Las Vegas Sun

April 24, 2019

Currently: 72° — Complete forecast

Legislative briefs for April 19, 2005

Bill would help homeless people

Homeless people would not have to pay to get a new copy of their birth certificate or driver's license under Assembly Bill 84, passed Monday by the Assembly.

The bill sponsored, by Assemblyman Bob McCleary, D-North Las Vegas, is designed to make it easier for homeless people to get back on their feet.

Often, their identification is lost or stolen, and identification is often a prerequisite to obtaining assistance, not to mention a job, legislators said.

The bill, which would cost the state about $11,000 a year, also calls for an interim study on homelessness. It now goes to the Senate.

More money OK'd for Yucca battle

The Senate Finance Committee Monday approved $1 million to continue the state's legal fight against the proposed nuclear dump at Yucca Mountain.

The money would go to the state attorney general's office to be used over the next two years to hire lawyers. Expenditures require approval from the Legislative Interim Finance Committee.

The $1 million allocation also still needs approval from the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. The money would be in addition to the $2 million allocated to the Nuclear Projects Office. But most of that money will be used for studies intended to prove that Yucca Mountain is an unsuitable site for a nuclear dump.

Assembly passes tougher DUI bill

A bill passed Monday by the Assembly would allow a sentence of up to life in prison for any motorist with a history of drunken driving who kills someone on the road.

Assembly Bill 256 would create a vehicular homicide charge for people who kill while driving drunk if they have at least three previous convictions for driving drunk. The driver would be eligible for parole after 25 years.

Assembly Majority Leader Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, argued that too many people repeatedly drive drunk and wind up killing someone.

"We have to take a strong stance in our state to get these drivers off our roads," she said. "The current penalties do not seem to be deterring them."

The bill now goes to the Senate.

Change in NLV elections passed

Residents in North Las Vegas would vote only for City Council members representing their ward under Assembly Bill 197, passed Monday by the Assembly.

Current law requires the city's four council members to live in the ward that they represent, but residents citywide get to vote for all council positions.

Assemblyman Kelvin Atkinson, D-North Las Vegas, argued Monday that residents would have a more representative city council if they could only vote for their own council member.

Assemblyman Bob McCleary, D-North Las Vegas, said that about 70 percent of people who vote in municipal elections come from one area of the city, meaning that all city council members cater to that area. Older neighborhoods, he argued, do not receive the same attention.

Seven members of the Assembly voted against the bill, all Republicans. It now goes to the Senate.

Anti-peeping bill passes Assembly

The Assembly overwhelming approved a bill Monday that would make it a crime to peep on people in their residences.

Because of a loophole in Nevada law, it currently is legal for people to peep on others so long as they do not break any other law, said Assembly Speaker Richard Perkins, D-Henderson, a deputy chief in the Henderson Police Department.

In some cases, peepers have terrorized neighborhoods, he said.

"This is generally where some sexual crimes begin, it is in the peeping and peering stage and they escalate from there," he said.

Assembly Bill 190 makes it a misdemeanor to conceal oneself while attempting to peep. It could be elevated to a gross misdemeanor if the person has a camera or sound recording device and a felony if the person has a deadly weapon.

The bill now goes to the Senate.

Towing costs bill OK'd by Assembly

The Assembly overwhelmingly approved a bill Monday that would ensure people aren't held liable for towing costs on cars that they have sold but have not yet been registered to the new owner.

Right now, people can be charged for the fees even if they have transferred title of the car, said Assemblyman Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas. Assembly Bill 169 would allow the owners to show their bill of sale to ensure they aren't charged towing costs.

The bill now goes to the Senate.

Asthma medication measure approved

Children would be able to administer their own asthma medication at school under Assembly Bill 182, passed Monday by the Assembly.

The bill would require students to have a prescription and written permission from their parents in order to administer their own medication for asthma and anaphylaxis.

Assemblyman Scott Sibley, R-Las Vegas, said he sponsored the bill partly because he has had asthma since he was 3 years old and two of his boys have asthma. The bill now goes to the Senate.

Teacher-parent compacts urged

Teachers would be required to give compacts to parents to sign under Assembly Bill 184, passed Monday by the Assembly.

The bill is designed to get parents more involved in the education of their children, said its sponsor, Assemblywoman Susan Gerhardt, D-Henderson. It would include information about homework policies, dates of major exams, honor code policies, volunteer opportunities and more, she said.

The bill now goes to the Senate.

More boat safety devices urged

A Carson City woman whose husband drowned in Lake Mead tearfully urged a Senate committee on Monday to require more safety devices on boats.

Assembly Bill 112 would require a boat that is 26 feet or more in length to have a ring life buoy or a buoyant cushion with a rope of not less than 30 feet. And if the vessel was 40 feet long or more, there would have to be life buoys on both the port and starboard sides.

The Senate Natural Resources Committee did not take action but directed co-sponsor Sen. Mark Amodei, R-Carson City, to work on other amendments to beef up safety.

Vincent Petrilena, 46, his wife, Dee Dee Petrilena, and others had rented a 65-foot houseboat in May 2004. Dee Dee Petrilena said she turned off the engine to avoid carbon monoxide getting into the water while Vincent was swimming.

A wind came up and the boat was pushed further away from Vincent who was trying to swim to the boat. His wife had a hard time turning the boat, she said.

A life buoy was thrown but the wind "carried it away," she said. According to park rangers, a woman with a life jacket jumped in with an extra life jacket but it was too late.

Sen. Bob Coffin, D-Las Vegas, said there possibly should be some instruction required before these boats are rented.

About 275 failed measures reported

About 275 bills died in the Legislature Friday when they failed to make it out of Senate or Assembly committees.

Lorne Malkiewich, director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau, said Monday there were approximately 160 bills in the Assembly and an estimated 115 in the Senate that didn't meet Friday's deadline for committee approval.

But there is still plenty of legislation alive. So far there have been 556 Assembly bills and 506 Senate bills that have been introduced.

Of those bills that were approved by committees, each house has until April 26 to approve them and send them to the other house.

There also are more than 100 bills that exempt from deadlines because they have appropriations built into them.

A bill that appropriates $20,000

for a painting of Gov. Kenny Guinn was approved by the Senate Finance Committee Monday. Assembly Bill 97 goes to the floor of the Senate for final passage. If approved, it would then be moved to Guinn for his signature

Drivers would be banned

from using devices that trigger changes of traffic signals under Assembly Bill 348, passed Monday by the Assembly. People can buy the devices on the Internet, but the power to trigger the changes was intended for emergency vehicles only, proponents of the bill said. The bill now goes to the Senate.