Nevada gov. sisolak signs law allowing permanent mail-in voting

government. Steve Sisolak signed dozens of bills Wednesday, including one making widespread distribution of mail-in ballots permanent for the election and another imposing a new tax on the mining industry as part of a bipartisan compromise to raise revenue for mining companies. schools and avoid more drastic tax proposals. heading to the 2022 ballot.

“at a time when state legislatures across the country are trying to roll back access to the polls, i am so proud that nevada continues to move forward with proven strategies that make voting more accessible and secure,” sisolak said in a statement. on the draft electoral law. “Nevada has always been widely recognized as a leader in election administration and with this legislation, we will continue to build on that legacy.”

The bill signing comes two days after the legislature adjourned at midnight Monday, and hundreds of bills were sent to sisolak’s desk for his signature. the governor has ten days (excluding Sundays) after the legislature adjourns to sign bills, cast a veto, or allow them to become law without a signature.

Here’s a look at some of the 58 bills the Democratic governor signed on Wednesday.

ab495: mining fiscal commitment

Six Republican lawmakers joined Democrats in the closing hours of the session to support ab495, a bill that creates a new excise tax on gross receipts from gold and silver businesses. the new tax is estimated to generate an additional $150 million to $170 million per biennium, and the bill as a whole will allocate more than $500 million over the biennium to education.

“This investment will benefit all of Nevada’s students, educators, and families, and I’m very proud of the collaborative effort by stakeholders to get this legislation across the finish line,” sisolak said in a statement. “With this legislation, we are well on our way to creating a better snowfall for our educators, students and families.”

The mining tax came under pressure from three proposed constitutional amendments unveiled last summer. had lawmakers moved ahead of them, they would have headed for a statewide vote in 2022 and could have had a more dramatic impact on the mining industry, which has long been the target of progressive advocates who say it’s not paying its fair share. of taxes.

Instead, lawmakers let all three bills die. Two other proposed ballot initiatives, a sales tax increase and a gaming tax increase backed by the Clark County Education Association, are also supposed to be withdrawn by the union as part of the deal.

The bill also includes a number of other elements of the agreement. allocates existing mining tax revenue to education instead of flowing into the general fund, and sets aside $215 million of the state’s appropriation of US bailout funds to support traditional and charter schools in their efforts to help children recover from learning losses caused by the pandemic.

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It also gives a boost to Opportunity Scholarships, a tax credit-funded program that helps low-income kids attend private schools but was otherwise on track to be eliminated, opens the door to more funds for Medicaid personal care services, calls for a study on alternatives to the current model of elected school board members, and assigns the school finance commission to explore other routes to increase revenue for schools.

ab321: permanent extended vote by mail

nevada is now the sixth state to largely adopt mail-in voting systems after sisolak signed assembly speaker jason frierson’s ab321 permanently codifying pandemic-related election changes adopted for the 2020 election season. Republicans strongly opposed the legislation; the bill passed along party lines in both the assembly and the senate.

“I am proud of the work we did to expand access to the polls for all eligible Nevadans. As John Lewis said, voting is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have in a democracy,” Frierson said in a statement.

The bill requires all county and city clerks to send each active registered voter a mail-in ballot prior to a primary or general election. Inactive voters, who are legally registered to vote but do not have a current address on file with election officials, will not be mailed a ballot. The bill will allow voters to opt out of a mail-in ballot by providing written notice to their local or county elections clerk, and the measure maintains certain minimum requirements for in-person polling places.

The legislation changes some of the deadlines that were in place for the 2020 election, shortening the period of time after an election when mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day can be accepted from seven to four days. there is a seven- to six-day reduction in the time for voters to resolve problems on their mail-in ballot (a process called “signature cure”).

It also shortens the time it takes for election officials to finish counting mail-in ballots after Election Day from nine to seven days. it also requires the secretary of state’s office to enter into an agreement with the state registrar of vital statistics to match the list of registered voters in the state with a list of deceased persons.

The bill also explicitly authorizes election officials to use electronic devices in verifying signatures, requires more training on signature verification, and makes other provisions to strengthen election security measures, including daily audits of any verification electronic signatures.

A last-minute amendment added to the bill will allow sponsors of initiative petitions to withdraw qualified petitions up to 90 days before an election, a change intended to give the Clark County Education Association legal authority to withdraw initiatives aimed at raising sales and gaming taxes. Union leaders have said they will withdraw the proposed ballot questions after lawmakers pass the mining tax compromise bill, AB495.

