Coronavirus | Legislature

Elections, mining taxes, and civil liability; everything that passed in the Legislature’s special session

The session comes after lawmakers convened for 12 days in July to rework a state budget pummelled by the pandemic. Sponsors of the bills in the latest session argued that they addressed issues too pressing to wait for the regular session set to start in February, although the results didn’t satisfy everyone — Republican Sen. Ira Hansen called the unemployment bill “window dressing” on a massive problem of delays in benefit payouts.

Coronavirus | Economy & Business | Legislature

Special session draws to a close as lawmakers pass COVID liability bill exempting hospitals, schools

Members of the Assembly, after a five-hour hearing Wednesday night, voted 31-10 to grant final approval to SB4, the last major piece of legislation to advance in the special session. It mandates certain health and safety protections for hospitality workers, in addition to granting broad liability protections to nearly all businesses, governmental bodies and nonprofit groups in the state so long as they follow required local, state and federal health protocols.

Coronavirus | Legislature

Nevada’s urban health districts not ‘engaged at all’ on bill mandating regular inspections of hotels for COVID-19 protocol compliance

August 5th, 2020 - 12:40pm
Updated August 5th, 2020 - 5:15pm
The Washoe County Health District was not consulted on a bill that will newly require health districts in the state’s two urban counties to conduct regular inspections and enforcement of COVID-19 health protocols at hotels, District Health Officer Kevin Dick said Wednesday.

Coronavirus | Economy & Business | Legislature

Senate approves COVID-19 liability protections legislation that excludes hospitals, schools

August 5th, 2020 - 12:38pm
Updated August 5th, 2020 - 4:56pm
The bill, which is expected to be the last major piece of legislation to advance in the special session, gives broad liability protections to nearly all businesses, governmental bodies and nonprofit groups in the state so long as they follow required local, state and federal health protocols. Under the legislation, health care facilities and, now, K-12 schools are exempt from those enhanced protections.

Coronavirus | Education | Legislature

School districts to be excluded from major COVID liability shield bill

August 5th, 2020 - 9:55am
The amendment, which was obtained by The Nevada Independent and is expected to be introduced and adopted in the Senate on Wednesday, will specifically exclude public and charter schools from the enhanced litigation shield created as part of SB4, which otherwise covers nearly all businesses, governmental bodies and nonprofit groups in the state.

Criminal Justice | Economy & Business | Legislature

Assembly passes bills reversing police misconduct protections, addressing unemployment delays

August 5th, 2020 - 2:00am
Nobody spoke in favor of the bill on Tuesday, with many activists opposing because they said people affected by police shootings were not involved in its creation and arguing that the measure should fully repeal SB242. Some opponents said the language that remains in the law and grants authority to police unions means officers are still insulated from consequences.

Election 2020 | Legislature

Trump campaign sues Nevada over bill expanding mail-in voting for general election

August 4th, 2020 - 9:14pm
Updated August 4th, 2020 - 9:51pm
The bill, AB4, passed on party lines over the last few days and was signed into law on Monday. It specifies that in the November general election, and any others that happen in the wake of a statewide emergency or disaster directive, election officials will send all active registered voters a mail-in ballot.

Coronavirus | Criminal Justice | Legislature

Contentious COVID business liability, worker protection bill advances in Senate in early morning vote

August 4th, 2020 - 2:46am
The bill, which is likely to be the last piece of legislation introduced during the special session, cleared the Senate Committee of the Whole early Tuesday morning, 18-3, with Republican Sens. Ira Hansen, Joe Hardy and Pete Goicoechea in opposition. The legislation, SB4, has dominated the behind-the-scenes conversations during the session and is the culmination of a deal between some of the state’s most powerful political interests, including casinos, business groups and the Culinary Union.

Coronavirus | Economy & Business | Legislature

Hospitals, health care facilities cry foul at exclusion from proposed COVID liability bill

August 3rd, 2020 - 12:20pm
That exemption — which includes hospitals, nursing homes, intermediate care facilities, hospice care, skilled nursing facilities and emergency medical care centers — has drawn a sharp rebuke from the Nevada Hospital Association and other health care providers, who say it would prohibit them from transferring patients between facilities or prohibit visitors from coming to visit patients.

Economy & Business | Legislature

Senate unanimously advances bill geared at extending unemployment benefits, clearing some roadblocks to payments

August 2nd, 2020 - 11:57pm
“It is not a magic pill. I don't think that in any of this …there's a magic pill that's going to solve it all at once,” said Democratic Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro. “But I think that the flexibility that is provided here, the additional extension of benefits, is meaningful and is not something that we should take lightly or take for granted.”

Government | Legislature

PHOTOS: On third day of special session, Senate votes on election measure and governor signs first bills

August 2nd, 2020 - 7:23pm
Senators convened Sunday to advance a bill expanding mail-in voting during times of emergency and pass measures that could clear the way to raise taxes on mining. At the Capitol nearby, Gov. Steve Sisolak signed two bills that made technical changes to laws passed in 2019 and authorized lawmakers to vote remotely. The Nevada Independent is reporting on all of the action in and around the Legislative Building in Carson City. Photographer David Calvert captured the moments when lawmakers cast votes and bills became law.

Economy & Business | Legislature

Trio of mining tax hike proposals pass out of special session; first step to amend Constitution

In separate floor votes on Sunday, the Democrat-controlled Assembly and Senate voted in favor of AJR1, AJR2 and SJR1 — three measures that would modify the current 5 percent cap on the net proceeds of minerals tax set in the state’s Constitution. Progressives have been seeking more revenue out of the industry, saying it has had a “sweetheart deal” in the Constitution since Nevada gained statehood in 1864.