Posts Tagged ‘Legislative Commission’

Legislative Panel Takes First Step Toward Repealing Antiquated State Laws

By Sean Whaley | 1:32 pm May 30th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Two years ago it was the metric system. Now it’s communists.

The Legislative Commission today took the first step towards repealing several antiquated statutes, including a provision of state law dating to the “Red Scare” days of the 1950s directed at the Communist Party.

The statute, NRS 613.360, is titled “Actions permitted against member of Communist Party or related organization.” It says that an unlawful employment practice “does not include any action or measure taken by an employer, labor organization, joint labor-management committee or employment agency with respect to an individual who is a member of the Communist Party of the United States or of any other organization required to register as a Communist-action or Communist-front organization by final order of the Subversive Activities Control Board pursuant to the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950.”

Original work by Eureka287, vector work by Lasse Havelund via Wikimedia Commons.

Scott Young, a research analyst for the Legislative Counsel Bureau, said the section was dependent in part upon the federal statute, the Subversive Activities Control Act, the provisions of which have either been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court or repealed by Congress. As a result, the state law no longer has any force or effect, he said.

It is also known as the McCarran Act for then-Nevada Sen. Pat McCarran, D-Nev.

“This is essentially a relic from the Cold War when there was concern about activities of the Communist Party and undermining freedoms in the West,” Young said.

The statute was one of five provisions recommended for repeal by the 2013 Legislature based on a state law requiring a biennial review of state statutes to look for outdated and antiquated laws. The recommendations were based on the requirements of the law, NRS 220.085, and do not reflect any advocacy by legislative staff.

Another statute recommended for repeal created the Columbia Basin Interstate Compact Commission in 1951. The compact was never adopted by the states of Washington and Oregon, Young said. There is no likelihood the statute will ever become useful, he said. Nevada was originally included because the Owyhee River is a tributary of the Snake River, which in turn is a tributary of the Columbia, Young said.

The Legislative Commission voted to move forward with the bills needed to repeal the obsolete provisions of state law.

“It’s good to get rid of some obsolete statutes,” said commission Chairman Sen. Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas.

Two years ago the Legislative Commission agreed to introduce a bill to repeal the statute creating the state’s Advisory Council on the Metric System. The bill was passed in the 2011 legislative session.

The seven-member council was created in 1981 when the federal government was moving forward with a program of getting the states to convert to the metric system. Congress in 1975 passed the Metric Conversion Act to plan for the conversion. That effort was derailed in 1982 when President Ronald Reagan eliminated funding for the conversion effort.

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Audio clips:

Legislative analyst Scott Young says the Communist Party law dates to 1950:

053012Young1 :23 Act of 1950.”

Young says the law no longer has any force and effect:

053012Young2 :14 force and effect.”

 

Richard Combs Named New Director Of Legislative Counsel Bureau

By Sean Whaley | 11:18 am May 30th, 2012

CARSON CITYRichard Combs, most recently an Assembly fiscal analyst and member of the Legislative Counsel Bureau staff since 1994, was unanimously supported today by the Legislative Commission as the new director of the agency.

Combs was also the unanimous choice of the Committee to Consult with the Director, which earlier this month interviewed five finalists for the position.

“It was kind of difficult when you get down to the end because any one of them could have done a great job,” said Sen. Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, chairman of the committee that conducted the interviews. “But I appreciate the committee coming together. It was a unanimous vote.”

New LCB Director Richard Combs.

Denis said Combs has been great to work with on the fiscal side of the agency, and should do equally well as the new director.

Thirty-eight people applied for the job and five, including four employees within the Legislative Counsel Bureau, were interviewed.

Combs succeeds Lorne Malkiewich, who retired as director of the LCB in early April after serving in the position for more than 18 years. The position pays $138,000 a year.

Combs expressed his appreciation to lawmakers for the way they handled the selection process, which was conducted in public.

