Nevada Lawmakers passed bills impacting all areas of our laws and government in the 2021 session. This blog is a continuation of my series of breaking down all of the new laws and bills passed by our legislature in the last session. Our lawmakers passed laws on issues ranging from expanding voting rights to decriminalizing speeding tickets. In this blog, I outline the new laws passed in the area of government and administration. Specifically, these laws focus on the organizing, directing, planning, coordinating, and controlling of government operations in our state.
Government and Administration
Assembly Bill 123: This bill will not make Golden Knights fans thrilled but I doubt it will deter any fans from obtaining a Golden Knights license plate. This bill increases the cost of the Golden Knights license plate by $10 to support the team’s foundation. The Golden Knights foundation is a 503(c)(3) organization that serves charitable organizations in our community. They support local nonprofits via partnerships, community programming, and direct grants. These activities are funded by financial donations and various programs throughout the year, including the sale of license plates. Some of the programs supported by the foundation include fostering growth of Las Vegas youth in K through 12 public schools with programs with emphasis on youth sports. The foundation also serves military members and first responders by providing donations as well as helping to fight hunger and homelessness in our communities. $10 well spent!!!
Effective October 1, 2021.
Assembly Bill 196 requires that there be designated lactation rooms in our county and city court houses. This law mirrors the federal law that has been in effect for many years which requires all federal buildings to provide space that is private and clean for mothers to feed their newborn babies or express breastmilk. This bill makes appropriations from the state general fund to allocate grants for the court houses to construct these spaces.
Effective January 1, 2022.
Assembly Bill 236 changes the age requirement as well as the residency requirement for a person to run for Attorney General in the state of Nevada. It is interesting that the previous law did not require our state attorney general to be an attorney in good standing in the state of Nevada. This law also increases the age from 25 to 30 years old to run for such office and in addition extends the residency requirement from the previous two years to three years residency prior to the election. In my brief research, I was unable to reveal how or why this law became necessary or relevant at this time. Our current attorney general, the 34th in our state, is attorney Aaron D Ford who is highly qualified with a long and distinguished career in both law and state politics.
Assembly Bill 253 updates the open meeting law to meet with the challenges that Covid has presented and the technology we currently use. This bill simply adds a process for remote access to open meetings of government committees.
Assembly Bill 280 requires that all public single stall restrooms now must be gender neutral. It is important to note that the bill does not require business establishments to change existing facilities with the exception that if they have a single stall restroom, they will need to change their sign to allow an “all gender” bathroom or “all accessible” bathroom. It is important to note that the bill specifically does not provide for a cause of action to be filed or a complaint to be filed with the Nevada Equal Rights Commission for a violation of this bill. For all practical purposes, the bill does not change much. Clearly, establishments that only have one single restroom obviously allow people of all genders to use their single restroom. It does not require changes to existing establishments with the exception of the sign and only if they only have one single stall restroom
Various effective dates through February 1, 2022.
Assembly Bill 421: Assembly Bill 421 shows that our legislature was busy in all areas of the law to remedy outdated laws that are still on the books. This law removes and replaces reference to insanity and the term “deaf and dumb” in our state code. It may be shocking that we were still using the phrase “deaf and dumb” in our laws. This bill requires Nevada law to refer to “persons with mental illness.“. The law states that “terms that are not preferred for use in Nevada revised statutes include “insane“ and insanity“. Sometimes words become slang in our environment and lose their legal meaning. This provision updates the language of the statutes to a more clinical use of terminology.
Effective July 1, 2021.
Senate Bill 28 Senate Bill 28 establishes the offense of sexual harassment within the Nevada code of military justice and provides punishment. Although the military operates under its own code of military justice, the national guard is governed by the states. Senate Bill 28 adds a punitive provision for sexual harassment by enforcing the zero-tolerance policy for sexual assault and harassment in the Nevada National Guard. Sexual assault has long been a criminal matter and continues to be punishable severely under our system of justice. However, the offense of sexual harassment often goes unpunished or unrecognized. This law provides stronger enforcement of the quality and safety of members of the Nevada National Guard.
Effective May 19, 2021.
Senate Bill 46 Senate Bill 46 must’ve been prompted by some events as it makes certain public documents such as deeds of residence and voting records confidential for employees of the attorney general’s office.
Effective October 1, 2021.
Senate Bill 62: Senate Bill 62 expands which charitable organizations are required to register with the state and adds those that solicit donations but are not federally tax exempt. This bill is likely in response to the large amount of fraud that occurs by telemarketers calling and stating that they are with the police or fire departments or other organizations and are soliciting money related to those organization. Many of these are fraudulent and tarnish those they purport to represent. This bill requires that any organization that does try to solicit money from the public, whether it be for college funds or fallen firefighters or police officers, to register with the state. This is so that the state knows who is soliciting charitable donations from the public.
Effective on October 1, 2021.
Senate Bill 177 Senate bill 177 is simply another tax disguised as a fee to increase revenue for the state. This bill increases the surcharge on a marriage license from $25 up to $50. The bill states that the extra funding will support domestic violence services.
Effective July 1, 2021.
Senate Bill 430 expands projects that will be funded by the state infrastructure bank and includes projects related to renewable energy, recycling, and social and economic development among many other causes. The bill also will expand projects to include digital infrastructure
Effective July 1, 2021.
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