80TH SESSION OF THE NEVADA STATE LEGISLATURE
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2019
The Privacy Bill RPEN supports went from a Bill Draft Request to an assigned bill in the Senate on Monday, February 18 as week 3 of the 80th Legislative Session began. Senate Bill 224 is jointly sponsored by Senators Julia Ratti, Joyce Woodhouse and David Parks. As its’ predecessor, Senate Bill 384, sought to do during the 2017 Legislative Session, SB 224 will seek a legislative fix to establish a list of what can and cannot be released to the public relating to retired public employees in Nevada. The first hearing for SB 224 has been set before the Senate Government Affairs Committee when they gather at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, March 1. The hearing in Carson City will be in Room 2149 at the Legislative Building, and a video-conference of the meeting will be in Room 4412 at the Grant Sawyer Building in Las Vegas, 555 E. Washington Ave.
RPEN’s Lead Lobbyist Marlene Lockard issued a “Call to Action” February 20 for RPEN Members in our distinctive blue shirts turn out at both hearings in a show of support for SB 224. SB 384 passed both houses during the 2017 legislative session, only to be vetoed by then Governor Sandoval once the session had ended. NV PERS (Public Employees’ Retirement System) has been subjected to two court battles that ended up in the Nevada Supreme Court from two different groups seeking access to more personal identifying information. In both instances, the Supreme Court decided against NV PERS. The last effort, involving the Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI) was sent back to the court of origin in December, but as yet another court date hasn’t been set.
In addition to showing up at the March 1 hearing for support of SB 224, Lockard also is seeking out retired members of RPEN who may have had their information compromised after it was posted on any of the government transparency sites. If you were victimized and believe it was because of the existing information already online, and you’re willing to testify at the hearing in Carson City or the video-conference in Las Vegas, please contact the State Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling us at 775-882-7832. We will pass your information along to Marlene for her consideration.
In his veto message in 2017, Governor Sandoval said “SB 384 had merit but decided the public’s right to know cannot be compromised absent a compelling case that such limits are justified and in the public interest. He also said SB 384 does not overcome this significant test in favor of less transparency. Although the proponents raised the possibility of identity theft, there is no assurance that SB 384 would actually prevent such risk”. And so, as we approach a new hearing on a new bill, we are hopeful we will be able to meet former Governor Sandoval’s “test” and show that placing too much private, identifying information online can indeed lead to an increased risk of identity theft.
The rest of the legislative week went along with additional budget hearings, and additional hearings into other bills that have also gone from the “BDR” format over to the “Bill” process. There are currently 225 bills in the Assembly this session and 234 bill in the Senate.
Don’t forget the “Share Your Opinion” page at the Nevada Legislative website, https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Opinions/80th2019/
Until next week.
Terri Laird, RPEN Executive Director