2 Minute Preview: New fees for Uber & Lyft drivers, restraining orders and autism funding

By Michelle Rindels and Riley Snyder

Lawmakers are wrapping up another week at the Legislature, passing the quarter-mark of the session earlier this week. But even though several afternoon committees are canceled, there’s no shortage of committee votes and potentially contentious bill hearings on the way Friday in Carson City.

Here’s what to watch for on today’s agenda:

Need a LYFT? $200.

Drivers for popular ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft would need to apply for and receive a state business license in order to operate in Nevada under one proposed bill.

SB226 would require each driver for a Transportation Network Company — businesses such as  Uber or Lyft that use a smartphone app to connect drivers and passengers — to obtain a state business license before operating. Currently, a business license in the state costs a flat $200 (except for certain corporations).

Lawmakers worked an all-night session in 2015 to pass legislation allowing so-called “TNCs” to operate in the state. TNC drivers in Clark County are already required to pay an annual $25 fee to operate in the county.

The bill would require TNCs to submit quarterly reports to the Nevada Transportation Authority with the number of drivers who have registered for a state business license, and require the companies to verify that their drivers have a state business license before allowing them to start picking up passengers.

Tune in to the hearing at 8 a.m. in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee,

Autism treatment, Meals on Wheels funding

Lawmakers are combing through the $671 million budget for Nevada’s Aging and Disability Services Division, which provides services for children with disabilities and investigates claims of elder abuse, among other tasks.

The division hopes to retain more of the workers in its Autism Treatment and Assistance Program by converting 25 of them from contractors to state employees. The autism program is expected to have 835 participants by mid-2019, but also a waitlist of 586 at that point.

Advocates for children in autism worry about the long wait list because children can make major improvements if they’re treated intensively and early, and waitlists represent wasted time that could hold back their development.

Sandoval’s budget also calls for $1.5 million in additional funding for the Meals on Wheels program, which helps feed homebound seniors. The nonprofit Nevadans for the Common Good had asked for the state to kick in $5 million in the upcoming year, which it said would help cover more of what the federal government doesn’t cover and would eliminate a wait list that’s been pegged at 600 to 900 people.

Watch the hearing at 8 a.m. in a money budget subcommittee.

Extending restraining orders

AB177 gives more protection to people when a temporary restraining order expires.

Democratic Assemblyman Mike Sprinkle, the bill’s sponsor, says that when a victim seeks to extend a restraining order against a batterer, the order must be formally served to that person. The batterer sometimes avoids the extension by refusing to answer the door or refusing to go to work, where a process server might find them and deliver the order.

To get around the evasion, the bill would extend the temporary protection order for up to 90 days if the subject of the order can’t be served. After that, the alleged victim must prove they need the restraining order extended.

Watch the hearing at 8 a.m. in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.