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Herd of bills gets thinned at Legislature, more cuts will come

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Updated: 4/13/2013 3:33 pm
By SANDRA CHEREB
The ASSOCIATED PRESS

CARSON CITY — Cue the Rawhide music.

It was a week of “rollin’ rollin’ rollin’” at the Nevada Legislature as bills awaiting floor votes in the Senate and Assembly were “rolled” to the next legislative day — and rolled again and again and again.

Committees kept to the grind way into the night to beat Friday’s bill deadline to pass ’em out or watch ’em die.

But now with some of the runts culled from the herd of bills, it’s time to “head ’em up, move ’em out,” as the song goes.

Here are five things to know about the upcoming agenda:

KEEP MOVIN’, MOVIN,’ MOVIN’

And that’s what lawmakers will be doing this week, not in committees but in l-o-n-g, multiple floor sessions.

As of Friday, there were 30 bills in the Assembly and 22 in the Senate awaiting a second reading.

Just getting through those will test the stamina and vocal chords of Senate Secretary David Byerman and Assembly Chief Clerk Susan Furlong, who have to read all those measures into the record before they are sent to the general file for a vote.

KEEP THEM DOGGIES ROLLIN’

Speaking of general files, 52 bills in the Senate and 45 in the Assembly are awaiting action.

But there will be more. Lots more.

All the bills acted upon in committees last week will go back to their house of origin, and added to the growing list of second readings and votes.

DON’T TRY TO UNDERSTAND ’EM, JUST ROPE ’EM, THROW ’EM AND BRAND ’EM

More than 1,000 bills were introduced in the 2013 session, and even die-hard legislative watchers have a hard time keeping track of the ins, outs, amendments and political maneuverings.

Does anyone understand Senate Bill 123 over 10-year utility plans and the 16-page amendment pushed by NV Energy that passed out of committee Friday? That one will take some time to digest, especially for ratepayers if the bill survives.

In the meantime, the Senate Committee on Commerce Labor and Energy gave it a go-head — straight to the Senate Finance Committee.

SET ’EM UP, RIDE ’EM IN

Few committee hearings are scheduled for next week as yet, except for budget broncos that are the two money panels.

Assembly Ways and Means and Senate Finance subcommittees will lasso spending as they continue budget closings.

On tap are closings for the Department of Motor Vehicles, offices of the military and veterans’ services, Department of Education, public safety and the Department of Corrections.

ROLLIN’ ROLLIN’ ROLLIN’

There will be no rest for legislators after last week’s bill deadline. They face another one in 10 days, April 23, when bills must clear the house of origin or join others on the bone pile.

Cut ’em out, ride ’em in, Rawhide!
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