First, your return to shore was not part of our negotiations nor our agreement so I must do nothing. And secondly, you must be a pirate for the pirate’s code to apply and you’re not. And thirdly, the code is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Miss Turner!
Captain Hector Barbossa
Deadlines are what turns a dream into a goal. The goals of everyone in Carson City? Pass solid legislation and adjourn sine die on June 3, 2019…or so we thought. As we approached Monday, March 18, the first major deadline of the 80th Legislative Session – legislator bill introductions (bills sponsored by individual legislators must be introduced or forever entombed as BDR’s) – approximately 150 BDR’s had yet to be introduced on the floor of their respective houses. Yet, the Legislature did not convene the weekend prior. Morning sessions were not scheduled for Monday the 18th. US Senator Jackie Rosen spoke to a combined floor session in the Assembly Chambers that evening. As the sun set, rumors began to fly around Carson City that perhaps…just maybe…we would witness the earliest culling of the bill herd the state has ever seen. Hope rose that maybe, just maybe, our attention would be focused on existing legislation and upcoming committee bills, as the overall bill count would be reduced by roughly 10%.
Then, it came. An after-dark concurrent resolution moved through both chambers and quietly passed. Buried at the end of the resolution appeared language which suspended the deadline due to recent resignations of Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, and Assemblyman Mike Sprinkle. Legislator bills were saved, no one was allowed off the ship, and we turned and set sail, salvation fading into the distance. The Code of the Brethren had struck again.
Highlights of the legislation we continue to track for NAIOP include the following:
SB 151 – Sponsored by Senator Ratti, this bill seeks to amend existing statutes pertaining to summary eviction. Senator Ratti has clarified this bill is not intended to touch commercial leasing, and an amendment is being crafted to remove commercial from the impact of the bill. As such, this bill is on its way toward a positive resolution.
AB 197 – This bill seeks to make certain terms of form contracts – contracts of adhesion – unconscionable by statute, and allow a private right of action against the drafting party for including the unconscionable term(s). The current language in the bill covers all contracts, including business-to-business, business-to-consumer, employment, AIA, and various other form contracts. Assemblyman Edgar Flores, the Sponsor, met with us several times, and has committed to remove references to business-to-business transactions such as commercial leases and take a look at our concerns with references to employment contracts, however, the bill will be specifically aimed at mandatory arbitration clauses. We will continue to work with the Assemblyman toward a resolution of our concerns.
SB 251 – Similar to the City of Las Vegas’ golf course/open space ordinance, this bill would require a new owner of a golf course to do a number of things as conditions of approval prior to any redevelopment of the golf course to another use. Sponsored by Senator Woodhouse, this bill would place a restrictive covenant restricting the use to a golf course only, and allows an owner of a plot or parcel within 2,000 feet of a converted golf course to bring a private right of action against the new owner of the property if there is a diminution of value to the nearby property. Should a diminution be determined by the court, the owner shall recover the sum equal to the diminution and reasonable attorney’s fees. Senator Woodhouse proactively reached out to NAIOP for feedback on this bill, and we continue to work with her.
We continue to be involved in discussions regarding paid sick leave, minimum wage, and workforce development. Unfortunately, the elephant in the room continues to be real property tax reform, which has not surfaced as of yet (recall, SJR 14 (reset on sale/depreciation) will need to move and pass this session if it is going to be included on the upcoming ballot). While stakeholders have waited to discuss this issue since the close of the 79th Legislative Session in 2017, few conversations have taken place, and the municipalities have seemingly moved on from the issue. To be sure, the time-frame to discuss such a massive issue is inappropriately tight, given the 2019 Legislative Session is half over. That said, we do anticipate movement on this issue at some point, and our hope is such comes sooner than later, such that even a cursory analysis can be made by stakeholders.
ODDS & ENDS
The City of Reno was named for Civil War Major Gen. Jesse Lee Reno who was killed at the Battle of Fox’s Gap, South Mountain, Maryland on Sept. 14, 1862. Neither Jesse Lee Reno, nor President Lincoln (who, along with Union-sympathetic congressmen, expedited the granting of statehood to ensure Lincoln received 3 additional electoral votes in the 1864 election) ever stepped foot in Nevada.