Issue 5 | Feb. 19, 2021
Number of Days Until Legislative Session Ends: 101
In this issue:
  • Vegas Chamber’s 2021 Legislative Mission
  • Legislative Committee Agendas
  • Legislative Bill Updates
  • How to Testify
  • Legislative Resources Available to Members
  • Recover. Rebuild. Reinvent Nevada Together: BizPAC
Vegas Chamber's 2021 Legislative Mission
The Vegas Chamber recently released its legislative mission, Recover. Rebuild. Reinvent Nevada Together. At the Vegas Chamber, we believe one thing that has not changed is when we as Nevadans are faced with challenges, we can come together to address adversity. When we say we are at a crossroad, we have the option of either working together and building a stronger future or letting our differences divide us and paralyze our economic recovery. Our legislative guiding principles are:
 
  • Committed to preserving a business climate where all employers and employees can succeed and thrive
  • Advocate and pursue public policies that will foster economic development, growth and job creation
  • Believe in policy priorities that will promote entrepreneurship and innovation, support small business success, and spur job creation as part of our economic recovery for all Nevadans.
 
To learn more about the Chamber’s legislative mission, click here.
Legislative Committee Agendas
Check out the legislative committee agendas for the upcoming week here.
Legislative Bill Updates
Assembly Bill 19
Revises provisions relating to educational subjects and standards.
 
Legislative Summary: AB 19 would change the social studies curriculum in the State. The existing law provides that social studies include only the subjects of history, geography, economics, and government. Per Section 1 of the bill, the social studies subjects would remove government from the list and add civics, financial literacy, and multicultural education. Government will still be taught in Nevada, though it would fall under the broader category of civics. The Vegas Chamber supports this bill as it is imperative for our students to have a curriculum that includes financial literacy.
Primary Bill Sponsor: Assembly Committee on Education
Position: Support
 
Assembly Bill 20
Revises provisions relating to transferable tax credits for film and other productions.
 
Legislative Summary: AB 20 provides technical clarification language relating to the transferable tax credits made available to video production companies by the State of Nevada. This language clarifies precisely what types of companies and video productions are eligible to receive tax credits. The Vegas Chamber has historically supported the offering of transferable tax credits by the State as an economic development and diversification tool and supports AB 20’s clarifying language.
Primary Bill Sponsor: Assembly Committee on Revenue
Position: Support
 
Assembly Bill 38
Revises provisions relating to career and technical education and work-based learning.
 
Legislative Summary: Legislative Summary: AB 38 provides small changes relating to Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs as part of K-12 education. AB 38 requires an advisory technical skills committee for a CTE program to include a broad representation of businesses and industries in the region. This bill also provides students the ability to earn one or more credits towards the total number of credits required for graduation by completing a requisite number of hours in a work-based learning program.
 
The Vegas Chamber supports CTE programs, which provide students another pathway to achieve academic success and be career-ready or college-ready. CTE’s contribute a significant share to the overall education system and plays a vital role in our State's economic and social development.
Primary Bill Sponsor: Assembly Committee on Education
Position: Support
 
Assembly Bill 40
Revises provisions relating to petroleum storage tanks.
 
Legislative Summary: AB 40 addresses the Fund for Cleaning up Discharges of Petroleum, and the definition of small business based on revenue previously written into statute. After a recent audit of the program showed less than 5 percent of the Fund’s available disbursements going to small and independent operators, the Division of Environmental protection suggested changes. These changes would allow the removal of the small business definition from statute and the move to a regulatory definition that would make the reimbursement funds more available to small and independent owners and operators of petroleum tanks.
The Vegas Chamber supports the language changes that make cleanup funds appropriately available to smaller operators in parity with larger businesses.
Primary Bill Sponsor: Assembly Committee on Natural Resources
Position: Support
 
Assembly Bill 50
Revises provisions governing the issuance of cease and desist orders for unlicensed activity by the State Contractors' Board.
 
Legislative Summary: AB 50 addresses the remedies and responsibilities the State Contractor’s Board has in relation to unlicensed contractors. AB 50 specifies that the Board may issue a cease and desist order to unlicensed contractors, and administrative fines while providing the requirement and opportunity for the unlicensed contractor to apply for a license.
 
The Vegas Chamber supports this bill as it will increase parity between those who are licensed as required by state law and those who are not. This bill will also provide relief to homeowners and increase confidence in the homebuilding industry.
Primary Bill Sponsor: Assembly Committee on Commerce
Position: Support
 
Assembly Bill 57
Temporarily suspends certain requirements relating to certain teacher and administrator evaluations.
 
Legislative Summary: AB 57 would temporarily change the existing standard of fifteen percent of a teacher’s evaluation that factors in a student’s growth to zero percent for three academic school years. Per Section 1, the percentage would be lowered for school years 2020-2021, 2021-2022 and 2022-2023. Person Section 2, the fifteen percent would be restored for the 2023-2024 school year. While the Chamber recognizes that teachers and students have been impacted by COVID, suspending three years of measuring a student’s growth as part of a teacher evaluation is a concern especially as students are expected to return to the class for the 2022-2023.
 
