Legislative Briefly for May 25

Poker bill clears Senate committee, heads to floor

(AP) - Lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee have approved Internet poker bill AB258, sending it a floor vote.

The amended bill is intended to ensure the state has licensing and regulation standards in place should the federal government legalize Internet gambling. The rules would be established by the Nevada Gaming Commission,

Online gambling has been mired in controversy since the U.S. Justice Department indicted executives of three top online poker sites April 15, charging them with violating federal law. In its original form, AB258 would have prohibited state regulators from denying a license to existing online poker sites. That provision was deleted.

Assemblyman William Horne of Las Vegas says AB258 will make Nevada a licensing model if and when the federal government legalizes online gambling.

The committee approved the bill Tuesday.

Senate Oks bill criminalizing foreclosure damage

(AP) - The Senate has given final legislative approval to a bill that makes it a misdemeanor to destroy a foreclosed property.

Current law does not penalize home owners for destroying a dwelling that has been foreclosed upon because it is considered private property.

Bill sponsor Assemblyman Pete Goicoechea (goh-gah-CHEE-yah) of Eureka told lawmakers in the Assembly and Senate that the rules need to change because there is story after story of angry homeowners destroying their property.

Goicoechea says damage can be so bad as to render the property uninhabitable.

The bill cleared the Senate with a unanimous 21-0 vote Monday.

It was approved earlier by the Assembly and will go to the governor.

NV Gov. signs transgender anti-discrimination bill

(AP) - Gov. Brian Sandoval has signed into law a bill barring job discrimination against transgender people.

The signing Tuesday is the first of three bills expanding protections for transgender people that made their way through the Legislature after unsuccessful attempts in past sessions.

The bill adds gender identity or expression to a list of attributes employers cannot discriminate against. Already on the list are attributes such as race, religion and sexual orientation.

Two other bills on their way to the governor would protect transgender people from discrimination in housing transactions and in public places such as bars.

A fourth bill that would have added transgender people to hate crime protections died in the Senate.

Las Vegas Assemblyman Paul Aizley sponsored the job discrimination measure.

Proposal could tap feds for nuclear contamination

(AP) - A push to get the federal government to cough up money for contaminating the Silver State in the 1950s got the go-ahead Tuesday from the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources, Agriculture and Mining.

SCR2 urges the attorney general, Agency for Nuclear Projects and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to assess the types and amounts of contamination caused when the federal government performed underground nuclear tests and military exercises.

The information would then be used to determine if the state could lodge a case for financial compensation.

Supporters say the bill is worthwhile because the information can be synched with similar efforts in other states including Washington and South Carolina.

The resolution now goes to the Assembly floor.

Senators vote for greater lobbying transparency

(AP) - Lawmakers gave their full support for a bill that would require lobbyists to disclose their activities during the legislative off-season.

SB206 cleared the Senate with a 21-0 vote.

If it passes the Assembly, it will mean lobbyists will have to file quarterly reports of their off-season lobbying activities with the director of the Legislative Council Bureau.

Lobbyists would need to report expenditures of $50 or more, including the cost of entertainment, gifts or loans.

The bill was sponsored by Democratic Sen. Sheila Leslie of Reno. Before the vote, conservative Republican Sen. Michael Roberson of Las Vegas praised the bill, saying it was a good start to "clean up" the legislative building.


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