“Our first order of business is just going to be making sure that the level of service that you have become accustomed to continues for the 2013 session,” he said. “Notwithstanding the retirement of Mr. Malkiewich and my appointment, we’re going to work to make sure that that continues. We do have a few challenges that we’re facing with turnover as has been mentioned. But as Mr. (Assemblyman Marcus) Conklin said I’m very confident that we have talented and dedicated people in the bureau who are willing to step up and fill those roles.”

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Audio clips:

Sen. Mo Denis says any of the five finalists could have done a great job as director of the LCB:

053012Denis :22 other side, so.”

New Director Richard Combs says his first order of business is to ensure the high level of service by LCB staff continues in the 2013 session:

053012Combs :28 fill those roles.”

 

Lawmaker Panel Unanimously Selects Staffer Richard Combs As New Director Of Legislative Counsel Bureau

By Sean Whaley | 3:41 pm May 15th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Richard Combs, currently an Assembly fiscal analyst and member of the LCB staff since 1994, was the unanimous choice today of a legislative panel to become the next director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau.

The recommendation of the Committee to Consult with the Director will now go to the Legislative Commission for action later this month.

The committee interviewed five candidates for the position today, including four current members of the Legislative Counsel Bureau staff. The fifth candidate was the assistant director of the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel for the state of Utah.

Lawmakers on the panel came down to two finalists after the interviews: Combs and Paul Townsend, currently the legislative auditor and a member of the LCB staff since 1987.

Members of the panel discussed the need to hire a director who could be ready for the 2013 legislative session while at the same time seeking someone with leadership capabilities.

“Always in the back of our mind is next session because it is like the inevitable, right,” said Assembly Majority Leader Marcus Conklin, D-Las Vegas. “But there are more sessions past that too. And the next person, at least in theory, could be here for awhile. And you want somebody who can carry on the traditions, deliver all the services that LCB currently does, but is also open to change, open to new ways of accomplishing the same thing, maybe more efficient.”

Combs will succeed Lorne Malkiewich, who retired as director of the LCB in early April after serving in the position for more than 18 years. The position pays $138,000 a year.

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Audio clip:

Assemblyman Marcus Conklin says the new director should be someone who is open to change:

051512Conklin :29 maybe more efficient.”

 

Finalists Named For Legislative Counsel Bureau Director

By Sean Whaley | 11:45 am May 14th, 2012

CARSON CITYFive finalists, including four current staff with the Nevada Legislature’s Legislative Counsel Bureau, are seeking the position of director of the agency.

Paul Townsend, currently the legislative auditor and a member of the LCB staff since 1987; Kevin Powers, chief litigation counsel and a member of the LCB staff since 1996; Richard Combs, currently an Assembly fiscal analyst and member of the LCB staff since 1994; and Nicolas Anthony, currently senior principal deputy legislative counsel and a member of the LCB staff since 2008; are all finalists.

The fifth candidate is Bryant Howe, currently the assistant director of the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel for the state of Utah.

The candidates are seeking to replace Lorne Malkiewich, who retired as director of the LCB in early April after serving in the position for more than 18 years.

The position pays $138,000 a year.

A brochure announcing a search for a new director describes the ideal candidate as, “a leader who is decisive, credible, trustworthy, and result-oriented. The ideal candidate must have exceptional analytical skills and strong political acumen.”

A reception for the five finalists is set for 7 p.m. today at the Legislative Building here in the capital.

A panel of lawmakers charged with selecting finalists for the position, the Committee to Consult with the Director, will interview the candidates Tuesday. The panel is also scheduled to discuss its recommendations for the new director for forwarding to the Legislative Commission for the final selection.

The Legislative Commission is scheduled to meet May 30.

Malkiewich, who had more than 30 years with the Legislative Counsel Bureau, is now the chief operating officer for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges in Reno.

Democrat State Sen. John Lee Calls For Legislative Commission Vote On Laughlin Incorporation

By Sean Whaley | 3:46 pm March 9th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Nevada state Sen. John Lee, D-North Las Vegas, has added his voice to the chorus asking the Legislative Commission to take up the issue of whether the residents of Laughlin should have a chance to vote on incorporation.