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The bill allocates about $12.2 million over the two-year budget cycle to the secretary of state’s office for the costs of ballots, postage, and postal notifications.

ab400: duis marijuana

This bill removes the “per se” limits on the amount of marijuana metabolites that can be in someone’s blood to trigger a dui. while the limits are removed for situations that would constitute a misdemeanor, they remain when a person is facing a felony charge.

Supporters of the bill say the limits per se are an inaccurate way to screen for impairment because marijuana works through the body differently than alcohol.

The measure passed the Assembly 26-16, opposed by all Republicans, but 16-5 in the Senate after its original version was watered down.

sb320: transparency in food delivery rates

Passed unanimously by the Senate and Assembly, this measure requires services like doordash and uber eats to clearly disclose the fees applied to food orders.

sponsored by sen. dina neal (d-north las vegas), the bill has been toned down from its original version, but still requires conspicuous disclosure of what portions of the price are for food, taxes, delivery charges, and the average commission charged to the restaurant.

limits commissions to 20 percent plus a credit card processing fee during the covid-19 state of emergency, unless the restaurant agrees to pay the delivery platform more for services like marketing.

sb166: hate crimes

This measure clarifies that a crime does not need to be committed by someone with different characteristics from the victim to be considered a hate crime.

sponsored by sen. Melanie Scheible (D-Las Vegas), the bill specifies that characteristics include race, color, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. It also provides that a perpetrator may be punished with an additional penalty if he commits a crime based solely on the characteristic of the victim, even if the victim and the perpetrator share that characteristic.

The measure passed the Senate on a party-line vote with Republicans in opposition, and then the Assembly on a 33-8 vote.

sb327: hairstyle discrimination

nevada joined at least 10 other states, including washington, california, and colorado, in passing and signing sb327, which provides protection from discrimination based on hairstyles associated with particular races.

sponsored by sen. Dina Neal (D-North Las Vegas), the legislation extends legal protection to hair texture and protective styles such as braids, cornrows, twists, and knots in the workplace and public schools.

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the bill was approved by the senate in a vote of 20 to 1, with the only opposition vote being sen. anger hansen (r-sparks). In the caucus, Republicans Heidi Kasama (r-Las Vegas), Lisa Krasner (r-Reno), P.K. o’neill (r-carson city), tom roberts (r-las vegas), and jill tolles (r-reno), joined Democrats in support of the legislation, leading to a 33-8 vote.

“this is new to some of the people in this chamber, but very real to others who have spent years of their lives trying to make sure their hair is appropriate, by what are often someone else’s standards , co-sponsor of the bill, Sen. said dallas harris (d-las vegas) before voting on the measure.

ab195: English Language Learners Bill of Rights

This measure establishes an English language learner (ELL) bill of rights that includes the right to a free public education (regardless of and without disclosing immigration status), the right to have an interpreter for interactions with school districts and information about student progress in the appropriate language.

The bill’s sponsor, Assemblywoman Selena Torres (D-Las Vegas), said during one of the bill’s hearings that the legislation will help families know their rights and more easily receive help.

The bill was approved by the Assembly with a vote of 34 to 8 and then unanimously in the Senate.

sb344: bill of the tiger king

This so-called “tiger king” bill, dubbed by the netflix series about a collector of wild animals, prevents people who own a wild animal from allowing it to come into contact with the general public, even by allowing people take a photo while holding the wild animal.

After passing the Senate on a 12-9 vote along party lines, the measure was significantly watered down from its original version, which prohibited the possession, breeding, importation, and sale of dangerous wild animals. Assembly members voted 35-6 to pass the bill.

sb203: lawsuits for sexual exploitation

This measure, sponsored by Sen. Marilyn Dondero Loop (D-Las Vegas), allows a victim of sexual abuse or exploitation, who was a minor at the time of the crime, to bring a civil action to recover damages at any time after the violation occurred. the bill maintains, however, that any action must begin within 20 years of the victim’s 18th birthday.

Entities are also liable for damages if they benefit financially from the exploitation, although a hotel or motel with more than 175 rooms is not considered to have benefited from the rental of a room used in the exploitation fee.

The bill passed 18-3 in the Senate and 32-9 in the Assembly. everyone who opposed it was Republican.

June 2, 2021 bill signing by michelle rindels on scribd

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