Originally student growth was 50 percent of teacher’s performance evaluation when it was originally adopted to now potentially being lowered to zero percent. There is also a concern from the Chamber that this temporary measure of zero percent would become a permanent change in state law.
Primary Bill Sponsor: Assembly Committee on Education
Position: Oppose
 
Assembly Bill 66
Revises provisions relating to the abatement of certain taxes.
 
Legislative Summary: AB 66 is a technical cleanup bill addressing tax abatements and related timelines. This bill provides clarifying language that stipulate actions leading to tax abatements must take place within one year of the acceptance of the application for said tax abatement.

The Vegas Chamber supports this bill as it offers clarity to the sometimes complicated process of tax abatement application.
Primary Bill Sponsor: Assembly Committee on Revenue
Position: Support
 
Senate Bill 18
Revises provisions governing penalties for certain violations relating to public utilities.
 
Legislative Summary: SB 18 would change the administrative fine structure that is used by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUC). Section 1 of the bill would revise the daily fine amount of a maximum of $1,000 to $100,000 and a maximum cap not to exceed from $200,000 to $20,000,000. These fines would apply to businesses that operate and maintain the storage facilities and intrastate pipelines used to store and transport natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas.
 
Section 2 of the bill would also revise the daily fine amount of a maximum of $1,000 to $100,000 and a maximum cap not to exceed from $100,000 to $10,000,000 if a person provides to the PUC information which is inaccurate or misleading and which the person knew or should have known was inaccurate or misleading. Section 3 of the bill increases the maximum amount of a criminal fine from $500 to $50,000.
 
The Vegas Chamber opposes the bill because of the unprecedent increase of the proposed fines. While fines are an importance regulatory mechanism for state agencies, the proposed fines are extremely burdensome to Nevada’s utility companies.
Primary Bill Sponsor: Senate Committee on Growth and Infrastructure
Position: Support
 
Senate Bill 24
Revises provisions relating to workforce development.
 
Legislative Summary:  SB 24 sets requirements for organizations managing workforce development programs, criteria for the businesses involved and provisions for the receipt of State workforce development funds from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. The requirements set forth in SB 24 are designed to ensure that all participants in a sanctioned workforce development program are offered the opportunity to develop relevant, high demand skills and placement with reputable and responsible businesses.
 
Workforce development has long been a top priority of the Vegas Chamber, and is vitally necessary for the diversification of Nevada’s economy. The Vegas Chamber supports SB 24, as well as continuing workforce development efforts at the state, county and municipal levels.
Primary Bill Sponsor: Senate Committee on Revenue
Position: Support
 
Senate Bill 76
Revises provisions relating to education.
 
Legislative Summary:  SB 76 addresses the annual requirement of the State Department of Education to submit for approval plan to increase student achievement, along with other priorities for student learning and development. While current statutory requirements stipulate the oversight and participation by a number of Boards and commissions appointed by the Governor and others, these boards have not always been filled in a timely manner or achieved the necessary attendance for quorum at required meetings for a variety of reasons. These difficulties have led to a less timely response to Board of Education reports, which in turn has made policy changes dealing with difficult situations slow, sometimes to the detriment of Nevada students. SB 76 replaces several Boards and Commissions’ oversight role with designated committees within the Department of Education.
 
While the Vegas Chamber supports open and accountable education, the need for the Department to operate in a timely manner according to statute is necessary for Nevada’s students. The Vegas Chamber is neutral on SB 76.
Primary Bill Sponsor: Senate Committee on Education
Position: Neutral
 
Senate Bill 107
Makes various changes relating to the statute of limitations for certain causes of action.
 
Legislative Summary: SB 107 would clearly establish that there is 4-year statute of limitations for an individual to file a wrongful termination of employment against their former employer. Currently, it is 2-year limitation to file a wrongful termination lawsuit in Nevada. The Vegas Chamber opposes the bill as written. These types of cases can be very expensive to defend against, take considerable time to respond to, and may result in costly damages. Wrongful termination is already illegal at the federal and state level. For a small business, this change to state law would require employers to retain records for even longer periods of time and additional costs associated with their employment practice liability insurance costs.
Primary Bill Sponsor: Senator James Ohrenschall
Position: Oppose
How to Testify
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nevada State Legislature has limited physical access to the legislative building and committee rooms until further notice. To accommodate public participation, the Legislative Counsel Bureau (LCB) has worked in coordination with committee chairs to facilitate remote testimony and public comment.
 
Detailed instructions on how to watch committee hearings, offer testimony or register an opinion without testifying can all be found here.
Legislative Resources Available to Members
During the Legislative Session, Vegas Chamber will once again offer several important communication tools for members to stay informed and be engaged in the legislative process.

CHECK YOUR INBOX. Each Friday, “The Rundown” will give the latest breakdown of which bills the Vegas Chamber has been engaged with during the week at the Legislature, how we testified, and how you can support the Chamber in its efforts.
 