In his letter sent to the Legislative Commission this week, Lee also said he supports the right of Laughlin residents to vote on the question in June.

In the letter, Lee said the panel is legally obligated to make a determination as to whether the incorporation of Laughlin is fiscally feasible.

State Sen. John Lee, D-North Las Vegas.

“As you undertake your statutory mandate I urge you to respect the will of the people of Laughlin and give them the right to vote on incorporation, he said. “Smaller communities than Laughlin has become thriving cities and Laughlin should be given the right to decide their own future.”

Lee said today Laughlin is much larger in population than Mesquite, the last city to incorporate in Nevada in 1984. Mesquite had about 1,200 residents when it incorporated, while Laughlin’s population is about 7,500.

“I feel they have every right to pick up their flag and charge forward,” he said. “They’ve jumped through all the hurdles, and even if they get a vote to incorporate, if they financially cannot do it they just won’t be able to. But at least this moves it forward to give these patriots down there a chance to build their own community.”

Lee’s letter comes a few days after the three Republican state senators who serve on the Legislative Commission sent a letter to commission Chairman Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, asking that the panel take up the issue.

“Since the Legislative Commission failed to take action on this matter at the last meeting this would mean that the citizens of the city of Laughlin will not be able to weigh in on this matter in the upcoming election. A meeting should be scheduled as soon as possible so the citizens are not denied that right,” said the letter from Sens. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, Don Gustavson, R-Sparks, and James Settelmeyer, R-Gardnerville.

The Laughlin incorporation question was on a Feb. 15 agenda of the commission but Horsford did not allow a vote to be held.

The question then went to the Clark County Commission, which found in a unanimous vote that incorporation was not financially feasible for the community.

The Legislative Commission now needs to act within the next couple of weeks on the issue or Laughlin residents will not have a chance to vote on the matter in June.

Senate Bill 262 sponsored by Sen. Joe Hardy, R-Boulder City, was heard by the Senate Government Affairs Committee in the 2011 session. Lee is chairman of the committee and said he has an obligation to follow up on legislation passed by his committee.

There was a suggestion by Hardy that the Laughlin question was tied to getting GOP support for a completely separate issue involving a regulation sought by Secretary of State Ross Miller to allow him to assess a $200 annual fee on many home-based businesses that was also in front of the Legislative Commission on Feb. 15.

An official close to Senate Democrats denied there was any link.

But the issue is moot with Thursday’s approval of the Miller regulation by the Legislative Commission’s Subcommittee to Review Regulations. The panel voted 4-2 on party lines to approve the regulation, which will now take effect.

Dave Floodman, president of the nonprofit Laughlin Economic Development Corporation, said in an interview earlier this week that there was bipartisan support in the Nevada Legislature in 2011 to allow consideration of the incorporation question. SB262 passed unanimously in the Assembly and by a 16-5 vote in the Senate.

While a feasibility study of the incorporation prepared by the Nevada Department of Taxation found incorporation was not feasible, a separate study by a reputable California company and commissioned by his group found that it would be feasible, he said.

The two reviews differed on the cost of providing police and fire protection, Floodman said.

“Our position is that the two different scenarios should be decided by the people in Laughlin,” he said.

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Audio clips:

Sen. John Lee says Laughlin residents should have the chance to vote on incorporation:

030912Lee1 :16 when it incorporated.”

Lee says a vote will give residents a chance to build their own community:

030912Lee2 :18 their own community.”

 

Trio Of GOP Lawmakers Ask Democrat Sen. Steven Horsford To Allow Vote On Laughlin Incorporation

By Sean Whaley | 6:14 pm March 7th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Three Republican state senators, all members of the Legislative Commission, have asked Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, to call a meeting of the panel as soon as possible to vote on the feasibility of the incorporation of Laughlin.

