The pressure of passing a revenue increase to fund Gov. Brian Sandoval’s two-year budget will continue to mount in Week 14 of the Nevada Legislature.
With under a month to go in the session, Assembly Republicans are poised to start tackling a number of competing revenue plans that seek to fund the governor’s $7.3 billion budget.
And a preview of the 2016 election will come in the form of presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, who will stop in the battleground state for several days next week.
Here are some things to watch:
TAX TALKS RESUME
Assembly members are expected to kick their tax talks into high gear this week after receiving a refined budget forecast from the Economic Forum. They need to decide whether to accept the governor’s plan to restructure the state business license fee, adopt a bill of their own or create some sort of combination bill.
Republican Assembly Majority Leader Paul Anderson said he hasn’t started counting votes for different tax packages but expects a consensus to form around a tax measure by the end of the week. He said the governor’s plan to raise business license fees, SB 252, could get a hearing in two weeks but noted that the measure isn’t exempt from legislative deadlines.
Republican leaders will need to work with Democrats to go around a block of fierce anti-tax conservatives who have pledged to vote against any tax increase. Any tax plan needs at least 28 votes to pass the constitutionally required two-thirds majority.
HILLARY CLINTON IN NEVADA
Hillary Rodham Clinton is scheduled to stop in Northern Nevada on May 5, as part of a tour of early-voting states.
A campaign official said the former secretary of state’s events will be similar to the small-scale question-and-answer sessions she held with voters while traveling by van through Iowa and New Hampshire.
Nevada’s caucuses are held early in the presidential nominating calendar, and like Iowa and New Hampshire, it is expected to be a hotly-contested battleground state in the general election.
Clinton’s Nevada stop comes the day before she begins a three-day fundraising swing through California.
UBER AND LYFT
An Assembly committee is expected to vote on a measure that would effectively allow ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft to operate in the state.
Assembly Commerce and Labor Committee chairman said he plans to hold a vote on SB 440 sometime this week.
The measure initially created a regulatory insurance framework for so-called “transportation network companies” like Uber and Lyft but was amended to allow businesses that meet the insurance requirements to operate in the state, without being subject to the same regulations governing taxicabs and public utilities.
A bill that would have allowed ride-hailing companies to operate in the state failed in the Senate after failing to reach a constitutionally required two-thirds vote earlier in April. SB439 was declared exempt two weeks ago, and can be reconsidered for a vote any time before the session ends.
Assembly members want to see Daylight Saving Time all year round. Members of the Senate Legislative Operations and Elections Committee are expected to vote Monday on a resolution urging Congress to allow Nevada some authority over its time zones.
Republican bill sponsor says longer daylight hours boost the economy, and would prevent the difficult “spring forward” transition that steals an hour of sleep.
The measure is sponsored by Republicans and already passed the Assembly in a 30-12.
Lawmakers are considering cracking down on hit-and-run drivers. SB245, which is up for debate in the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Monday, would raise the maximum penalty for a hit-and-run crash to 20 years, from 15 years. That would bring it in line with the penalties for DUI crashes.
The bill also specifies that a hit-and-run driver commits a separate offense for each person who is injured or killed in a crash. The bill passed the Senate unanimously in April.