By Taylor Avery, Las Vegas Review Journal, April 24, 2023
CARSON CITY — Less than two weeks after Nevada legislative bills endured the first challenge to their survival, they will be faced with yet another.
It’s a do-or-die situation for legislation this week as lawmakers decide whether to send remaining bills to the chopping block, or allow them to advance to the next round of the legislative process ahead of Tuesday’s first house passage deadline.
Legislators spent much of last week considering final approval for legislation born in their respective chambers, but dozens of bills still await judgment.
Among them are Senate Bill 302, which would prohibit a licensing board from disqualifying or disciplining someone for providing gender-affirming care, and Assembly Bill 73, which would give students the right to wear tribal regalia of cultural or religious significance at graduation ceremonies.
But not all bills have to worry about the looming deadline. More than 200 bills have been declared exempt, providing them a sort of immunity from the deadly checkpoints.
The lucky bills that do survive Tuesday’s deadline will face a second round of hearings, committee votes and consideration on the floor before facing the final boss — er, Gov. Joe Lombardo, that is.
Several Senate and Assembly committees have already canceled their scheduled meetings on Monday and Tuesday to make way for what will likely be marathon floor sessions ahead of the deadline. But some committees are set to hold hearings for bills from the other chamber, even amid deadline chaos.
On Monday morning, for example, lawmakers on the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee are set to consider three bills. Those include Assembly Bill 23, which relates to citations issued by the State Contractor’s Board, Assembly Bill 27, a bill related to licensing for contractors, and Assembly Bill 39, which sets certain requirements for contractors.
On the Assembly side, the Judiciary Committee is set to consider Senate Bill 129early Tuesday morning. The bill, which passed unanimously through the Senate, would allow victims of sexual assault to bring a civil lawsuit against their attacker regardless of when the attack occurred.
And as the legislative clock ticks down toward sine die — or the adjournment of the legislative session — lawmakers will again return to hourslong committee hearings following Tuesday’s deadline.
On Wednesday, the Assembly Health and Human Services Committee will hear Senate Bill 239, a bill that would give terminally ill patients over the age of 18 with less than six months to live the ability to end their lives with lethal drugs prescribed by a medical practitioner. The bill just barely passed out of the Senate on Wednesday, with lawmakers voting 11-10 to approve the measure.
Lawmakers also will start hearing bills exempted from previous deadlines, including Lombardo’s education bill. Assembly Bill 400, which will be heard in the Assembly Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday evening, would create the Office of School Choice, increase opportunity scholarship funding and reinstate the Read by Grade 3 program.