In a letter dated Feb. 28, Sens. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, Don Gustavson, R-Sparks, and James Settelmeyer, R-Gardnerville, asked Horsford to allow a vote of the commission on whether the residents of Laughlin should be able to vote in June on whether to become Nevada’s newest city.

Consideration of the determination of feasibility of incorporation for Laughlin had been scheduled for a Feb. 15 meeting of the commission, but Horsford, who is also serving as chairman of the 12-member panel, tabled the issue. The commission is comprised of six state senators, three of each party, and six members of the Assembly, again divided equally between Republicans and Democrats.

A favorable vote from the commission would pave the way for a vote by Laughlin residents on their future.

Laughlin. / Photo by Stan Shebs via Wikimedia Commons.

“The Senate Republicans on the Legislative Commission request a meeting of the Legislative Commission be scheduled, to vote on the City of Laughlin issue,” the letter said. “Recently the Clark County commissioners voted to not put the city of Laughlin incorporation on the ballot.

“Since the Legislative Commission failed to take action on this matter at the last meeting this would mean that the citizens of the city of Laughlin will not be able to weigh in on this matter in the upcoming election. A meeting should be scheduled as soon as possible so the citizens are not denied that right.

“Furthermore section 4 of Senate Bill 262 (Chapter 481, Statutes of Nevada 2011) states that the Legislative Commission shall review the report and make a determination. The commission has failed in that respect and is in violation of the Statutes of Nevada,” the brief letter said in conclusion.

The vote needs to come within about two weeks or Laughlin residents will not have the chance to vote on the incorporation question this year.

The Legislative Commission is scheduled to meet March 15 but an agenda has not yet been finalized for the meeting.

Concerns have been raised by at least one Republican lawmaker that the Laughlin incorporation issue has been held up by Democrats as part of a deal to get a separate regulation sought by Secretary of State Ross Miller approved. Miller, a Democrat, has been thwarted in his efforts to get a regulation approved that would allow his office to collect a $200 business license fee from companies that claim they are exempt from the assessment.

Republicans have opposed the regulation, arguing the issue should  be considered by the full Legislature in 2013.

The Legislative Commission’s Subcommittee to Review Regulations is scheduled to meet Thursday to consider the business license fee collection regulation. The subcommittee is comprised of four Democrats and only two Republicans. If the regulation is approved at the subcommittee meeting, it will take effect without needing a vote from the full commission.

Sen. Joe Hardy, R-Boulder City, who sought the bill in the 2011 legislative session allowing for Laughlin to vote on incorporation, suggested a link between the two distinct issues in a story published Feb. 26 in the Mohave Daily News. Hardy was quoted as saying Democrats wanted GOP support for Miller’s regulation in exchange for a vote on the Laughlin incorporation issue.

Hardy said today there is a perception by some lawmakers that the two issues are linked.

“I think they were emotionally linked, if nothing else,” he said. “And the legislative process is certainly not a bland process.”

An individual close to the Senate Democrat Caucus rejected the notion that the two issues are linked, saying Hardy’s comments are conjecture only. The individual, who spoke on background, said the claim is “absolutely false.”

When the Legislative Commission did not vote on the incorporation issue, it went to the Clark County Commission, comprised of all Democrats, who voted unanimously Feb. 21 that incorporation was not feasible for the community 100 miles south of Las Vegas.

Dave Floodman, president of the nonprofit Laughlin Economic Development Corporation, said today that there was bipartisan support in the Nevada Legislature in 2011 to allow consideration of the incorporation question. SB262 passed unanimously in the Assembly and by a 16-5 vote in the Senate.

While a feasibility study of the incorporation prepared by the Nevada Department of Taxation found incorporation was not feasible, a separate study by a reputable California company and commissioned by his group found that it would be feasible, he said.

The two reviews differed on the cost of providing police and fire protection, Floodman said.

“Our position is that the two different scenarios should be decided by the people in Laughlin,” he said.

Hardy said he believes incorporation is viable and that Laughlin residents should have the chance to vote on their future.

