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Dozens of new state laws go on the books

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Amadscientist/Via Wikimedia Commons
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The Nevada Capitol in Carson City.

More than 50 new laws went on the books in Nevada on Jan. 1. They address issues ranging from voting to birth control, from ghost guns to child car seats.

The 2021 Legislature passed 10 bills connected to voting rights, including making permanent the option for all voters to use mail-in ballots.

“We're very excited about voting rights legislation that passed were a part of the Let Nevadans Vote Coalition,” said Holly Welborn, policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada.

Assembly Bill 321 “did several things, but most notably, it made vote by mail permanent and requires county clerks and registrars to automatically mail ballots to every registered voter in the state,” Welborn said. “A similar law was passed during a special session in 2020 to address safety issues and health issues around the COVID-19 pandemic, and what we saw was unprecedented voter participation.”

Lawmakers also made it easier for Nevada women to receive birth control by filling out a form at the drugstore instead of visiting a doctor.

"They can access birth control from a pharmacist so it eliminates having to go see a doctor who has to write a prescription and really helps increase access," Welborn said.

Another measure that became law, Senate Bill 188, encourages low-income Nevadans to save for the future.

"They'll essentially create a bank account for these folks who are either enrolled in Medicaid or in the state's foster care system," said Paul Boger, who covers the Legislature for Nevada Public Radio. "They'll put a little bit of money into the bank account, and then the bank will actually match those funds up to five times."

Holly Welborn, policy director, American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada; Paul Boger, legislative reporter, Nevada Public Radio

 

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Paul serves as KNPR's producer and reporter in Northern Nevada. Based in Reno, Paul specializes in covering state government and the legislature.