THE Fifth DAY
Carson City (Friday) February 9, 2001
Assembly called to order at 11:05 a.m.
Mr. Speaker presiding.
All present except Assemblywomen Ohrenschall and Tiffany, who were excused.
Prayer by the Chaplain, Reverend, Bruce Henderson.
Our Father Who art in heaven. We’re not in heaven yet. No, we’re still down here. Some of us are far from home and we have a long way to go before we can return. Please be with our loved ones, and be with us in the days and weeks and months ahead. Our Father Who art in heaven, please come down here with us. And Lord, please be with our esteemed guest speaker and his words and the things he will share with us.
Pledge of allegiance to the Flag.
Assemblywoman Buckley moved that further reading of the Journal be dispensed with, and the Speaker and Chief Clerk be authorized to make the necessary corrections and additions.
INTRODUCTION, FIRST READING AND REFERENCE
By Assemblymen Berman, Carpenter and Gibbons:
Assembly Bill No. 74—AN ACT relating to children; prohibiting the employment of children under 16 years of age in certain activities relating to commercial sales or distribution; providing a penalty; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.
Assemblywoman Buckley moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Commerce and Labor.
By Assemblymen Berman, Gibbons, Carpenter, Giunchigliani, Hettrick, Humke and Von Tobel:
Assembly Bill No. 75—AN ACT relating to cancer; requiring the adoption of a state cancer plan; mandating the administrative action necessary to provide Medicaid coverage to certain patients with breast or cervical cancer; making appropriations; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.
Assemblywoman Berman moved that the bill be referred to the Concurrent Committees on Health and Human Services and Ways and Means.
By Assemblyman Mortenson:
Assembly Bill No. 76—AN ACT making appropriations to the Interim Finance Committee and the Department of Education for allocation to certain public television stations to convert to digital television as required by the Federal Communications Commission and for the support of certain nonprofit public radio stations to assist in the replacement of aging transmission equipment; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.
Assemblyman Mortenson moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
By the Committee on Government Affairs:
Assembly Bill No. 77—AN ACT relating to unclaimed property; revising provisions governing when unclaimed property is presumed abandoned; providing for a limited exemption from interest penalties for the late payment or delivery of abandoned property under certain circumstances; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.
Assemblyman Bache moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Judiciary.
By Assemblymen Dini, Anderson, Price, Bache, Buckley, Chowning, Gibbons, Giunchigliani, Goldwater, Humke, Koivisto, Marvel and Perkins:
Assembly Bill No. 78—AN ACT relating to health care; revising the definitions of “practice of practical nursing” and “practice of professional nursing” to specify that a nurse may accept direction from a physician’s assistant; authorizing a registered nurse to possess and administer certain drugs and medicines at the direction of a physician’s assistant; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.
Assemblyman Dini moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Commerce and Labor.
By Assemblymen Dini, Neighbors, Carpenter, Price, Anderson, de Braga, Gibbons, Humke, Marvel and Perkins:
Assembly Bill No. 79—AN ACT relating to mining; providing for the issuance of interim permits to engage in an exploration project or mining operation; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.
Assemblyman Dini moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Mining.
By Assemblymen Dini, Anderson, Chowning, Bache, Price, Buckley, Gibbons, Giunchigliani, Goldwater, Humke, Koivisto, Marvel and Perkins:
Assembly Bill No. 80—AN ACT relating to recreational areas; requiring the issuance of permits to certain disabled persons for free use of state parks and other recreational areas; reducing the age requirement for free use of state parks and other recreational areas by older persons; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.
Assemblyman Dini moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Mining.
By the Committee on Judiciary:
Assembly Bill No. 81—AN ACT relating to real property; revising provisions governing the enforceability of arbitration agreements relating to constructional defect matters; revising provisions governing offers to repair and repair of constructional defects; revising provisions governing the recovery of damages for constructional defects; revising provisions governing the dissolution of corporations and limited-liability companies; prohibiting contractual clauses which require arbitration in certain circumstances; revising provisions governing the commencement of a civil action by a common-interest community association; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.
Assemblyman Anderson moved that the bill be referred to the Committee on Judiciary.
MOTIONS, RESOLUTIONS AND NOTICES
Mr. Speaker appointed Assemblymen Lee and Parnell as a committee to invite the Senate to meet in Joint Session with the Assembly to hear an address by United States Senator Harry Reid.
