Nevada Legislature Week 8: Drone law and union fights

Lawmakers are continuing their deep dive into Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval’s plan to raise around $440 million in tax revenue, days after Sandoval and a cabal of former governors and business leaders pitched the Nevada Legislature on the proposal.

But hours of tax hearings aren’t the only thing on the Legislature’s docket. Dramatic changes to collective bargaining laws and an expansive bill governing drones and privacy are set to drive the conversation in Week 8.


Sandoval’s major tax plan is poised to dominate discussion during the upcoming week. Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson says the entire Senate will meet as a committee several times next week for long hearings on the proposed business license fee increase.

The fee, outlined in SB252, is the capstone of a plan to boost state revenue from $6.6 billion to $7.3 billion, mainly to help pay for K-12 education funding.

Democratic Sen. Pat Spearman is scheduled to present her proposed tax plan Tuesday. Spearman’s alternative would repeal the state’s modified business tax and impose a 0.47 percent tax on business gross receipts that exceed $25,000 in a quarter.

Another alternative tax plan is expected to come from Assembly Republican leadership on Monday.


Legislation regulating ride-hailing companies like Lyft or Uber is expected to be introduced Monday, which is the deadline for the introduction of committee-sponsored bills.

Republican Sen. James Settelmeyer is leading the charge to create a regulatory structure for companies that connect users to drivers through a smartphone application.

Uber briefly operated in Nevada this fall before a state judge issued a restraining order, saying the company refused to follow regulations governing taxicab companies.

State records show Uber, which is based in San Francisco, has enlisted twelve lobbyists to represent it this session.


Democratic Assemblyman Elliot Anderson is proposing a wide-ranging bill that would impose privacy restrictions on drones.

AB 239 is scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. The bill would limit the use of drones for police surveillance and sets penalties for trespassing or invading privacy.

Anderson said the bill is an attempt to wade into a complex area of law regulating a new industry, and that the bill could see several amendments.


The latest in a series of battles for Nevada unions comes Wednesday with a bill that organized labor representatives have dubbed “Union Armageddon.”

Republican Assemblyman Randy Kirner’s AB182 is scheduled for a hearing Wednesday in the Assembly Commerce and Labor Committee.

The omnibus bill would prevent collective bargaining agreements from stopping layoffs during a budget crisis and eliminates seniority from being considered in layoffs.

It would also remove “evergreen” provisions that preserve the tenets of a contract after it expires if a new contract is not already in place.


Democratic Assemblyman Mike Sprinkle is proposing a bill that would make it a crime to smoke tobacco in a car with a child present.

The proposal would affect any person smoking in a vehicle with children under the age of 18, and would include either a maximum fine of $25 or a light community service requirement.

The bill is scheduled for a hearing Thursday morning in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.


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