“Myself, I think it is fiscally feasible and I think that the citizens of Laughlin deserve to have the right to have that presented to them in such a way that they say, ‘we want to have this level of service and pay this much money in taxes’ and present it that way and say, OK, we want it or we don’t,” he said. “And that is what this is about.”

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Audio clips:

Sen. Joe Hardy says the proposed Ross Miller regulation and the Laughlin incorporation issue are emotionally linked at a minimum:

030712Hardy3 :16 a bland process.”

Hardy says he believes incorporation is viable and that Laughlin residents should have the right to vote on the issue:

030712Hardy2 :34 this is about.”

 

Regulation Allowing Firearms In State Parks Wins Lawmaker Approval

By Sean Whaley | 2:00 am October 31st, 2011

CARSON CITY – A regulation eliminating a prohibition on carrying firearms in state parks has been approved by the Legislative Commission.

The regulation still prohibits the discharge of a firearm in a state park with some limited exceptions, such as designated target shooting areas.

But a provision included in the original draft regulation to specifically recognize the right to self defense in a state park was not part of the final changes approved Wednesday by the panel of state lawmakers.

A state lawmaker who supported the regulation said the ability to use a weapon for self defense is covered elsewhere in state law, however.

Statutory changes were mandated in Assembly Bill 282, a pro-gun omnibus measure that passed with bipartisan support during the 2011 legislative session.

The ban had also been the subject of a federal lawsuit.

Valley of Fire State Park. / Courtesy: Nevada Division of State Parks.

Steve Silva, senior law enforcement specialist for the Division of State Parks, told the Legislative Commission that much of the public comment concerned a desire to include, “an affirmative acknowledgement of the right to self defense.”

But the language was removed from the regulation when it was returned from the Legislative Counsel Bureau, he said.

The wording was supported by some who testified at a public hearing on the regulation on Oct. 12, particularly from concealed weapons instructors who argued that not including self defense language would cause confusion in teaching their classes, Silva said.

It did not end up being a part of the regulation, however, he said.

“I’ve been with the division for just short of 32 years,” Silva said. “In that entire period we’ve never prosecuted somebody for utilizing a firearm in self defense.”

Sen. James Settelmeyer, R-Gardnerville, said in a phone interview Friday that the right to self defense is provided for elsewhere in Nevada law, and that it was not needed as part of the state parks regulation.

“That was my concern as well and that’s why I pulled the regulation during Legislative Commission . . . to have it reviewed by us,” he said. “Because it kind of perplexed me that, yes you can carry a gun on a state park however you cannot discharge it.”

But Settelmeyer said it is covered elsewhere allowing the discharge of a weapon to protect one’s self or another.

“You don’t have a right to walk down the center of the street and discharge a weapon, but you do to save your life,” he said.

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Audio clips:

Steve Silva, senior law enforcement specialist for the Division of State Parks, says language about using a firearm in self defense was removed by LCB staff from the regulation:

103111Silva1 :19 language was removed.”

Silva says the Parks Division has not prosecuted anyone for using a firearm in self defense for nearly 32 years:

103111Silva2 :14 in self defense.”

Sen. James Settelmeyer says the right to self defense is guaranteed elsewhere in state law:

103111Settelmeyer :35 save your life.”

Legislative Panel Agrees To Review New Public Records Policy

By Sean Whaley | 4:43 pm October 26th, 2011

CARSON CITY – A panel of lawmakers agreed today to review its new policy on responding to public records requests after concerns were raised by the ACLU of Nevada.

Rebecca Gasca, legislative and policy director for the organization, told the Legislative Commission today that the new policy says that those seeking public records from the Legislative Counsel Bureau (LCB) need to explain why they want the information when making requests.

The policy, adopted in August, improperly shifts the burden to the person requesting the public records to show that the need for the information is stronger than any public policy interest in keeping the information confidential, she said.

Gasca had already sent a letter to the commission from ACLU General Counsel Allen Lichtenstein explaining the concerns with the new policy in detail.

