As we near the end of summer in an off-legislative year, legislative activity actually kicks up several gears.  Legislators and legislative committees that meet during the interim are busy vetting ideas to submit as bill draft requests (BDRs) to be introduced once the 2017 session begins.

From June 1 on, all BDRs submitted to date are made public on the Legislative website.  You can view all the BDRs and who requested them via this link:  BDR List

It is a little frustrating because while there is a ‘short title’ for the BDR, e.g.; “Makes certain changes related to education,” there is no additional detail about the intent of the change.

Fortunately, NRS now requires that the requester is listed, so if there is a particularly intriguing short title, we know who to contact to get additional detail.  Oft times, though, when we call the bill sponsor for information, they really don’t have much to offer.  Sometimes the BDR is put in at the request of a constituent and the sponsor is waiting for additional information, and sometimes they put it in as a placeholder to fill in at a later date.

Thankfully, most legislators are forthcoming with the intent of their sponsored bill drafts and will share, if nothing else, who had requested the BDR and any detail they may have.

Interim Committee bills are vetted during public meetings, with time allocated for public comment, much like the ideas for potential legislation discussed during the many Southern Nevada Forum meetings coordinated by the Las Vegas Metro Chamber and legislative leadership on both sides of the political aisle.

Legislative Counsel Bureau (LCB) consistently asks BDR sponsors to provide as much detail as possible at the time of submittal so that LCB staff can get working on the research necessary to write the bill language for introduction.

As you will see on the two charts below, there are many opportunities for bill introduction.  Looking at the third group on the chart immediately below, Senator – Incumbent, note that they had eight BDRs available for submittal by August 1, 2016, 10 BDRs between August 2, 2016 and December 10, 2016, plus an additional seven-day window at the start of the 2017 session to introduce up to two more bills.

How many bills does that particular group (Senator – Incumbent) represent?  Well, let’s do the math…..

We have 21 total Senators.  17 out of 21 are either mid-term or running for re-election.  Assuming all 17 return, and assuming all 17 submitted their eight BDRs on or before August 1st and they use all the rest of their bills, that equals 340 bills slated for introduction!   Add in the four new senators yet to be elected and their 12 available bills each; that gets us to 384 possible bills to be introduced, collectively, by our State Senators.

And that doesn’t include the additional Bill Draft Requests allocated to Senate Majority and Minority Leadership positions!

Who gets to put in bill requests and how many do they get to use?

The number of BDRs available to any particular entity, agency or office holder and the dates for submittal are dictated by statute and can change from legislative session to legislative session.

Authorized Entity Time Frame for Submittal # of BDRs per Entity
Assembly member – Incumbent On or before Aug 1, 2016

Aug 2, 2016 thru Dec 10, 2016

Feb 6, 2017 thru Feb 13, 2017

4

5

1

Assembly member – Newly elected On or before Dec 10, 2016

Feb 6, 2016 thru Feb 13, 2016

5

1

Senator – Incumbent On or before Aug 1, 2016

Aug 2, 2016 thru Dec 10, 2016

Feb 6, 2017 thru Feb 13, 2017

8

10

2

Senator – Newly elected On or before Dec 10, 2016

Feb 6, 2017 thru Feb 13, 2017

10

2

Standing Session Committee Chairs Before Nov 8, 2017 General Election* 1 per 18 measures referred during previous regular session
Standing Session Committees Feb 6, 2017 thru 5 p.m. on Feb 20, 2017 60 per house
Speaker of Assembly &

Majority Leader of the Senate

Before Nov 8 General Election**,

Emergency req. during session

15

 

5

Minority Leaders of the Assembly and Senate Before Nov 8 General Election**,

Emergency req. during session

10

 

2

Legislative Commission Before Feb 6, 2017 10
Interim Finance Committee Before Feb 6, 2017 10
Statutory Interim Legislative Committees  

On or before Sept. 1, 2016

 

10

Interim Study Committees created by 2015 session or Legislative Commission  

On or before Sept. 1, 2016

 

5

Chief Clerk of the Assembly and Secretary of the Senate  

Before or during session

Unlimited, but must pertain to duties
Legislative Counsel  

Before or during session

Unlimited, but must pertain to duties

* For Standing Session Committee Chairs, i.e.; Chair of Health Care Committee, or Chair of Government Affairs, the deadline to request the remaining number of legislative measures is extended to Dec. 10, 2016 for new committee chairs designated after the November 2016 General Election.

** The deadline for the Majority Leader of the Senate and Speaker of the Assembly, and for the Minority Leaders in both houses, the deadline to request the remaining number of bills is extended to Feb. 5, 2017 (prior to the first day of session), for those designated as Speaker, Majority Leader, etc.,  after the November 2016 General Election.

Authorized Entity Time Frame for Submittal # of BDRs per Entity
Supreme Court On or before Sept 1, 2016 10
Governor/Exec Branch On or before Aug 1, 2016

On or before Feb 24, 2017

110

5

Office of Finance On or before Feb 24, 2017 Unlimited, to implement budget
Lieutenant Governor On or before Sept 1, 2016 3
Secretary of State On or before Sept 1, 2016

On or before Dec 31, 2016

6

2

State Treasurer On or before Sept 1, 2016 5
State Controller On or before Sept 1, 2016 5
Attorney General On or before Sept 1, 2016 20
County of 700,000 or more

*School District in Co of 700K+

On or before Sept 1, 2016 4

2

County of 100K to 699,999

School District in Co of same

On or before Sept 1, 2016 2

1

County under 100,000

School district in Co < 100,000

On or before Sept 1, 2016 1

1

City of 500,000 or more On or before Sept 1, 2016 3
City of 150,000 to 499,999 On or before Sept 1, 2016 2
City under 150,000 On or before Sept 1, 2016 1
Association of Counties or Cities On or before Sept 1, 2016 5
NV Youth Legislature On or before Dec 1, 2016 1
NV Silver Haired Legislative Forum On or before Sept 1, 2016 1

Looking at the chart above, you can see that Clark County (County with population of 700,000 or more) is allocated four BDRs.  A school district in that county gets two BDRs.  If, indeed, the Clark County School District gets broken up into separate districts, then the NRS will have to be changed according to allocate the separate districts’ BDRs.

As always, if you have any questions about Bill Draft Requests, or anything else, don’t hesitate to call or send me a note.  I’m always happy to try to find answers!

Susan Fisher
Vice President, Government Affairs Group
McDonald Carano Wilson
702-257-4548
Sfisher@mcwlaw.com

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