Las Vegas Sun

August 18, 2019

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How the 2019 legislative session might affect Clark County


Ryan Tarinelli / AP

Assembly members gather before the Nevada Assembly in Carson City, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. The Legislature began its session Monday as the first overall female majority legislature in U.S. history.

With the Nevada Legislature opening this week, Clark County commissioners are taking stock of the area’s interests at play in Carson City.

The county has backed bills dealing with real estate regulations, property appropriation and hospital purchases. It’s also keeping an eye on bills that would increase marijuana licenses and commissioner positions, among others.

Here’s a further look:

County-backed bills

• Current state statute requires any public work that demands the “practice of professional engineering or land surveying” be completed by a professional engineer, surveyor or architect in projects with a total expenditure of more than $35,000. A bill has been introduced that would increase that total expenditure level to $100,000.

• Existing law allows a county treasurer to place a two-year holding certificate on any property with delinquent property taxes. At the end of the two-year period, if the delinquent taxes are not paid, the treasurer can begin the process of selling the property. A bill has been introduced that would create an expedited sale process for properties the treasurer determines are abandoned. To be labeled abandoned, the property must have met at least two requirements on a list, which includes shattered and bordered windows, smashed doors, a lapsed utility period of over one year and lack of residents. The owner of the property will have a 30-day period to challenge the determination.

• One county-backed bill would add new regulations regarding the sale or purchase of real estate by counties. It would allow counties to pay more than the appraised price of a property if a public hearing is conducted before the purchase to discuss the reasoning, change the way appraisals are conducted in certain sale circumstances and allow and regulate online auctions of property by counties.

• Existing law allows some county hospitals to get around the Local Government Purchasing Act in purchases of supplies by buying them through the purchasing contracts of the company managing the hospital or through a purchasing group in which the hospital is a member. A bill has been introduced that would add nonprofessional services to the list of possible purchases under the statute. If the nonprofessional services are going toward a public project, then the county must make sure the workers are paid the local prevailing wage.

Bills with possible impact on Clark County

• A bill has been introduced that would allow the state to issue more medical and retail marijuana licenses to cities upon request from the municipality. In its current form, the bill would only cover requests from incorporated cities.

• One introduced bill would return bail paid to the court if no formal action is taken against the person or if the charges against the person are dismissed. Previous law required the bail to be kept for a period of 30 days after posting unless the person requested an earlier return.

• One bill would add one judge to the 2nd Judicial District (Washoe County), one to the 4th Judicial District (Elko County), six to the 8th Judicial District (Clark County). These judges would be elected in the November 2020 general election.

• A bill has been introduced that would add a 25-cent tax per $500 in value of any property transferred in Clark County. It would also allow for an incorporated city in the county to impose a fee up to $25 on sanitary sewer system users, with the final amount depending on the type of home. These funds would be earmarked for services to homeless or poorer residents.

• A bill has been introduced that would allow the county commission to create a nonprofit organization in emergency situations to provide social or financial assistance. These nonprofits would not be allowed to create indebtedness, levy dues or borrow money. All assets owned by the nonprofit would go back to the county when it dissolves.

• One introduced bill would increase the number of commissioners in Clark County to nine.