Lawmakers' Week Could Include Gibbons' Veto

Nevada lawmakers, with just three weeks left in the 2007 session, learn Monday whether Governor Gibbons will veto a key budget-balancing bill - and whether their leaders have resolved critical differences over K-12 and higher education spending.

By the end of the week, they'll know what measures remain alive.
Friday is the deadline for Senate-approved bills to move out of Assembly committees and for Assembly-endorsed measures to emerge
from Senate committees. Anything that fails to advance, with some
exceptions, is dead.

In reaching his decision on a veto, Gibbons will first get advice from the state attorney general on the lawsuit potential of a bill to erase "green" building tax breaks. He must weigh that against the potential for more revenue shortfall problems if the tax breaks stay in place.

Also Monday, Senate Republican leaders and Assembly Democrat
leaders plan to meet behind closed doors for another effort to settle their differences over education funding. A big issue is the Assembly push to expand kindergarten throughout the state's public schools.

Until the education funding is worked out, legislators can't wrap up other spending plans included in a nearly seven billion dollar state budget for the coming two fiscal years.

Legislative committees have hectic hearing schedules, and Assembly and Senate floor sessions will be busy. In the Assembly, nearly 40 measures are ready for final votes tomorrow.

Monday's agenda for Assembly Ways and Means includes a bill that would double good-time credits for inmates in an effort to ease costly prison overcrowding.

Senate Natural Resources reviews a measure requiring higher fees
of mining companies to pay for two new state positions to regulate
mercury emissions.

Senate Finance takes up legislation governing off-highway vehicles that faces opposition from a group concerned about damage caused by excessive off-road activity.

On Tuesday, Assembly Judiciary reviews a bill dealing with criminal charges when a fetus is killed - a proposal that has triggered debate between abortion rights and anti-abortion activists.

Senate Judiciary has more than two dozen bills scheduled for discussion, on subjects ranging from domestic relations to genetic marker testing of certain convicts, wiretapping and terrorism.

Senate Legislative Operations and Elections discusses legislation dealing with initiative and referendum measures; while Senate and Assembly money committees discuss numerous measures and attempt to close more budgets.

On Wednesday, the budget-closing process continues in the money
panels, and other committees hold work sessions to complete action
on bills in advance of the Friday deadline for action on all measures.

Those hearings include an Assembly Commerce and Labor session on
a measure cracking down on musical imposters who fake connections
to recording legends from years past.

On Thursday, budget closings continue - notably the spending plan for the state prison system. The wrap-up effort on bills in other committees continues, with many panels simply posting notices for "work sessions" without listing the bills they're considering.

Besides the final rush on Friday to complete committee work on measures, lawmakers also have scheduled meetings of Senate Finance
and Assembly Ways and Means to go over numerous appropriation requests.

Those appropriations provide for supplemental funds for agencies dealing with taxation, education, public safety and Lake Tahoe,
among others.

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


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