80th SESSION OF THE NEVADA STATE LEGISLATURE
FRIDAY, MARCH 1, 2019
RPEN LEGISLATIVE ALERT V March 1, 2019
There’s only 94 days until sine die rolls around for the 80th Session of the Nevada State Legislature, but who’s counting? As of today there are 490 bills in the Assembly and Senate but only a fraction of them have had a hearing. Luckily one of those, Senate Bill 224, the Privacy Bill sponsored again by Senator Julia Ratti of Sparks (along with co-sponsors Joyce Woodhouse and David Parks) seeks legislative relief to spell out once and for all what is private and confidential information relating to retired public employees in Nevada. Recent challenges against Nevada’s Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) sought access to information such as whether a retiree was widowed or divorced or who their beneficiary was. SB 224 spells out what is public and seeks to disallow access to anything not within that scope.
RPEN issued a “call to action” seeking as many members as possible to come out in support of SB 224, wearing their highly visible blue T-shirts. We feel that retirees are a vulnerable population often targeted for identity theft in many forms. Cyber-crime like identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes. A Harris Poll study in 2018 found that 60 million Americans were affected by identity theft, up from 15 million in 2017.
There were close to 80 RPEN members from at least 10 of our 18 chapters at the two meeting rooms for the hearing held in Carson City and video-conferenced to Las Vegas at the Grant Sawyer Building and we thank those that turned out to listen and even testify in support of SB 224.
SB 224 is similar to a bill that was passed by the Senate and Assembly during the 2107 session only to be vetoed by then Govern or Sandoval. We are hoping for a better outcome this go around. Once the bill is sent to the Senate Floor for a vote, it’ll head to the Assembly where we may likely issue another “call to action” so please stay tuned to your email for our alerts, as well as our website, www.rpen.org and also on Facebook and Twitter. If you are unable to attend a hearing in person, you can always view the meeting online at the Nevada Legislative website https://www.leg.state.nv.us/ and while at the legislative website, please share your thoughts about SB 224 at the “Share Your Opinion” page https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/Opinions/80th2019/
As of March 1, SB 224 ranked 19th out of the top 50 bills receiving 54 comments. The bill in first place, receiving 2,038 comments was SB 165, an end of life bill that makes various changes to provisions governing prescribing, dispensing and administering controlled substances designed to end the life of a patient. In second place was Senate Bill 143, another controversial measure that endured several hours of public comment during a recent hearing. SB 143 repeals, revises and reenacts provisions relating to background checks for certain sales or transfers of firearms. There are currently 1,634 comments posted on SB 143.
The public employee coalition met again this week and we also want to thank the many members of our coalition who were also at the hearing for SB 224, and testified in support of the bill. There were nearly 20 comments made in support of it, and only five against, including Robert Fellner, Policy Director at the Nevada Policy Research Institute. His remarks were typical of NPRI’s continued attacks on public employees.
Next week will see another a couple of other bills heard that RPEN is interested in, Senate Bill 20 that revises provisions relating to guardianships, and Senate Bill 24 that revises provisions governing the Nevada Silver Haired Legislative forum. We’ll be watching so you don’t have to! And thanks for your membership!
Until next week.
Terri Laird, RPEN Executive Director