2007 Nevada Legislature starts sixth week

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - The sixth week of the 2007 Nevada
Legislature opens Monday with dueling Democratic and Republican
news conferences over education - notably funding for full-day
kindergarten which Democrats want and GOP Gov. Jim Gibbons opposes.
The news events will be followed by an Assembly Education
hearing on AB157, the Democrat-backed plan that would expand
full-day kindergarten to all elementary schools in Nevada.
Senate Finance will review the state Public Employees Benefit
Program, which is looking for solutions to a projected $4.1
long-term unfunded liability. Also on the Finance agenda is the
state's Millennium Scholarship program.
Assembly Ways and Means will take up budgets for various state
programs, including one to track down Medicaid fraud and another
that focuses on worker comp fraud.
Senate Judiciary has scheduled a work session on a dozen
measures, including SB30, providing for early release of some
prisoners from county or city jails to relieve overcrowding; and
SB14, which would make a minor caught with tobacco products subject
to juvenile court jurisdiction as "a child in need of
Assembly Health and Human Services has scheduled a hearing on
measures dealing with child care facilities and children placed in
protective custody. The bills are part of an effort to strengthen
disclosure and increase inspections and audits at state facilities
with custody of children.
Also Monday, Senate Natural Resources will discuss the state
Department of Agriculture, which has been caught up in controversy
that led to the recent resignation of Don Henderson, the agency's
On Tuesday, the agriculture agency comes up for review again in
a joint Senate-Assembly budget subcommittee. Another budget panel
will review the state's welfare programs.
An Assembly Health and Human Services subcommittee will discuss
amendments to AB146, which would require the Department of Health
and Human Services to set up a Web site and phone services to give
Nevadans information on hospital costs and quality.
Senate Transportation and Homeland Security reviews SB42, which
would make failure to wear a safety belt in a vehicle a primary
offense. Now, motorists can get tickets for not wearing a seat belt
only if the driver has been stopped for some other offense.
The same committee will take up SB61, which would allow for
automatic issuance of citations to drivers whose traffic offenses
are caught by stoplight cameras.
On Wednesday, Assembly Judiciary considers AB72 making it easier
to prosecute Internet predators who go online to lure someone they
think is a child but instead turns out to be a police investigator.
Senate Commerce and Labor takes up SB197, which requires the
state Board of Pharmacy to give consumers information on prices of
commonly prescribed prescription drugs. A similar proposal is being
studied in the Assembly.
Senate Finance will follow up on its Assembly Ways and Means
counterpart, reviewing state programs that track down Medicaid
fraud and worker comp fraud; and Assembly Health and Human Services
discusses AB261 and AB263, dealing with child abuse and neglect
Assembly Commerce and Labor reviews SB18, which bans
price-gouging during emergencies, by classifying sudden price
spikes of more than 25 percent that aren't tied to market forces as
deceptive trade practices.
On Thursday, Assembly Judiciary reviews AB159, which would make
it a misdemeanor crime to hold a demonstration within 300 feet of a
funeral or memorial service. Anti-war demonstrations near funerals
for soldiers killed in Iraq or Afghanistan have resulted in similar
laws in other states.
Assembly Transportation reviews AB124, which prohibits minors
from using cell phones while driving vehicles; and suggestions for
upgrading the state's drug and mental health courts will be
discussed by a select Assembly panel on corrections.
The Assembly committee dealing with constitutional amendments
will review AJR5, which would allow for a statewide lottery to help
pay for books, computers and other educational materials for
On Friday, a joint Senate-Assembly subcommittee will go over
various state prison budgets, including spending plans for the
high-security Ely State Prison.
On the Net: Nevada Legislature: http://leg.state.nv.us/

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)