Gibbons Signs More Laws

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - A plan to roll back part of a
voter-approved smoking ban and exempt tobacco trade conventions
from the prohibition became law on Tuesday without Gov. Jim
Gibbons' signature.

When Gibbons sent AB309 to the secretary of state's office,
making it part of Nevada law even though he didn't sign the
measure, it completed his review of about 530 bills sent to him by
lawmakers. While most were signed, he vetoed 48 of the bills and
was overridden 25 times by lawmakers.

The tobacco trade show exemption had been amended into AB309,
which deals with the crime of stalking, and was approved a week ago
on the final day of the 2009 legislative session.

The original bill, SB372, would have softened the Nevada Clean
Indoor Air Act, passed by voters in 2006, by fine-tuning just where
smoking should be prohibited. Lobbyists wanted to allow smoking in
bars that serve food as long as minors are restricted from entry,
but that bill died in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

The amendment to AB309 was pushed by the Las Vegas Convention
and Visitors Authority because some groups with tobacco industry
ties canceled Nevada conventions after the 2006 ban took effect.

An initial attempt to add the smoking provision to the stalking
bill was blocked because the lawmakers' legal counsel said the
smoking issue was not germane to the bill's purpose. But
legislative lawyers revised their opinion and said the amendment
could work because both the bill and amendment deal with crimes.

Among final bills signed by Gibbons was SB55, allocating $9
million in bond revenues as a final installment on Nevada's share
of a major Tahoe environmental improvement program. The bill
earmarks a third of the money for the first phase of what's
envisioned as a 725-acre park near casinos at the California-Nevada
line on Lake Tahoe's south shore.

The $9 million is part of about $900 million for the
environmental improvement program, launched in 1997 by
then-President Clinton. The funds have come from federal,
California, Nevada, local government and private sources.

Gibbons also signed:
- AB140, which helps to ease foreclosure problems by mandating
that renters be notified that a property is in foreclosure. Also,
the state Board of Health must get advance word if a licensed
health facility faces foreclosure.
- SB152, Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford's "green jobs
initiative." The measure allows for use of stimulus funds to train
about 3,200 workers to perform weatherization, energy retrofit
applications and energy audits, which could help consumers save
money on their utility bills.
- SB269, which provides for immediate license suspensions of
medical professionals convicted of felonies. The measure is a
response to a hepatitis C outbreak in Las Vegas caused by shoddy
injection practices.
- AB385, which requires that parole and probation officers have
a maximum of 70 cases for low-risk offenders. The bill also
requires periodic reports to legislators about staffing ratios for
private prisons.
- AB521, which expands health care coverage for full-time,
salaried firefighters exposed to carcinogens on the job.


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