Nevada Assembly passes wedding, anti-graffiti bills
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) – State lawmakers threw the book at taggers, defended puppies and kittens less than 8 weeks old, and approved more after-hours weddings during a rare Sunday session.
Legislators staged a flurry of votes as they stare down a Monday deadline for bills to pass their second house.
Assembly members approved a bill imposing stronger penalties for graffiti after the Senate passed the measure weeks ago.
Convicted taggers would face both a fine and restitution payments to compensate graffiti victims, and a person convicted of a third graffiti offense could be assigned up to 300 hours of community service.
Defacing a protected site in Nevada would be considered a category C felony punishable by at least 10 days in jail.
Assemblywoman Dina Neal, D-North Las Vegas, was one of two lawmakers who voted against the measure. She said the restitution payment could overwhelm people already burdened by the fine.
Another bill would expand Nevada laws against animal cruelty. Assembly members approved a measure that allows for confidential citizen reports of cruelty. It also criminalizes animal abuse meant to intimidate the pet’s owner, and makes it a crime to intentionally separate a puppy or kitten from its mother before the animal is 8 weeks old.
A bill dealing with marriage cleans up the rules about civil ceremonies, allowing for weddings during off-hours when the clerk’s office is not open. The measure garnered Assembly approval Sunday.
Several bills tweaking state government passed the Assembly during the weekend session.
One sets up an Office of Grant Procurement, which would act as a clearinghouse for grant applications prepared by state agencies.
Supporters say the centralized office will help Nevada better identify grants and ultimately score more federal dollars.
Another bill lawmakers passed adjusts the deadlines for filing campaign contribution reports. Candidates for public office would have to file some of their reports on campaign spending and fundraising before early voting begins.
A busy week of votes is expected as eight days remain in the legislative session.