Attention will shift from committee rooms to the floor of the Assembly and Senate as lawmakers rush to meet a Friday deadline to pass bills.
By Steve Sebelius, Las Vegas Review-Journal, May 22, 2023
As the final big deadline of the 2023 Legislature approaches, Nevada lawmakers are waiting for the introduction of a funding bill for a proposed baseball stadium and the five big bills that will make up the state’s two-year budget.
Action will shift from the legislative building’s committee rooms to the floor sessions of the state Senate and Assembly, where lawmakers are rushing to get bills passed by a Friday deadline. Bills not exempt from the deadline that don’t pass by then will be considered dead for the rest of the session.
But two big bills that are exempt — funding for the public portion of the proposed Oakland Athletics stadium, planned for the Tropicana hotel site, and another measure to lure Hollywood studios to move to Las Vegas — are still waiting in the wings. The A’s bill was expected to be introduced last week but was delayed over funding details, while the film tax credit bill has already had its initial hearing.
And on Monday, the Senate Finance Committee will hold an 8 a.m. hearing to introduce the five big bills that will comprise the 2023-2025 state budget.
Here’s a few other items on the legislative docket in the coming week:
■ Insurance regulations: On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee will hear Senate Bill 163, which would require insurance companies to cover treatment for gender dysphoria.
■ North Las Vegas regulations: In that same hearing, lawmakers will take up Senate Bill 246, a measure by state Sen. Dina Neal, D-North Las Vegas, that would impose regulations on the city of North Las Vegas seemingly related to issues that have come up during the past year. The measure would require the city’s charter committee to report any abuse of power by the North Las Vegas City Council or city manager to the Legislature, and prevent the council or manager from interfering with the committee.
The provision appears to be related to testimony surrounding Senate Bill 184, by fellow North Las Vegas state Sen. Pat Spearman, which would have added two seats to the City Council. (The bill died after a Friday deadline.) Spearman said in her testimony the charter committee wasn’t allowed to discuss the expansion idea.
The bill would also subject the city clerk to civil and criminal penalties for violating any duties required by law, and prevent the City Council and city manager from interfering with the clerk’s duties. That provision appears related to a ballot initiative circulated by Culinary Union Local 226 that would have imposed rent control in the city, before a ruling by the clerk found the petition hadn’t gathered the required number of signatures and thus could not appear on the 2022 ballot.
■ Pay your taxes!: On Thursday, the Assembly Ways & Means Committee will hear Assembly Bill 448, a measure that would prevent large companies from forming subsidiaries when selling valuable real estate to avoid paying the real estate transfer tax. The bill comes after the Review-Journal documented more than $27 billion in transactions that closed without any reported transfer taxes because of a loophole in the law. Experts have recently said the bill might not close the loophole, however.
Although the measure would not increase the tax, it would still result in additional revenue to state government, and thus will require a two-thirds vote in both houses to pass under the state constitution.