Assemblyman Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, a member of the commission, asked that the new policy be reviewed at its next meeting.

Assemblyman Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, called today for a review of the new public records policy. / Photo: Nevada News Bureau.

“We did kind of, as I recall, went through it kind of quickly,” he said. “And there is some verbiage in it that I think we probably ought to review to see if it is a little too vague and a little too open ended.”

Gasca said the new policy would incorrectly apply a Nevada Supreme Court ruling in Donrey of Nevada v. Bradshaw and impose a “balancing test” to determine if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest served by not releasing the information.

The balancing test referenced in the court case applied to requests for criminal information, not general public records requests, she said.

“The policy of LCB that you passed at the last commission meeting actually broadly expands upon that and specifically states that requestors need to put in why they are requesting something so the LCB can balance those interests,” Gasca said.

While there was a comment from LCB Director Lorne Malkiewich that the new requirement will not be used as a basis for denying requests, this statement of intent was not included in the new policy, she said.

Concerns about the new policy have also previously been expressed by Barry Smith, executive director of the Nevada Press Association.

In response to the ACLU letter, Malkiewich said the new policy, “was not proposed in an effort to restrict public access, but rather to reflect the state of the law and allow us to continue our practice of prompt, complete response to requests for public records.”

“In summary, the policy that I proposed and the Legislative Commission adopted does not conflict with state law; it reflects what the Nevada Supreme Court has recognized to be the state of the law,” he said. “We will not reject a request for failure to include such a statement, but a clear explanation of a particular public interest may tip the balance in favor of disclosure of a document that might not otherwise be disclosed.”

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Audio clips:

ACLU representative Rebecca Gasca said the new legislative public records policy needs to be revisited:

102611Gasca :23 Nevada Supreme Court.”

Assemblyman Ira Hansen called for a review of the new policy:

102611Hansen :10 too open ended.”

Legislative Commission Approves New Reporting and Public Records Policies

By Anne Knowles | 1:56 pm August 24th, 2011

The Legislative Commission today approved new fees for public record requests and a new expense report form for elections as well as appointed members to two dozen committees that meet during the interim.

Sen. Steven Horsford/Photo: Cathleen Allison/NevadaPhotoSource.com

The commission approved a new policy allowing the Legislative Counsel Bureau (LCB) to charge a fee for providing public records.

“In the past, the LCB has not charged for public records request, but we’ve gotten some very large document requests,” said Brenda Erdoes, legislative counsel.

The LCB will now charge either the actual cost or, lacking that information, five cents a page after the first five pages and 10 cents a page for color paper.

The policy also allows LCB to charge a “reasonable fee for the extraordinary use of personnel,” in response, Erdoes said, to instances like the one in which the LCB was asked to scan into electronic form four filing cabinets of paper documents.

The policy says the “rate shall be at gross hourly wage or a portion thereof of the lowest compensated individual reasonably available and qualified to respond to the request.”

Assemblyman Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, asked for clarification of other language in the new policy, which reads LCB “shall deny any for information if, on balance, the public interest in nondisclosure outweighs the public interest in disclosure.”

Erdoes cited a case in which a rejected job applicant requested personnel information on the new hire and said that while not all such requests involved personnel issues, the deciding consideration is “public interest as a group versus private interest.”

The commission also approved a new contribution and expense report form presented by Scott Gilles, Deputy Secretary of Elections. The new report, to be used starting in 2012, comes in two forms: one for political action committees (PACs) that advocate passage or defeat of a ballot question, which must report expenses after $1,000, and everyone else, including candidates, who must report expenses above $100.

The new forms are required by Assembly Bill 452, one of several campaign finance reform bills passed by the Nevada Legislature this past session.  The bills came on the heels of the controversy surrounding Rory Reid’s campaign for governor, in which the campaign formed 90 shell PACs to get around campaign contribution limits.

Reform was also prompted by a failing grade for Nevada from Campaign Disclosure Project for the state’s campaign disclosure laws.

