Senate Bill 2
Revises provisions relating to education.
Legislative Summary: SB 2 would change the timeline of when school districts submit their budgets to the Nevada Department of Taxation and Department of Education. Per Section 4 of the bill, the local school districts would need to submit their tentative budget by June 8. School districts would also be required to hold a public hearing regarding their tentative budget between the third Monday in July and the last day of July. Section 5 of the bill would change when school districts must adopt the final budget to December 31 of each year and after the average daily enrollment of students is reported for the previous quarter. The Vegas Chamber supports this bill as it would allow for increased accuracy of budgeting and fiscal projections by the local school districts to the State.
Primary Bill Sponsor: Senate Committee on Education
Senate Bill 27
Revises Various Provisions Relating to Education
Legislative Summary: SB 27 provides several small-scale changes relating to K-12 education in the State of Nevada. One of these changes is the codification in the law of procedures for spending on classroom materials by teachers. This provision allows local school districts to provide money directly to teachers to make their purchases under certain circumstances rather than requiring teachers to pay for materials and later seek reimbursement. Additionally, SB 27 provides support to higher educational institutions with programs for Teaching and Educator Preparation, making grant dollars from the Nevada System of Higher Education more easily accessible.
This bill originated from the Southern Nevada Forum’s Committee on Education and addresses the priority of expanding the teacher pipeline and supporting teacher retention. As a Southern Nevada Forum priority bill, the Vegas Chamber was in support.
Primary Bill Sponsor: Senate Committee on Education
Senate Bill 61
Revises Various Provisions Governing the Program for the Operation of Vending Facilities by Licensees Who Are Blind
Legislative Summary: SB 61 deals with existing state and federal laws requiring that public buildings and facilities utilizing vending machines, cafeterias and other food services must offer the first refusal to qualified blind licensees for service contracts. As originally drafted, SB 61 captures private entities operating on land being leased long term from local governments and subjects them to the requirement to receive approval from the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) to receive waivers from the vendor selection process. In response to concerns raised by the Vegas Chamber, as well Clark County and the Cities of Henderson, Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, DETR proposed an amendment exempting all events subject to the Live Entertainment Tax (LET). This amendment is designed to cover facilities that will be located on land leased from local government.
While this amendment does address some of the issues presented, SB 61 still adds additional layers of bureaucratic approvals and uncertainty to the waiver process administered by DETR. The Vegas Chamber is opposed to the bill as written but continues to work with DETR and local governments to find amending language that will mitigate concerns.
Primary Bill Sponsor: Senate Committee on Health and Human Services
Senate Bill 75
Revises Provisions Relating to Unemployment Compensation
Legislative Summary: SB 75 adjusts the rate at which employers pay into the State’s Unemployment Trust Fund managed by the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR). The proposed changes to the unemployment compensation formula would require employers to pay is in response to the pressures of the recent pandemic, during which the demand for unemployment payouts exceeded the assets in the Unemployment Trust Fund. In addition to the increased unemployment burden, an amendment was proposed to SB 61 which makes provisions allowing for K-12 support staff to become eligible to receive unemployment during summer and holiday breaks.
The Unemployment Trust Fund has previously faced similar financial hardship; most recently during the great recession of 2008 but has been stabilized and made exceptionally liquid by short-term measures in partnership with the federal government. During this time when federal support is being made available to state governments at unprecedented rates, the Vegas Chamber is concerned about the impact it would have on employers. While the Vegas Chamber was initially neutral on SB 75 at the hearing, the Chamber is currently reviewing its position and the impact the proposed amendment would have on K-12 education budgets.
Primary Bill Sponsor: Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor
Assembly Bill 106
Makes an Appropriation to the Office of Economic Development for the Provision of Grants to Certain Entities Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Legislative Summary: AB106 provides another $50 million toward the Pandemic Emergency Technical Support (PETS) Grant program. These dollars were allocated to the State of Nevada through federal emergency relief legislation and required enabling legislation from the State Legislature to be disbursed. The Vegas Chamber supports AB 106, and the efforts of the State Treasurer to make these relief dollars available. Many small businesses have been able to keep their doors open and make payroll with the assistance of PETS and other relief grants during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This funding to small businesses is part of Governor Steve Sisolak’s State of the State priorities.
Vegas Chamber President and CEO Mary Beth Sewald, along with Vegas Chamber Board of Trustees Chairwoman Gina Bongiovi were both present to testify in support of this important small business legislation. AB 106 was passed unanimously by both the Senate and Assembly and signed into law by Governor Sisolak on Friday, Feb. 12.
Primary Bill Sponsor: Assembly Committee on Ways and Means