It’s a week until the deadline for legislative bills to pass out of committee, and Nevada lawmakers are rushing to get numerous measures through in time. Lawmakers will have a busy Friday, with major bills on collective bargaining, marijuana and local government record keeping all up for a hearing on Friday.
More Marijuana Measures
Merely smelling like pot wouldn’t qualify as probable cause under one of a pair of wide-ranging marijuana-focused bills.
SB378 would make a variety of changes to Nevada’s medical marijuana law, including allowing medical marijuana cardholders to obtain licenses to carry concealed firearms, allowing people convicted of minor marijuana possession to ask a court to seal documents related to conviction, allowing people assigned to treatment programs to continue using the drug as long as they have a valid medical marijuana card, prohibiting cardholders from being evicted for using marijuana, allowing cardholders to use medical marijuana while on the premises of an assisted living facility, hospital or school, and removing the odor of marijuana as probable cause for a police search.
Democratic Sen. Tick Segerblom is also introducing another marijuana-related measure on Friday, SB329. That bill would transfer the state’s medical marijuana program over to the state Department of Taxation, authorize and lay out rules for medical marijuana “research facilities,” create “nonprofit” medical marijuana dispensaries and allow medical marijuana businesses to be organized as an organization and issue stock.
The bill would also prohibit a person convicted of felony fraud from being an owner, officer or board member of a medical marijuana establishment, require medical marijuana establishments to have their video cameras accessible by law enforcement at any time, and allow issuance of a permanent registry card to a veteran or person with a terminable, incurable or permanent medical condition. It would also increase the amount of marijuana that a medical cardholder can possess from 2.5 ounces to 2.5 pounds of marijuana leaf and 90 grams of “crude concentrated cannabis or 30 grams of purified concentrated cannabis.”
Watch the hearing on both bills at 1 p.m. in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Local government records keeping
Nevada isn’t known for enacting robust transparency laws. But a bill, AB479, put forward by the Assembly Committee on Government Affairs would strip away a local government transparency provision already on the books.
Existing law requires the State Library, Archives and Public Records Administrator to adopt regulations to carry out a program to establish and approve a minimum period of retention for local government records. AB479 would change that requirement to an authorization, giving the administrator the option to do so.
The current records retention schedule, a 455-page document, spells out how long certain documents must be kept by various local government agencies.
Watch the hearing at 8 a.m. in Assembly Government Affairs.
Sex changes for minors
Democratic Sen. David Parks is pushing a bill that would establish a framework to allow children to undergo gender reassignment surgery.
The legislation, SB408, would prohibit health care providers from performing or assisting with gender assignment surgery on a child unless the provider or another qualified professional has first assessed the child to make sure the child understands the nature of the surgery, its risks and consents to the procedure. It would allow an exception if a health care provider determines that delaying the procedure would put the child's life in danger.
Children wishing to receive the surgery would still need their parents or guardians to consent.
Watch the hearing on the bill at 8 a.m. in the Senate Commerce, Labor and Energy Committee.
Collective bargaining comeback
A legislative panel is set to hear a trio of bills that would change or roll back modifications made to state collective bargaining law.
SB469 would modify collective bargaining agreement provisions that deal with reopening an agreement during a period of fiscal emergencies by removing formulas for determining such emergencies and instead requiring that it be included as part of collective bargaining negotiations. It would also remove restrictions on what funds can be included by an independent fact-finder in determining how much a local government can pay in compensation or monetary benefits.
Democratic Sen. David Parks is the sponsor of SB493, which would undo a 2015 law that prohibits school administrators with salaries above $120,000 from joining collective bargaining organizations. The measure would remove the income limit, and instead exclude any administrator above the rank of principal from participating in collective bargaining.
Finally, lawmakers will also hear SB486, which would extend collective bargaining to various groups of state workers. It lays out collective bargaining terms and rules of collective negotiating, and allows for bargaining units to be formed for
- “Labor, maintenance, custodial and institutional employees”
- Administrative and clerical employees who deal with general office work
- Technical aides to professional employees, including computer programmers, tax examiners, conservation employees and crew supervisors.
- Professional employees including health care professional such as physical therapists
- Various categories of police officers and firefighters
- Employees who provide health care and other professional care, such as child-care professionals
Watch the hearings on all three bills at 1 p.m. in the Senate Committee on Government Affairs.