76th Legislative Session Ends

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76th Legislative Session Ends

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Dave Parker

The Nevada Legislative Building

The 76th regular session of the Nevada Legislature ended in the early morning hours Tuesday, without the need for a last-minute special session.

The final day saw a flurry of activity, including finishing off the $6.2 billion budget deal complete with a tax compromise.

Several controversial policy bills made it through in the final hours and now head to the Governor's desk.

They include a weakening of Nevada's voter-enacted smoking ban, a threat to pull Nevada out of TRPA (the bi-state agency that protects Lake Tahoe), and a measure that will give the state most of the money casinos collect after cashout vouchers expire.

The mining industry lost a couple battles in the waning hours.

Lawmakers passed a bill taking away some mining tax exemptions and set the stage for a potential ballot question to repeal the constitutional five percent cap on that tax.

Three bills specific to Northern Nevada passed at the eleventh hour: a surcharge on tickets for the Reno Aces, a special room tax for downtown Reno, and a Washoe County version of the "school works" bill that would allow the school district to use its excess bond reserves.

Other controversial bills died at the end, including the "campus carry" law that would have allowed concealed weapons on college campuses.

"Brianna's Law" also failed. It was a proposal to collect DNA samples of all people arrested- not convicted- on felony charges.

Limits on construction defect lawsuits also failed to the disappointment of a block of republicans who tied up the budget in an effort to get it through.