2021 - 2:00am
Members of the state Senate voted Wednesday to advance a trio of criminal justice reform bills sponsored by Sen. Dallas Harris (D-Las Vegas) that would add more limits on police use of deadly force, require additional recordkeeping on hate crimes and place rate caps on calls made to and from inmates.

Nevada Assembly votes to abolish death penalty in historic move; bill’s future uncertain in Senate

April 13th, 2021 - 2:11pm
The bill faces a more uncertain climate in the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro (D-Las Vegas), who is a prosecutor, would not commit on Tuesday to giving the bill a hearing.

Lawyers argue before Nevada Supreme Court over close Clark County Commission race

The front of the Nevada Supreme Court Building
April 7th, 2021 - 5:31pm
The state Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday morning in a months-long case over an exceptionally close Clark County Commission race, with lawyers arguing whether discrepancies in the voting process met the definition of an election being “prevented.”

Police, prosecutors oppose proposed bill changing asset forfeiture for low-level drug crimes

Trooper Brian Eby traffic stop
April 5th, 2021 - 4:20pm
Law enforcement agencies do this through a process called civil asset forfeiture, in which police take possession of ill-gotten money or property that may have been involved in a crime. The idea is to thwart criminal organizations and help fund police activity, but a broad range of interest groups have expressed concern in past years that the system easily leads to abuse and the inappropriate taking of property from people not directly involved with criminal activity.

Tracking traffic stop data, ‘bias indicators’ for officers lauded by criminal justice reform groups, but questioned by law enforcement unions

April 1st, 2021 - 2:00am
Many of the same arguments from 2003 reappeared on Wednesday during a Senate Judiciary committee hearing on SB236, a bill introduced by Sen. Dallas Harris (D-Las Vegas) that would re-start data collection and analysis on traffic stops, and require police departments to implement a system of tracking “bias indicators” for individual officers.

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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