A look at the most impactful of 71 new Nevada state laws
CARSON CITY, Nev. — A total of 71 new laws took effect Jan. 1, including the mandate to implement automatic voter registration; barring insurance companies from denying a person coverage because of pre-existing conditions; and prohibiting the sale of vaping products to anyone under age 18.
The following is a sampling of some of those laws:
AB131 tightens the rules governing who can work in community based living arrangement services for those with developmental disabilities or mental illness. It adds community based service providers to the list of those already prohibited from working in hospitals and homes and requires background checks for new employees. It also provides for a study of training requirements and standards for workers providing those services including contractors.
AB132 prohibits denying some one employment because of the presence of marijuana in a screening test. The law doesn’t apply to certain professions such as law enforcement.
AB170 was written to protect the Affordable Care Act’s mandate prohibiting insurers from denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions. It also prohibits charging some one a higher premium, deductible or copay based on pre-existing conditions.
AB176 enacts the sexual assault survivor’s Bill of Rights, including protections during a forensic exam and interviews with law enforcement officials or prosecutors. The bill affords the survivor the right to counsel and sets out procedures regarding collection and analysis of forensic analysis kits. It also prohibits a defendant from challenging their conviction based on failure to follow collection and analysis timelines. It further provides the survivor the right to be reasonably protected from the defendant, prohibits imposing a requirement of a polygraph exam on the survivor.
AB124 is a companion measure to AB176 that requires the creation and distribution of documents that provide information to sexual assault victims. The document would be provided to victims at the hospital or emergency treatment center.
AB291 bans bump stock modifications and institutes so-called “red flag” laws. “Red flag” laws allow people to petition the courts to temporarily take away guns from family members who could be considered dangerous. The law allows family members, household members and law enforcement to petition the courts. If the court decides to take away a firearm, the subject of the confiscation has to turn them over or the court will issue a warrant to seize the guns. The law also bans bump stocks.
AB345 implements the Automatic Voter Registration system requiring DMV to register all customers unless they specifically opt out and to forward their information to the appropriate county election official. It allows people to register to vote during early voting and as late as election day in certain circumstances and to vote on all races on the ballot. But that ballot will be considered provisional and not counted until the person’s eligibility to vote is confirmed. The bill also requires county clerks to create one or more polling places where any person entitled to vote in that county can do so on the day of a primary or general election.
In addition, SB123 attempts to improve the security and integrity of Nevada elections, establishing added requirements including annual training for county and city election officials on cybersecurity and requiring them to notify the Secretary of State immediately if there is an attack or attempted attack on an election system.
AB383 requires the State Treasurer to designate a Student Loan Ombudsman to help students resolve complaints, provide students with education and help them understand their rights and to review a student’s history of borrowing.
AB469 seeks to prevent patients receiving medically necessary emergency services at a hospital or medical facility from being hit with huge surprise bills because the provider isn’t in their network. It bases the amount the patient must pay on the amount that would have been paid if the facility was in-network and sets up a system of arbitration to try fairly resolve differences in the billing.
SB192 sets out the minimum health benefits an employer must provide to workers to qualify for the lower minimum wage businesses can pay if the provide health care benefits to employees. The bill is an attempt to stop businesses from offering benefit plans that workers can’t possibly afford, then claiming they can pay a dollar an hour less because the employee rejected the offered benefits. The bill requires coverage for emergency services, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance abuse services, preventative care, pediatric services and prescription drugs among other services.
SB263 imposes taxes on vaping products similar to those already imposed on tobacco products. It also applies existing bans on smoking listed in the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act to vaping in public buildings, on school property and other places. It also bans the sale of vaping products to people under the age of 18.
SB312 requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide full-time workers at least one week’s paid vacation a year. The bill also requires that the worker be able to start using leave time after 90 days on the job.
SB425 expands statewide Medicaid services to include certain home and community based services contained in existing federal law.
SB448 creates a transferable tax credit program for projects that buy, develop, construct, expand or rehabilitate low income housing as defined in federal law. Those tax credits could be taken against the gaming license fees, insurance premium taxes, the excise tax on banks or payroll taxes. The Housing Division would be limited to a issuing a maximum of $10 million a fiscal year in tax credits.
Gov. Steve Sisolak made it clear Wednesday night his latest directive urging as many Nevadans as can to stay home is not martial law but a plea for everyone not in a critical, essential industry to not go out and possibly spread the coronavirus.