‘Digital days’ bill among 274 killed by Friday’s Nevada Legislature deadline | TahoeDailyTribune.com

‘Digital days’ bill among 274 killed by Friday’s Nevada Legislature deadline

Geoff Dornan
gdornan@nevadaappeal.com

Washoe County School District added digital days this year as a way to continue learning on days when adverse weather forces schools to close.
Shutterstock

CARSON CITY, Nev. — A total of 274 bills failed to make it out of committee as of the close of legislative business Friday evening.

The list includes 145 Senate bills and 129 Assembly bills and the most common feature of those measures is money. A significant percentage of them either contained an appropriation not within the governor’s proposed budget or imposed an unfunded mandate on local government.

Friday was the first of four such deadlines — committee passage by the house where the measure was introduced.

The next deadline — First House passage — is April 23.

Among the measures left behind Friday is Assembly Bill 314, which would have allowed local school districts to have a so-called “digital day” policy. Digital days are an effort to avoid lost instruction time when schools are closed due to weather, primarily snow days.

Assemblywoman Jill Tolles introduced the bill in response to a recent controversy in Washoe County School District. The district deployed its own digital day policy this school year. In January the state made it clear that the district’s policy violated state education rules.

AB 314 would have addressed those conflicts at the state level.

Eventually, the district agreed to stop using digital days and would instead focus its efforts on changing state law. The digital days used during the 2018-19 school year will count as instruction days.

Another bill that failed to advance by the deadline was AB 149, which would have abolished capital punishment and commuted the sentences of the more than 80 men on Nevada’s death row to life without possible parole.

In addition, Senate Bill 132, the attempt to put Nevada’s legal, licensed brothels out of business by making prostitution illegal statewide, died in committee.

SB261 banning the sale, use or possession of bump stocks also died but primarily because it’s not necessary since the federal government has declared all such devices to be in the same category as machine guns.

Also dead is AB437 that would have eliminated the requirement a person get a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The so-called constitutional carry law would have allowed anyone not otherwise prohibited from having a firearm to carry a concealed weapon.

A number of measures bearing the generic description, “makes various changes relating to elections,” died including SB333 that would have mandated individuals and businesses making contributions of $1,000 or more to report those contributions to the Secretary of State’s Elections Division. Under current law, only the candidate reports contributions.

Two measures dealing with legalized marijuana were left behind on Friday. SB434 would have prohibited businesses from testing potential employees for marijuana without probable cause and provided for vacating minor pot convictions and sealing of those records. AB409 would have the licensing and operation of marijuana consumption lounges by counties.

AB200 would have given law enforcement the right to demand access to a person’s cell phone after an accident to determine whether the phone was in use at the time. Failure to comply would have suspended the driver’s license.

SB326 would have provided pretty much automatic restoration of the right to vote for all felons except those convicted of murder or major sex offenses.

AB75 was the biennial attempt by Republicans to move new state employees to a defined contribution retirement plan instead of the defined benefit system operated by the Public Employees Retirement System for existing workers. The proposed plan for those hired on or after July 2020 would offer significantly more modest retirement benefits.

Finally, AB468, which would have created a commemorative license plate recognizing the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Nevada, was left behind.

The other two deadlines facing lawmakers are May 17 when bills must clear committees in the second house and May 24 for second house passage unless the measures have an exemption.

Exemptions, however, aren’t that rare. As of Friday a total of 198 bills either had exemptions from those deadlines or were eligible for an exemption.

And when something comes up that leadership supports, there are a dozen ways to revive a supposedly dead bill.