The Latest: Republican eyes continued care for incurably ill

CARSON CITY (AP) - The latest on action by the Nevada Legislature.

6:50 p.m.

A Republican state legislator wants to ensure Nevadans with chronic conditions such as his own experience no gaps in treatment.

Assemblyman Keith Pickard of Carson City introduced a bill Monday that would outlaw insurance companies from dropping coverage during regular reassessments of incurable diseases.

He says insurers often force patients to wait for critical prescriptions, devices or procedures during mandated, annual re-authorizations of their conditions.

Pickard argues that's unnecessary and a health risk for people with illnesses that have no cure and are not prone to remission.

Assembly Bill 352 would apply to people with diagnosed conditions such as HIV, AIDS, thyroidectomy or his own testosterone deficiency.

Pickard says he was diagnosed two years ago and recently experienced a lag in testosterone replacement therapy during re-authorization.

4:15 p.m.

Democratic lawmakers are proposing eliminating plastic bags from checkout counters across Nevada within five years.

Legislation introduced Monday would require grocery stores, restaurants and other retailers to tax customers 10 cents per plastic bag from July through 2021.

The state would use the fees for "cleaning up the environment."

Assembly Bill 344 would ban stores from providing customers with plastic bags beginning in 2022.

State health officials would conduct inspections and fine non-compliant businesses up to $500.

Assemblywomen Sandra Jauregui (HOW'-deg-hee) and Heidi Swank along with Sen. Tick Segerblom, all of Las Vegas, are leading the proposal in the Democrat-controlled Legislature.

Non-biodegradable plastic bags are banned in California and Hawaii. Metropolitan areas that have imposed bans include New York, Seattle, Austin, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

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3:15 p.m.

A Boulder City Republican is seeking a new state tax on renewable energy producers in Nevada.

Sen. Joseph Hardy is proposing the Department of Taxation set fees based on the amount of electricity a company or person generates from renewables in a year.

Department spokeswoman Stephanie Klapstein says the measure would enact the state's first wholesale tax on electricity production.

Senate Bill 336 would tax the generation of biomass, fuel cell, geothermal, solar, wind and water power.

The measure comes as members of the Democratic majority push legislation to shift the state's energy sources away from fossil fuels and toward renewables.

Hardy's bill was introduced Monday in a flurry of new legislation being published ahead of a legislative deadline.

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2:55 p.m.

Nevada is moving one step closer to joining 35 other states that approved the Equal Rights Amendment decades ago.

Members of the Assembly voted 28-14 Monday to advance the 45-year-old congressional proposal.

It sought to amend the U.S. Constitution to say men and women are equal under the law, but fell three states shy of ratification at its 1982 deadline.

Proponents argue Nevada is long overdue to recognize women's equality, even symbolically.

Opponents say they're concerned it could disrupt family and military culture.

All Democrats plus one independent woman and two Republican women have voted in favor of the measure.

Senate Joint Resolution 2 moves back to the Senate for a final vote.

It would not need Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval's signature, though he has said he supports it.

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2:30 p.m.

A national debate over local governments' role in immigration enforcement is playing out in the Nevada Legislature.

A Republican bill introduced Monday would prohibit city and county officials from discouraging law enforcement agencies from implementing federal immigration laws.

Sen. Michael Roberson's Senate Bill 333 would require the state attorney general to investigate any complaint that a local government is refusing to detain people living in the country illegally.

The Senate minority leader's proposal follows a White House initiative cracking down on so-called sanctuary cities.

Nevada Democrats are backing Senate Bill 223 to conversely prohibit local officers from rounding up immigrants.

Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval has said the Legislature is best suited to resolve the issue.

Roberson's proposal was one of more than 100 bills being introduced Monday ahead of a legislative deadline.

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