2-Minute Preview: Private prison ban, increased domestic violence penalties on deck at Legislature

Nevada News

Lawmakers will hear bills on Thursday that would ban private prisons, increase domestic violence penalties and focus on suicide prevention among students.

They’ll also take up measures that would increase penalties for defacing historic sites and hear several budget counts for the Department of Administration and the Division of Child and Family Services.

For more information on the status of bills working their way through the Legislature, check out The Nevada Independent’s bill tracker. And for the bills in committee today, check out the Legislature’s website for committee times and links to watch live committee meetings and floor sessions.

Here’s what to watch for on Thursday at the Legislature:

AB183: Private prison ban

Two years after a similar measure was vetoed, Democratic Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno is again sponsoring a bill that would require Nevada to eventually phase out use of private prisons.

AB183 would require the state only staff prisons with state employees, but give the state correctional department a five-year window in which to stop using private prisons in other states (none currently operate in Nevada for inmates in state prison).

The bill requires the state to conduct biannual, in-person inspections of the out-of-state private prison to ensure that they’re meeting state requirements. Gov. Steve Sisolak backed the concept of a private prison ban in an interview prior to the legislative session.

The committee is scheduled to meet at 8 a.m.

AB152: Higher penalties for defacing historic sites

Proposed by Democratic Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno, AB152 would substantially raise penalties for individuals convicted of destroying or injuring historic and prehistoric sites.

The bill, scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Judiciary Committee, would raise the penalties for an individual convicted of removing, mutilating, defecating or injuring a historic or prehistoric site, or if found to traffic or sell “cultural property” from state land without a valid permit.

The bill removes current penalties of a misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor for additional offenses and instead raises the penalties to a felony. First-time offenses where the sum of the property damage and restoration is below $500 is punishable by a Category E felony, punishable between one to two years in prison or a fine up to $5,000, or a Category C felony (1 to 5 years in prison or a $10,000 maximum fine) if the damage is above $500.

Under the bill, subsequent convictions with damage below $500 would be punishable by a Category C felony, and those above $500 with a Category B felony (2 to 10 years in prison or $20,000 maximum fine).

The committee is scheduled to meet at 8 a.m.

More budget hearings

The budget subcommittee on general government will hear two Department of Administration budget accounts, including those for juvenile and family court judges and the state library. The human services subcommittee will hear several Division of Child and Family Services budget accounts, including juvenile justice services.

Both budget subcommittees meet at 8 a.m.

SB218: Domestic violence penalties

State Sens. Nicole Cannizzaro and Pat Spearman have sponsored a bill that would increase penalties for those who commit acts of domestic violence.

For one, the legislation would bar a court from considering any factor other than whether someone was a victim of domestic violence or a threat of domestic violence when deciding whether to grant a temporary or extended order for protection. Anyone who violates a temporary order would be guilty of a gross misdemeanor and someone who violates an extended order would be guilty of a category C felony, under the bill.

The legislation will also increase penalties on repeat offenders. Someone who commits domestic violence battery and has previously been convicted of battery with the use of a deadly weapon against someone who qualifies as a victim of domestic violence is guilty of a category B felony punishable by between two and 15 years in prison and a fine of between $2,000 and $5,000.

The bill will be heard in Senate Judiciary at 8 a.m.

AB114: Suicide prevention for students and teachers

This bill, sponsored by Republican Assemblyman John Ellison, requires the State Board of Education to adopt regulations establishing suicide prevention courses for students in 5th through 12th grade. State law already requires the board to adopt similar regulations but gives them the discretion to which grades the course of study should apply.

The legislation will also require the board of trustees of each school district or the governing body of a charter school to ensure that teachers receive training in how to identify the warning signs of suicide and prevent suicide among students.

It will be heard in Assembly Education at 1:30 p.m.

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