The 80th Session of the Nevada State Legislature begins its last official week today, Memorial Day (May 27), and is expected to conclude, if on time, Monday, June 3.
With a deadline bearing down Friday, May 24, of passage out of the Second House, the Assembly passed Senate Bill 224, RPEN’s Privacy Bill, on a 24-16 vote, that included four Democrats voting No and the balance were Republicans making up the 16 against it. Still, the bill received enough Yea’s to be forwarded to the Senate for concurrence and is now expected to be delivered to the Governor’s office this week for his signature, hopefully. It’s been a difficult journey for SB 224, that included a last-minute amendment requested by the Governor’s office to only list a name and pension amount, thus removing all other information included in the original bill such as last public employer, number of years of service credit, whether the person is receiving a disability or service credit and retirement date. The original bill also included an “identification number” rather than the name, however the amendment replaced that with the actual name. Proponents of the bill had hoped to exclude names in an effort to have the Legislature decide what’s confidential and what is not, and wanted to keep names private but in an effort to gain the Governor’s signature the bill was amended to his liking.
There were a few meetings held Saturday, however the Legislature did take Sunday off from meetings to have time to celebrate what is typically a long holiday weekend for many government and private sector employees. But it was back to business Monday, Memorial Day because there is still a lot of work left to do. The aforementioned “Second House” deadline May 24 saw only 7 bills (2 in the Assembly and 5 in the Senate) that didn’t make the deadline.
Money is still being moved around this session to try and settle shortages being faced to fund education, a problem that is commonplace at every legislative session, it seems. Some media outlets have been reporting that even with the movement of funds the education shortages will be back again at the 2021 session and will definitely need to be solved at that time to avoid increases in property taxes and other tax increases in the coming years.
Day 113 (May 27) of the 120 day regular session, began with hearings conducted by the Assembly Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees. Senate Finance heard two collecting bargaining bills (SB 111 and SB 153). SB 153 was the result of four years of work to return union’s rights to bargain that were in place prior to the 2015 legislative session and is basically a repeat of a 2017 bill that passed out of both houses only to be vetoed by Governor Sandoval. It removes the “evergreen” clause that union representatives said only holds up negotiations.
There is another collective
bargaining bill in the Senate, SB 135, that would give collective bargaining rights
to State employees, but this bill, which is one of four issues on RPEN’s
Legislative Agenda for the 80th Session, has been dormant since
a Work Session was held in Senate Government Affairs April 10. There have also been
several fiscal notes placed on the SB 135 which could be impacting the bill’s
Happy Memorial Day to all Veterans!
Terri Laird, RPEN Executive Director