BECOME A CHAMBER ADVOCATE. Get engaged with the Chamber Advocate program. Becoming a Chamber Advocate helps the Vegas Chamber tell your story. We want to make sure that legislators know exactly who will be affected by their decisions, and your input is essential to this process. Help the Vegas Chamber advocate more effectively on your behalf, as we keep you informed and make sure your voice as Nevada’s job creators is heard loud and clear!
 
The Vegas Chamber will walk you through the process of writing and calling legislators, as well as provide you with talking points if you want to post to social media or even testify on bills during legislative committee meetings. We will make it easy for you to get involved as we are here to advocate on your behalf. Your stories make the costs and benefits of a piece of legislation real to legislators, so help us make Southern Nevada the best place to do business. For more information about the call, contact Dylan Keith at 702.833.0081.
 
THE CARSON CITY CALL, a monthly webinar with Vegas Chamber’s Government Affairs team, gives you insights and information live from the Legislature. You will have an opportunity to ask questions and engage with staff. The first Carson City Call for the legislative session will be on Tuesday, March 2 at 11 a.m. The call will continue the first Tuesday of every month at 11 a.m. during the legislative session. For more information about the call, contact Dylan Keith at 702.833.0081.
 
ENGAGE IN THE PAUL CALL. For President’s Club and Advocacy members, the Paul Call is a biweekly conference call with Paul Moradkhan, the Vegas Chamber’s senior vice president of Government Affairs. Paul will discuss the issues important to you and your business. Hear the latest about what is happening in Carson City that could impact you. The Paul Call for the Legislative Session will be on Thursday, March 4 at 11 a.m., and will take place every other Thursday at 11 a.m. (President’s Club and Advocacy). For more information about the call, contact Dylan Keith at 702.833.0081.
 
ANSWER THE CALLS TO ACTION. Be on the lookout for specific calls to action via Carson City Alerts. The Vegas Chamber will alert you, as a member, when a bill of particular importance to the business community will be heard. Please take the time to contact your legislators and let them know the impact a bill will have on your business, and that you stand with the Vegas Chamber and the business community. Alert your employees as well.
 
ENGAGE ON SOCIAL MEDIA. The Vegas Chamber will post regularly about what’s happening up at the legislature, so be sure to follow the Vegas Chamber on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to see the latest. Retweet the Chamber messages and consider posting your own social media posts and tagging the Chamber (@VegasChamber). 
 
CONTRIBUTE TO BIZPAC, the Vegas Chamber’s bipartisan political action committee. Hundreds of members, as well as Vegas Chamber staff, support this PAC to ensure the business community’s interests remain in front of our elected officials. Contributions help elect pro-prosperity candidates and ensure a business-friendly operating environment in Nevada. For more information on donating, visit VegasChamber.com/bizpac or contact Erica Valdriz at 702.245.8465.
 
CONTACT THE VEGAS CHAMBER’S GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS TEAM. The Vegas Chamber employs the largest government affairs professional staff for a Chamber in Nevada. The Chamber also works with Jim Wadhams and Jesse Wadhams with Black & Wadhams, who are regarded for their extensive legal expertise, knowledge of policy policies and state legislative process. This team is dedicated to ensuring that state legislators hear from Nevada’s employers and employees. Contact them with any questions that you have may for the legislative session.
 
Paul Moradkhan
Senior Vice president of Government Affairs
Cell: 702.810.9124
 
David Dazlich
Director of Government Affairs
Cell: 702.205.7232
 
Erica Valdriz
Government Affairs Fundraising Coordinator
Cell: 702.245.8465
 
Dylan Keith
Government Affairs Analyst
Cell: 702.833.0081
Recover. Rebuild. Reinvent Nevada Together: BizPAC
Recover. Rebuild. Reinvent Nevada Together is BizPAC’s campaign to ensure that the business community’s needs are well represented in the 2021 Legislative Session. By contributing through the Recover. Rebuild. Reinvent Nevada Together initiative, you are helping to ensure that the individuals serving in office support Nevada’s employers and employees. With your support of BizPAC, you are uniting with other business leaders in demonstrating to candidates for public office that the business community in Nevada is actively engaged in the political process and are willing to stand against onerous bills that will hurt the business community.
 
Through BizPAC, a bipartisan political action committee, the Vegas Chamber:
  • Supports pro-economy policymakers
  • Works to protect laws that support the business community
  • Ensures your interests and concerns are kept in front of elected officials
  • Champions legislation that supports economic growth and job creation for the state
 
To learn more about contributing to BizPAC or sponsoring an upcoming event, please contact Erica Valdriz or at 702.586.3846, or click below to donate now.
Additional Resources
Mailing Address
Vegas Chamber
575 Symphony Park Ave., Ste. 100
Las Vegas, NV 89106
Contact Information
Phone: 702.641.5822
Fax: 702.735.0406
Information is subject to change