MESSAGES FROM THE Senate
Senate Chamber, Carson City, February 7, 2001
To the Honorable the Assembly:
I have the honor to inform your honorable body that the Senate amended, and on this day adopted, as amended, Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 1.
Mary Jo Mongelli
Assistant Secretary of the Senate
The members of the Senate appeared before the bar of the Assembly.
Mr. Speaker invited the members of the Senate to chairs in the Assembly.
IN JOINT SESSION
At 11:19 a.m.
President of the Senate presiding.
The Secretary of the Senate called the Senate roll.
The Chief Clerk of the Assembly called the Assembly roll.
All present except for Assemblywomen Ohrenschall and Tiffany, who were excused.
The President of the Senate appointed a Committee on Escort consisting of Senator Weiner and Assemblywoman Koivisto to wait upon Senator Reid and escort him to the Assembly Chamber.
The Committee on Escort in company with The Honorable Harry Reid, United States Senator from Nevada, appeared before the bar of the Assembly.
The Committee on Escort escorted the Senator to the rostrum.
Mr. Speaker welcomed Senator Reid and invited him to deliver his message.
U.S. Senator Harry Reid delivered his message as follows:
Message To The Legislature Of Nevada
SeventY-First Session, 2001
Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Leader, members of the Assembly, Senate, and guests: Every time I come to the Nevada State Legislature waves of nostalgia fill my soul. It was here my legislative career started. I think of the many accomplishments of many different legislators over the years, those who I served with, and those who have served in the past. Would you join me today in recognizing one of the great legislators in the history of the State of Nevada with a moment of silence, Jan Evans. Of course, there are those who are now serving and those who will yet serve. My legislative career started here. The first time I served I had the good fortune of meeting in the Capitol. What has happened in Nevada since 1864 has revolved around what takes place in these legislative halls.
Last Monday night I went to Senator Kennedy’s home to celebrate the release of a new book containing the letters of his father. Landra and I got there a bit early and Ted asked us to go upstairs and look around. It is like a little museum, with all kinds of things on the walls, letters from Jackie Kennedy, his dad, and his brothers. One thing that struck me was the framed notes his brother John had written prior to addressing the Nevada State Legislature in 1960. I went downstairs and asked Senator Kennedy if he remembered that.
Important things happen every time this legislature meets. A president won’t address the legislature this session, but the destiny of our state will be determined by what happens in these halls over the next 115 days. A century ago, my birthplace, Searchlight, was the fastest growing community in Nevada. Gold had been discovered, miners and others came, the future looked bright. Searchlight was one of the first modern towns of western America. It had electricity, telephones, and telegraph, even a modern water system. Only a few years later, the gold became scarce—the mines slowed down—miners and others began to leave. Those few who stayed faced hard times and social upheaval. Those who remained did so because Searchlight was their home. Though I was born in Searchlight, today I spend much of my time three thousand miles from Searchlight, in Washington, D.C. But, Nevada is my home, and like any home, I want it to be the cleanest, safest, most prosperous place it can be—a place to rest one’s head, raise one’s children, a refuge for the spirit, a place to return when the day is done. All of us share this dream—because Nevada is our home.
We in government ought to make decisions that affect the state in the same way families make decisions that affect their own home. There is no higher calling than public service. I thank each of you for your service to the people of the Silver State.
We share in our accomplishments and our failures—when a road is built, it’s our road—when a lake is polluted, it’s our lake—when a community is in distress, it’s our community—when deadly nuclear waste threatens to be transported, it affects each and every one of us—because Nevada is our home.
We have our own interests and ideals, our separate lives, but when times of trouble and turmoil arise, we all come together, we come together as one—not as Democrats or Republicans, liberals or conservatives, not as federal or state officials—but as Nevadans. Because our challenges are not exclusively federal, state or local—therefore, neither can our solutions.
We have in the past worked together. For example, we did it with the Truckee-Carson water settlement. We did it again with the Lake Tahoe Summit, working to restore, as Mark Twain said, “the fairest place in all the earth.” This historic agreement brought together federal, state, and local governments, as well as residents, businesses, environmentalists, and community leaders. This can be used to set a model for what can be achieved when we work as one. We did it with the school in Schurz; we did it when we cleaned up the Helms Pit, which is now the Sparks Marina. These are a few examples of the many times we have worked together.
