Week eleven of the 2017 Legislative Session begins today. There are 49 days left in the session.
The first major deadline for bills was last Friday, April 14th. Bills had to pass out of the first committee by the close of that days’ legislative action or die. In total, 251 bills, 5 Assembly Joint Resolutions and 5 Senate Joint Resolutions failed to make the deadline and are dead. One of the Assembly Joint Resolutions and two of the Senate Joint Resolutions were originally introduced and passed in the 2015 session. These joint resolutions would have amended the state constitution so they had to be passed in consecutive legislative sessions and then would have gone to a vote of the people. The joint resolutions that passed in 2015 but failed this session were AJR8 which proposed to require that certain initiative petitions pass by a two-thirds majority, SJR11 which would have preserved the right to hunt, trap and fish in the constitution and SJR13 which would have limited the amount of certain property taxes that could have been levied on real property.
Two bills introduced by the League failed to make it out of committee. SB24 which would have allowed cities to create a vacant property registry drew serious opposition from many groups including the builders, banks, credit unions, realtors and business. The bill would have had to been watered down extensively in order to get it to pass. We have gotten agreements from the various groups to work through the next interim to develop language that everyone can agree to. SB63 which sought to change the way certain fuel taxes are distributed. The measure would have ensured that towns with the responsibility for road maintenance received fuel tax revenue. We were able to work out a deal where an MOU will be entered into between the county and the towns which will achieve the goal of the bill. We asked that this bill not be processed.
NACO’s bill that would have changed the secondary calculation used to determine the abatement cap on ad valorem taxes for commercial, and sometimes owner-occupied residential, properties also did not make it out of committee.
In addition to the bills above some of the bills that we would have liked to continue to be processed include:
AB331 – Would have created the Nevada System of Community Colleges.
SB67 – Would have revised provisions relating to fire safety requirements for multi-story buildings occupied by people.
SB87 – Would have made changes related to redevelopment districts.
SB93 – Would have allowed mail-only municipal elections.
Some of the bills that we were happy to see fail to make it out of committee are listed below.
AB42 – Would have made changes relating to complying with public records requests.
AB153 – Would have required counties to pay impact fees to neighboring counties for certain costs as a result of a project of intercounty significance.
AB398 – Would have exempted the sale of electric vehicles from certain sales and use taxes.
AB479 – Would have made it optional for the State Library, Archives and Public Records Administrator to adopt regulations to carry out a program to establish and approve minimum periods of retention for records of local governments.
SB218 – Would have made several changes to the requirements for complying with requests for public records and limiting what a local government can charge for copies of public records.
SB380 – Would have prohibited a member of a local government legislative body from accepting gifts from a “local lobbyist”.
Still alive are several bills regarding marijuana. The thought is that the many bills on this subject will be combined into a few by the end of the session. The ability of local governments to assess fees and regulate marijuana businesses will need to be included in some of the bills. Industry is trying to limit local governments in these areas.
The modest changes made last session to collective bargaining and prevailing wage triggers are being rolled back this session.
AB8, the League’s bill that would allow an incorporated city to place delinquent water and storm drainage on the property tax roll has passed out of committee and is on general file for today. Cities already have the authority to place delinquent sewerage bills on the property tax roll.
Assemblywoman Swank introduced AB417 which would create a “Main Street” program in Nevada was heard last week and passed out of committee unanimously. The League brought a similar bill last session. Assemblywoman Swank believes she has located sufficient funding for a state coordinator.
The next deadline for bills is April 25th. Bill must be passed out of the house of introduction by the end of this day or cannot be processed further.
Local Government Day at the Legislature will be held on April 27th. We will be planning activities and meetings for the day. We will be co-hosting a Legislative Reception that evening at the Governor’s mansion with our friends from NACO. Please plan on attending and helping our legislators understand municipal concerns and issues.