- Associated Press - Saturday, May 2, 2015

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - The pressure of passing a tax package to fund Gov. Brian Sandoval’s two-year budget will continue to mount in Week 14 of the Nevada Legislature.

With less than a month to go in the session, Assembly Republicans are poised to start tackling a number of competing revenue plans that seek to fund the governor’s $7.3 billion budget.

And a preview of the 2016 election will come in the form of presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, who will stop in the battleground state before a fundraising tour in California.

Here are some things to watch:


Assembly members are expected to kick their tax talks into high gear this week after receiving a refined budget forecast from the Economic Forum. They need to decide whether to accept the governor’s plan to restructure the state business license fee, adopt a bill of their own or create some sort of combination bill.

The five-member forum projected Friday that existing tax streams will yield $6.2 billion from mid-2015 to mid-2017 - well below the level of the current budget and Sandoval’s plan.

Republican Assembly Majority Leader Paul Anderson said he hasn’t started counting votes for different tax packages, but he expects a consensus to form around a tax measure by the end of the week. He said the governor’s plan to raise business license fees, SB252, could get a hearing within two weeks to meet legislative deadlines.

Republican leaders will need to work with Democrats to go around a bloc of fiercely anti-tax conservatives who have pledged to vote against any tax increase. Any tax plan needs at least 28 votes to pass with the constitutionally required two-thirds majority.


Hillary Rodham Clinton is scheduled to stop in northern Nevada on May 5, as part of a tour of early-voting states.

A campaign official said the former secretary of state’s events will be similar to the small-scale question-and-answer sessions she held with voters while traveling by van through Iowa and New Hampshire.

Nevada’s caucuses are held early in the presidential nominating calendar, and like Iowa and New Hampshire, Nevada is expected to be a hotly contested battleground state in the general election.

Clinton’s Nevada stop comes the day before she begins a three-day fundraising swing through California.


An Assembly committee is expected to vote on a measure that would effectively allow ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft to operate in the state.

Assemblyman Randy Kirner, the chairman of the Commerce and Labor Committee, said he plans to hold a vote on SB440 sometime this week.

The original measure set insurance requirements for so-called “transportation network companies” like Uber and Lyft. A proposed amendment would allow businesses that meet the insurance requirements to operate in the state without being subject to the same regulations governing taxicabs and public utilities.

A more straightforward bill that would have created a regulatory framework for ride-hailing companies to operate in the state failed in the Senate after falling short of the constitutionally required two-thirds majority vote in April. SB439 was declared exempt from a deadline for legislation two weeks ago, and can be reconsidered for a vote any time before the session ends.


Assembly members want to see Daylight Savings Time all year round. Members of the Senate Legislative Operations and Elections Committee are expected to vote Monday on a resolution urging Congress to allow Nevada authority over its time zones.

Republican bill sponsor Assemblyman Chris Edwards said longer daylight hours boost the economy and would prevent the difficult “spring forward” transition that steals an hour of sleep.

The measure already passed the Assembly in a 30-12 vote.


Lawmakers are considering cracking down on hit-and-run drivers. SB245, which is up for debate Monday in the Assembly Judiciary Committee, would raise the maximum penalty for a hit-and-run crash to 20 years, from 15 years. That would bring it in line with the penalties for DUI crashes.

The bill also specifies that a hit-and-run driver commits a separate offense for each person who is injured or killed in a crash. The bill passed the Senate unanimously in April.

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