From criminal justice reform to a cannabis compliance board, Nevada’s new laws came into effect on July 1

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Laws implementing a wide range of criminal justice reforms, establishing a state council to regulate marijuana and create a payday loan database went into effect on July 1, more than a year ago. year after the end of the 2019 legislative session.

Another bill, which will raise the minimum wage to $ 12 by 2024, technically came into effect on July 1, 2019, although the first wage increase began on July 1 of this year.

Other bills that entered into force on July 1 aim to reduce workplace violence in hospitals and psychiatric hospitals, establish new provisions for the regulation and labeling of hemp products and increase the GPA requirement for the millennium scholarship.

Here is an overview of some of these laws and more.

AB456: Minimum wage bill

As of July 1, Nevada’s minimum wage is now $ 8 for employees whose jobs provide health benefits and $ 9 for those who do not. The change is part of a new law that will raise the minimum wage to $ 12 an hour by 2024.

Legislation passed last year on party lines in the Assembly and quasi-party lines in the Senate, with Republican State Senator Keith Pickard joining Democrats in backing him.

Nevada’s minimum wage law was last amended in 2011. The federal minimum wage of $ 7.25 an hour has not changed since 2009.

Another pending measure, the proposed constitutional amendment AJR10, proposes to raise the state minimum wage to $ 12 an hour, but without the tiered structure depending on whether or not the employer offers health insurance. This proposal was passed in the 2019 legislative session, but is yet to be passed by the Legislature in 2021 before heading to a people’s vote in 2022.

AB236: Major Criminal Justice Reform Bill

A new omnibus criminal justice reform law, which enshrined some of the more than two dozen recommendations developed by the Nevada Advisory Commission on the Administration of Justice to reduce the state’s prison population, has been launched July 1.

The new law – introduced in the 157-page bill – reduces various criminal penalties, increases diversion programs and makes several other changes to the state’s criminal justice code. In its original form, supporters argued that the bill could save the state $ 640 million over a decade, although compromises made during the legislative session were should reduce these savings somewhat.

The law was led by Democratic Congressman Steve Yeager, although a coalition of national conservative and Republican groups sent a letter to GOP lawmakers towards the end of the legislative session urging them to support the bill. The bill was passed along party lines in the Assembly, with all Republicans opposed, but found more conservative support in the Senate, where it was passed 19-2, with only the Republican State Sense. Ira Hansen and Joe Hardy in opposition.

AB533: Cannabis Compliance Council

This new law transferred most of the responsibility for regulating marijuana to a new group of five people. Cannabis Compliance Council, modeled on the Gaming Control Board, on July 1. The board will now be responsible for law enforcement, regulation and compliance obligations that previously fell under the Department of Taxation.

Board members are not permitted to have a financial interest in the marijuana industry, but may consult an advisory board which may include industry members. The board is expected to approve regulations later this month that enshrine changes in how the board will regulate marijuana differently from the tax agency, including increasing penalties for certain violations and streamlining the license renewal process.

SB201: Payday Loans Database

A new law requiring the state to establish a database on payday loans and other high interest loans came into effect on July 1. The new law, sponsored by Democratic State Senator Yvanna Cancela, requires the State Commissioner of Financial Institutions to develop, implement and maintain a database of all deferred deposit loans, title loans and high interest loans in the state. All licensees who make such loans are now required to report and update certain information about these loans under the new law.

The law further prohibits anyone who operates a deferred deposit or high interest loan company from making such loans from making a loan which, combined with any other outstanding loan held by the client, would exceed 25% of his expected gross monthly income. . Payday loan companies and other high interest loan companies will be required to check the new database to ensure that the loans they make meet this new limit.

However, the measure did not actually come into effect on July 1. A meeting scheduled for April to gather public comments and pass regulations implementing the bill was canceled due to technical difficulties and was postponed to July 8.

AB348: Prevention of violence at work in hospitals, psychiatric hospitals

This new law requires hospitals and mental hospitals to develop and maintain plans to prevent and respond to workplace violence. Under the new law, medical institutions were required to establish a workplace safety committee to develop their plans, which should include training for employees on workplace violence prevention and response procedures. workplace violence.

Under the new law, hospitals and mental hospitals are required to document and report certain incidents of workplace violence to the Industrial Relations Division and the Department of Business and Industry. The law also authorizes the Public and Behavioral Health Division to take disciplinary action against a medical facility for retaliation against an employee for reporting workplace violence or seeking help from a law enforcement agency. public safety in response to an incident of workplace violence.

AB338: Defensive driving course for 16 and 17 year olds

Starting July 1, 16 and 17 year olds will be able to take an approved hands-on defensive driving course instead of having to complete 50 hours of supervised driving experience to obtain a driver’s license. The Department of Motor Vehicles is responsible for designating approved defensive driving courses.

AB534: New state plan for crime victims

This new law, sponsored by the Assembly Judiciary Committee, requires the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a state plan for services to victims of crime to better ensure that agencies that provide compensation and services for victims of crime coordinate their efforts and use the same data. It also demands that the ministry develop a survey to study the effectiveness of different methods of compensating victims of crime.

In the new state plan, the department is required to establish eligibility requirements for receiving compensation from the State Crime Victims Compensation Fund and to hold administrative hearings to process appeals. Previously, the Crime Victims Compensation Fund was administered by the Department of Administration and the State Board of Examiners.

The new law further requires that physicians and certain other health care professionals report to their licensing boards when renewing their license if they have received training in dealing with mental and emotional trauma and indicate that they are. they are ready to respond to emergencies or disasters anywhere in the state. Licensing offices will now be required to report this information to the government entity responding to an emergency or disaster.

SB203: Individualized family service, education plans for deaf, hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired children

Most of this new law, which was sponsored by State Senator Pat Spearman, had already come into force, although a final provision came into effect on July 1.

Part of this new law, which came into effect in June 2019, required the State Board of Education to publish criteria by regulation to be used in assessing the development of language and literacy skills in children under the age of six and deaf. , hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired.

Starting July 1, teams tasked with developing personalized family service plans or individualized education plans for these children will need to use these new criteria to assess the child’s development and determine if their plans need to be changed. The law also requires teams to explain in their plan if the child is not making adequate progress, why he is not making progress and recommendations to help the child develop language and literacy skills.

Visit The Nevada Independent for the full story.

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