LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada lawmakers are back in Carson City for another Special Session. The State Legislature is planning to discuss a wide variety of topics, including evictions, police reform and the right to vote.
Lawmakers have a lot of ground to cover, especially because Gov. Steve Sisolak has said this special session must end by next Friday.
Some of the biggest items have not been discussed yet. That includes a police reform bill, which would ban the use of chokeholds, require officers to intervene if another officer is using unjustified physical force and mandate all use of force incidents to be reported.
There will also be a voting rights bill, which would ensure enough safe, in-person polling locations for the 2020 election.
But today, so far, the focus has been on evictions.
State Senators heard about a bill that would let certain courts implement an Alternative Dispute Resolution program for residential eviction issues. As we know, the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated our economy, and many Nevada families are struggling to pay their rent right now.
The proposed program would include mediation, which is when landlords and tenants work out the problem on their own, without direct involvement from the courts.
Nevada Supreme Court Justice James Hardesty presented the bill today, saying one main reason for creating the program is because our State’s courts will not be able to deal with the huge number of eviction cases once Sisolak’s moratorium ends Sept. 1. He added mediation is often successful.
“The eviction problem facing our State presents enormous hardships for landlords, as well as their tenants, and this is a system we hope to implement to mitigate those hardships,” said Hardesty.
Legal Aid of Southern Nevada chimed in during the public comment portion, saying they’ve been getting hundreds of calls from people who are panicking about getting evicted.
If the bill passes, courts will have 30 days to put the Alternative Dispute Resolution program in place, and there would also be a stay on eviction proceedings during that time period.
The Nevada Senate also discussed proposal that would significantly change how the State taxes its mining industry.
The resolution would amend the State constitution by removing the 5% tax cap on net proceeds and replacing it with a 7.75% tax on the gross proceeds of all minerals extracted in Nevada.
This resolution would potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for our State every year.
Those who support the legislation say it’s about time the mining industry faced higher taxes. But opponents argue this will hurt certain Nevadans.
“This will kill rural Nevada,” said State Senator Ira Hansen. “This is the death knell for rural Nevada.”
If the resolution passes during this special session, it must also pass during the session next year. Then, it will need to be voted on by the public in 2022 before it could go into effect.
In addition to police reform and voting rights, some senators 8 News Now has been speaking with tell us their main priorities during this special session also include protesting casino workers from COVID-19 risks and ensuring DETR expedites unemployment payments.