Bills Die as Deadline Hits at Nevada Legislature

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Bills that sparked a debate over abortion, ethics reform, a state lottery, and appointed judges were among many measures that died Friday on a deadline for action by Nevada legislative committees.

SB299, which targeted drunken drivers who cause pregnant women
to miscarry, died through inaction in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

The committee also voted down SJR2, a proposed constitutional amendment which would have allowed the governor to appoint judges
in efforts to minimize the influence of money in judicial campaigns.

Also failing to advance was SB6, which would have added marijuana to a list of drugs that cannot be manufactured or sold in the presence of children. The bill would have expanded a law that targets home methamphetamine labs.

Other casualties included SB14, which targeted "smoker's corners" near schools by banning the possession or use of cigarettes or other tobacco products by anyone under age 18.

The deadline was for Senate-approved bills to move out of Assembly committees and for Assembly-endorsed measures to emerge from Senate committees. Anything that failed to advance, with some exceptions, was dead. It's one of many deadlines to keep lawmakers
on track for a mandatory June 4 adjournment.

Also dead is AB79, related to the impeachment of the late state Controller Kathy Augustine. The bill would have prevented public officers and employees from using government time, property or equipment for campaign purposes.

Augustine had been impeached by the Nevada Assembly and convicted by the Senate for using state equipment on her 2002 campaign for state controller. She was censured but wasn't removed
from office.

AB248, which would have banned certain types of tip-sharing agreements, died without receiving a hearing in the Senate Commerce
and Labor Committee.

The bill arose out of concerns of Wynn Las Vegas card dealers, who said they were hit with a 10 to 15 percent pay cut in August, when they were ordered to share their tips with supervisors.

Wynn Las Vegas executives, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce,
Nevada Restaurant Association and the Nevada Hotel and Lodging
Association all opposed the bill, saying it would take away business autonomy and harm lower-income employees such as bus boys and bar backs.

Another bill that died in that committee was AB494, a union-backed bill that would have allowed workers who were locked out by their employers to receive unemployment benefits.

Also dead are:

  • SB174, a bill to let doctors apologize to patients for an
    adverse medical result without having the apology used against them
    in court later on.
  • SB216, allowing convicted people to contribute to a charity
    instead of performing community service.
  • SB325, declaring English as the official state language.
  • SB378, which would limit the liability of some non-profits to
  • SB425, enacting the same blackout periods that prohibit the
    governor and lawmakers from getting political donations during a
    legislative session to legal defense funds.
  • SB438, letting counties contract with private companies to run
  • SB489, prohbits threatening people who are gathering signatures
    for a petition.
  • SB415, which bans illegal immigrants from receiving any state
    benefits for higher education, including scholarships, loans, and
    in-state tuition.
  • AJR1, which requires that public officials must forfeit their
    office if they commit three or more ethics violations.
  • AJR5, a proposal to create a state lottery
  • AB79 would prevent public officers and employees from using
    government time, property or equipment for campaign purposes.
  • AB113, which would establish stricter rules for landfills near
  • AB369, which establishes procedures for the release of someone
    who is committed for an insanity plea.
  • AB470, which prohibits the governor from entering into
    international trade agreements without the consent of the
  • AB506, requiring the secretary of state to study the
    possibility of a later voter-registration deadline.

Press Writer Joe Mullin contributed to this report.

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