- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 8, 2015

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - In a week full of bills that have Nevada unions crying foul, an Assembly committee has passed an amended version of a bill that would dramatically change collective bargaining rules for Nevada public employees.

The Assembly Commerce and Labor Committee passed AB182 in a mostly party-line vote Wednesday. The bill, which labor groups pan as “Union Armageddon,” now heads to the Assembly floor for a vote.

Republican Assemblyman Randy Kirner is sponsoring the measure, which would bar managers from joining unions and require public notice of union and government contract negotiations.

Kirner said the bill would restore balance in contract negotiations between governments and unions. Democratic Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick opposed the bill, saying the crux of the measure remained in spite of amendments.

Republican Assemblyman Stephen Silberkraus broke rank with members of his party and opposed the bill. He said representatives from the City of Henderson, where his district is located, said collective bargaining is working well for them.

Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson is sponsoring a similar bill, SB241, which would exempt some school employees from collective bargaining. Roberson’s bill, which received tentative support from a number of unions, would prevent school administrators making more than $120,000 from joining a collective bargaining unit.

The bill also allows school district superintendents to remove or reassign school principals in their first two years of employment, under certain conditions.

Lawmakers heard another bill earlier this week that would allow local governments to opt out of future collective bargaining with employee unions.

Republican Assemblyman Erv Nelson is sponsoring AB280 and testified for the bill Tuesday in the Assembly Government Affairs Committee.

The bill would also allow school boards to opt out. Nelson said current agreements would still be honored and governments would need to provide written notice to unions before opting out.

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