Nevada Legislators Face Friday Bill Deadline
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada lawmakers this week approved bills to ban private prisons, restore voting rights to felons and streamline the process for sealing low-level marijuana convictions.
But other bills are facing a deadline Friday.
Legislators have held numerous votes in the lead-up to the deadline day, but not all of the bills are subject to the legislative cutoff. Some include criminal justice reform and a measure that would overhaul how the state distributes education funding.
An update on some of the bills:
BAN ON CHILD MARRIAGES
A bill banning child marriages must clear the state Senate on Friday if it is to become law.
The measure brought by Assemblywoman Shannon Bilbray-Axelrod seeks to ban the practice, but the measure has not received a vote in the Senate.
The Democrat said she's not sure why there hasn't been a vote. "I've attempted several times to get an appointment with the governor's office and to no avail," she said.
Current law allows children between 16 and 18 to marry if they receive the approval of either parent or a legal guardian. Children under 16 years old can also marry, but the law stipulates that those marriages can be approved by a district court "in extraordinary circumstances" and if the child receives consent from a parent or legal guardian.
Bilbray-Axelrod has argued that those younger than 18 who marry often see lifelong negative consequences.
FELON VOTING RIGHTS
A bill that restores voting rights to convicted felons passed the Senate this week along partisan lines. The legislation stipulates that felony offenders would be given the right to vote after being released from prison. Current law grants certain felons the right to vote two years after being released.
Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson says a person seeking to return to society must have a voice in the political process. "What better way to ensure or increase the chances of someone valuing and cherishing their freedom," he said.
PRIVATE PRISON BAN:
A bill that would ban private prisons in Nevada has cleared both chambers.
Lawmakers approved the measure last session, but it was vetoed by former Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, who raised concerns the legislation limited the discretion of the director of the state's Department of Corrections.
This session's bill passed the Democrat-controlled Senate in a party-line vote.
The measure would require the "core correctional services" at each prison to be performed by local or state authorities.