From the past we learn that together we must meet the challenges of Nevada’s tomorrows.
Nevadans’ health must be our priority. Some communities are afraid—eleven new leukemia cases discovered in Fallon, which is more than forty times the national average. The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe has experienced a five-fold increase in cancer cases, possibly resulting from the Sierra Army Depot’s open munitions burning. These and other health questions must have answers—because Nevada is our home.
We have women in our state who are frequently diagnosed with breast cancer. It is estimated that 1200 Nevada women will be diagnosed for the first time and 200 women will die from this dread disease this year. Why? We don’t know. These women are our mothers, our wives, our sisters, and our daughters. Last year, I obtained nearly two million dollars in federal funding for the UNLV Cancer Research Center, to expand its research efforts. Your support here has been essential. I am now working to establish national breast cancer research centers to focus on eradicating this disease.
Some of us need assistance in our golden years but can’t afford it. Assemblywoman Barbara Buckley has proposed a unique, pilot project—funded by private donations and state funding, with land from the federal government—to create affordable assisted living facilities for low-income Nevadans. Together, we can do this.
Some among us have been prescribed drugs by their physicians, but cannot afford to buy them because they are not covered by Medicare or other health plans. Here is a letter that I received from Barbara Keefer of Sun Valley: “I am 60 years old and on Social Security Disability. I get $585 a month and have osteoporosis. I have many broken bones and need medication for this, along with a variety of other prescriptions. The medications that I have to take cost more than $100 a month, and it is a hardship to get them every month. I really hope you will fight to help people like me.”
I say to Barbara Keefer that we must reply “yes.” We will fight to help her. Congress and this legislature, the Nevada Legislature, must strengthen our legislative partnership—because they are our parents, and because Nevada is our home.
Nevada’s children must be educated. In Nevada, we have one of the highest dropout rates in the nation—we have the fifth worst student-to-teacher ratio in the entire country. Our schools need 300 million dollars in repair and renovation. A few months ago, I received a letter jointly signed by seven parents who had first graders at Dayton Elementary School. They said, among other things, that their children go to school every day in classrooms that are overcrowded and where teachers are overworked. They wrote: “Mr. Reid, we look to you, to give us the direction we need to ensure that all of our children receive the best education available.”
I say to these parents that we in Congress can do better. You, in this legislature, can do better. We need to give young Nevadans a better education, because these are our children—and because Nevada is our home.
Nevadans must have economic security. Not every Nevadan has shared in the boom of these last seven years. Unemployment rates are at record lows—but those numbers don’t tell us the difficulty of living on minimum wage with few or no benefits. All Nevadans must share in our prosperity—from the young father who works two jobs at two different casinos, to the single mother who leaves for work before her children get up in the morning and returns home after they’ve gone to bed—because they are our neighbors, and because Nevada is our home.
We need to open the democratic process to more—to all. Too many Nevadans don’t vote because they don’t believe the system will help them. They in effect, have been turned off. We need to make it easier for them to register and easier for them to vote. Secretary of State Dean Heller has become a national leader in reforming the electoral process. He has done this in the State of Nevada and nationally, as well. We need to listen, in Washington, D.C. and Carson City, to his advice and counsel.
Our state must remain clean and livable. We have natural resources that are polluted and energy sources which are being pressed to their limits. A few days ago, among other restrictions, California ordered a 50 percent reduction in the use of power for outdoor lighting. Nevada is the neon capital of the world—bright lights are what we’re known for the world over—and we need to make sure that we have enough affordable power to keep our state growing, and our neon glowing.
Ron Feldstein of Carson City wrote: “I was horrified to read that Southwest Gas was increasing our gas bills 35 percent. Last month my Southwest gas bill was over $100. The only way a senior can afford such a huge increase means they have to give up something, or in other words, lower their standard of living. That usually means giving up a certain prescription or lowering their food bill.” To Mr. Feldstein, I say that you should not have to choose between being able to afford electricity and being able to afford food and prescription drugs. To Congress and this legislature, I say, we need to explore alternative energy sources.
The Nevada Test Site Development Corporation, with the help of the federal government, has recently let a contract to do work at the Nevada Test Site. They will create up to 265 megawatts of electricity, enough to supply electricity to 250,000 homes. This is one example of what we can do when we work together. Earlier this week, I introduced a bill in Congress to renew the federal wind power production tax, and expand it to cover all renewable technologies. This will help states and businesses develop solutions. This legislature also needs to review deregulation legislation and the actions of the Public Utilities Commission to determine what needs to be done, and with your suggestions, what I can do on a national level, to help.
