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Carson City gets busy as big bill deadline approaches

CARSON CITY — The Nevada Legislature is a third of the way through the 2021 session, with new bills emerging on gun control and voting rights and lawmakers preparing for the hard deadline on introducing remaining bills that arrives on Monday.

Outside of the week’s legislative activity came news Thursday that Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson, D-Las Vegas, underwent surgery for prostate cancer. He is scheduled to return to the speaker’s chair Monday.

A day before his procedure, Frierson and Assembly Majority Leader Teresa Benitez-Thompson. D-Reno, introduced Assembly Bill 321, which would make universal mail-in-voting permanent in the state. The proposal comes amid several Republican-sponsored voting bills that would tighten requirements for voting and counting ballots. The voting bills await hearings.

Introduced Monday, a bill that would tighten restrictions on sale and possession of untraceable “ghost guns” got a quick committee hearing Wednesday. Assembly Bill 286 also would criminalize violations for weapons knowingly carried on private property where owners have banned them.

On Friday, Assembly Bill 341 was introduced, which would legalize establishments for cannabis use in a move that would give visitors to the state somewhere to legally use marijuana.

Ahead of Monday’s deadline for bill introductions, the legislative output this year remains about one-quarter behind the pace through the same period last session. In 2019, lawmakers added some 150 bills on deadline day, and some similar level of activity is expected on Monday

Here’s what’s on the calendar for the upcoming Week 8 of the 2021 session as of midday Friday:

Monday

The Senate Commerce and Labor Committee is scheduled to hear Senate Bill 209, which would allow employees to use paid leave for any purpose, including medical appointments, and commission an interim study on the long-term health implications of the coronavirus on casino workers and front-line workers.

The Senate Education Committee has Senate Bill 182 on its agenda, which would require that physical education include an activity that fights obesity, and Senate Bill 226, which would require the state Board of Education to promote career and technical education in business sectors where skilled labor is in short supply.

Senate Bill 204, before the Senate Growth and Infrastructure Committee, would authorize the Department of Motor Vehicles to conduct more transactions online, including issuing certain documents.

And the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources is scheduled to hear Assembly Bill 240, which would move several mineral and mining-related state agencies under the auspices of the Division of Environmental Protection within the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Tuesday

The Assembly Government Affairs Committee is scheduled to hear Assembly Bill 276, which would entitle people who win public records access cases in court to recover up to double their legal costs.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear Senate Bill 203, which would remove the 20-year statute of limitations for people seeking civil damages for childhood sexual abuse. It would apply to cases where the 20-year limitation period already has lapsed.

Also before the committee will be Senate Bill 237, which would add LGTBQ-owned small businesses to those eligible for various forms of additional assistance, incentives and protection from discrimination.

The Assembly Revenue Committee has Assembly Bill 322 on its agenda, which would permit the regulated and licensed sale of cannabis products at trade shows, pop-up shops and other temporary venues.

Wednesday

The Senate Commerce and Labor Committee hears Senate Bill 190, which would allow pharmacists to dispense hormonal birth control such as an IUD, patch or pill to any patient.

Thursday

The Assembly Growth and Infrastructure Committee is scheduled to hear Assembly Bill 301, which would change rules for vehicle towing to require an operator to release a vehicle being towed for expired registration free of charge if the owner produces proof of registration.

Carson City Journal is a weekly feature that summarizes the major events happening in the capital during the 2021 legislative session and provides a look at what’s coming next. Contact Capital Bureau reporter Bill Dentzer at bdentzer @reviewjournal.com. Follow @DentzerNews on Twitter.

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