CARSON CITY — Federal issues will be on the minds of lawmakers through much of Week 7 at the Legislature, with a historic vote in the Assembly on ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment and a resolution reaffirming Nevada’s opposition to Yucca Mountain both on tap.
A presentation from U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials and a bill to elect the president by popular vote are also scheduled.
But the priority for lawmakers will be getting their bills introduced by a Monday deadline. It will likely be a long day as legislative bill drafting staff try to get dozens of measures finished so they can be introduced in the Senate or Assembly.
The ERA vote is scheduled for Monday. If Senate Joint Resolution 2 ratifying the amendment to the U.S. Constitution is approved, Nevada would be the first state in 40 years to vote on the measure. Two more states would have to ratify it before Congress could consider adding it to the Constitution.
Here is a look at the rest of the week:
The Assembly Commerce and Labor Subcommittee on Energy will consider Assembly Joint Resolution 10, which would reaffirm Nevada’s opposition to a high-level nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain.
President Donald Trump has proposed $120 million to restart the licensing process to make Yucca Mountain the permanent nuclear waste storage site and to initiate an interim storage program.
The Assembly Legislative Operations and Elections Committee will consider Assembly Bill 274 by Assemblyman Nelson Araujo, D-Las Vegas, which would enact the “Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote.” The bill would make the electors identified with the president and vice president who win the national popular vote the official presidential electors for each state.
The Senate and Assembly Natural Resources committees will meet jointly to hear an overview of BLM operations in Nevada from state Director John Ruhs. Federal ownership of Nevada lands, most of it by the BLM, is a topic near and dear to the hearts of many lawmakers.
And vapers should take note. Some lawmakers want to regulate and tax the industry. Assembly Bill 269, to be heard in the Assembly Taxation Committee, would do just that.
The budgets of the Nevada System of Higher Education will be reviewed by a joint Assembly Ways and Means and Senate Finance subcommittee. The UNLV Medical School, which would see a big funding boost in Gov. Brian Sandoval’s proposed 2017-19 budget, is one of many programs that will be reviewed.
Also, the Senate Legislative Operations and Elections Committee will take up a measure to amend the state constitution to clarify that any marriage between two people is the law in Nevada. Assembly Joint Resolution 2 has already passed the Assembly. It needs to pass this session, pass again in the 2019 session and be approved by voters in 2020 before it can take effect.
Many more issues will be covered in Week 7 as lawmakers schedule bills for hearings.