We need to improve our transportation system all over the State of Nevada. Ten years ago, I held my first transportation summits here in Nevada. These summits were successful for many reasons—not the least of which was—because this legislature provided counties with ways to raise revenue to build the infrastructure to sustain the growth of the last ten years. Today, a decade later, we see we need to do more.
This summer I will have a new summit—to explore ways that government in Nevada, in conjunction with Congress and Nevada business leaders, can accommodate the 75,000 to 85,000 new people who arrive every year, with a system of transportation that will preserve our unique beauty, protect our air, our water, our neighborhoods, and our sense of community. Good fortune has put me in a position in the Senate—as ranking member of the Public Works Committee, the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, and my role as Assistant Leader—to help address Nevada’s problems at the federal level. I accept this obligation and I ask you to help me have a successful term.
Our challenge today is to ensure that all parts of Nevada—from Ely to Elko, from Las Vegas to Lake Tahoe, from Sparks to Searchlight, from Reno to Rhyolite—remain the kind of places that engage not only our minds and bodies, but touch our hearts and souls. We need to ensure that Nevada remains the kind of place where people come not only to visit, but to live, work, and raise their families—because Nevada is our home.
I began today speaking about Searchlight, because it is like so many towns and cities in Nevada and America—one can see and feel significant change. We must plan for the future—for change will come. Las Vegas will change. Reno will change. Winnemucca will change. Fallon, Yerington, Ely, and Elko—all will evolve. I call Searchlight home. I call Nevada home.
We all care, or we wouldn’t be here. Let’s work together. Let’s plan together. Let’s legislate together. Because Nevada is our home.
Senator Titus moved that the Senate and Assembly in Joint Session extend a vote of thanks to Senator Reid for his timely, able and constructive message.
Seconded by Assemblyman Collins.
Motion carried unanimously.
The Committee on Escort escorted Senator Reid to the bar of the Assembly.
Senator Washington moved that the Joint Session be dissolved.
Seconded by Assemblyman Beers.
Joint Session dissolved at 11:41 a.m.
ASSEMBLY IN SESSION
At 11:43 a.m.
Mr. Speaker presiding.
Consideration of Senate Amendments
Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 1.
The following Senate amendment was read:
“2. The redistricting committees will not consider a plan in which the Legislature subordinates traditional districting principles to racial considerations and makes race the dominant and controlling rationale in drawing district lines. For the purposes of this subsection, “traditional districting principles” are those traditional redistricting principles that have been judicially recognized and include compactness of districts, contiguity of districts, preservation of political subdivisions, preservation of communities of interest, preservation of cores of prior districts, protection of incumbents and compliance with section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1973 (2).”.
Assemblywoman Giunchigliani moved that the Assembly concur in the Senate amendment to Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 1.
Remarks by Assemblywoman Giunchigliani.
Motion carried by a constitutional majority.
Resolution ordered enrolled.
Signing of Bills and Resolutions
There being no objections, the Speaker and Chief Clerk signed Senate Bill No. 1 and Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 1.
GUESTS EXTENDED PRIVILEGE OF ASSEMBLY FLOOR
On request of Assemblywoman Angle, the privilege of the floor of the Assembly Chamber for this day was extended to Ryan Erwin, Bob Seale and Richard Tiran.
On request of Assemblyman Anderson, the privilege of the floor of the Assembly Chamber for this day was extended to Wendell Newman.
On request of Assemblyman Brower, the privilege of the floor of the Assembly Chamber for this day was extended to Carrie Morton.
On request of Assemblyman Dini the privilege of the floor of the Assembly Chamber for this day was extended to David Fulstone and David Fulstone II.
On request of Assemblyman Hettrick, the privilege of the floor of the Assembly Chamber for this day was extended to Sara Towles.
On request of Assemblyman Price, the privilege of the floor of the Assembly Chamber for this day was extended to Brooke Kaiser.
Assemblywoman Buckley moved that the Assembly adjourn until Monday, February 12, 2001 at 11:00 a.m.
Assembly adjourned at 11:51 a.m.
Approved: Richard D. Perkins
Attest: Jacqueline Sneddon