The bill made two primary changes to the expense reporting procedure, said Gilles after his testimony before the committee. It added additional deadlines for filing reporting and mandated that all filing be done online. Both changes provide greater transparency, Gilles said, because reports will be filed more often and can be searched online.

The 12-member commission, meeting in both Las Vegas and Carson City via videoconference, also appointed members to both statutory and interim committees as well as several interim studies.

Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed a bill passed this session to fill interim committees with members of existing legislative committees that already oversee the issues pertaining to each committee, requiring the commission to fill the vacated spots.

The commission also approved the budgets for the committees and studies and gave LCB Director Lorne Malkiewich the flexibility to change the budgets going forward.

“All the money has not been allocated,” said Malkiewich, “and I would request that unless something jumps off the page, if one committee needs a lot more or another needs a lot less, that otherwise we adjust budgets at future meetings.”

Sen. Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, chair of the committee, paid tribute to Malkiewich, who has said he plans to leave the LCB before the 2013 session and who is about to celebrate 30 years there.

“I’d like to thank him on behalf of the entire legislature for his phenomenal work,” said Horsford.

Lawmakers Move to Repeal Law Creating Antiquated Metric System Advisory Panel

By Sean Whaley | 10:52 am May 8th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Nevadans may soon be safe from the agonies of being required to figure out how hot it is Celsius or how many kilometers per hour they are driving.

The Legislative Commission this week voted to draft a bill to repeal an old statute creating the state’s Advisory Council on the Metric System. The bill will be considered in the 2011 legislative session.

The seven-member council was created in 1981 when the federal government was moving forward with a program of getting the states to convert to the metric system. Congress in 1975 passed the Metric Conversion Act to plan for the conversion.

That effort was derailed in 1982 when President Ronald Reagan eliminated funding for the conversion effort.

Donald Williams, research director for the Legislative Counsel Bureau, recommended a bill be drafted to repeal the law.

“So since 1982 the federal government has not been actively promoting the conversion to the metric system,” Williams told the commission.

The state advisory council, placed under the authority of the Department of Agriculture, has not met since the mid-1980s.

Under a state law requiring a biennial review of state statutes to look for outdated and antiquated laws, the Agriculture Department identified the metric council as one example of such a law. The required review of statutes was approved by the Legislature in 2003.

Commission Chairman and Assemblyman John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, said the recommendation “seems reasonable.”

The motion to draft the bill passed unanimously.

Nevada DMV to Offer Traditional Drivers’ License to Residents as Option to Real ID

By Sean Whaley | 5:50 am April 20th, 2010

CARSON CITY – A legislative panel was told by the Department of Motor Vehicles yesterday that a new version of a regulation implementing Real ID in Nevada is being drafted that will allow residents to keep the older, traditional license if they choose to do so.

The announcement by DMV Director Edgar Roberts came at a hearing of the Legislative Commission’s Subcommittee to Review Regulations, which was to consider a new regulation adopting the new drivers’ license requirement for all residents.

The announcement drew a round of applause from a number of people on hand to testify against the proposed regulation.

Assemblyman Marcus Conklin, D-Las Vegas, chairman of the subcommittee, noted that the DMV will hold a hearing on the new proposed regulation before it comes back to the subcommittee for review.

Conklin said the new regulation is, “trying to make it better but we need a little time to do so.”

The subcommittee will meet April 28 at 1 p.m. to consider the new version of the regulation. The date of the DMV hearing has not yet been set.

Gov. Jim Gibbons signed an emergency regulation implementing Real ID in Nevada in December despite concerns expressed by the ACLU of Nevada and others that the regulations were a violation of privacy rights. Gibbons said the regulation addressed the privacy concerns.

A new regulation is required to be adopted to replace the emergency version.

The DMV began issuing Advance Secured Issuance licenses to comply with Real ID earlier this year. ASI is a new license or ID card marked with a gold star indicating it meets federal identification standards for boarding commercial aircraft and entering federal buildings where identification is required.