Will Democrats, too, crush payday lending, sick pay bills?

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Friday is a deadline for your Nevada Legislature; bills must get passed out of committee or die.

That doesn’t mean bills can’t be resuscitated. Like comic book creators bringing superheroes back from the dead in the next issue, legislative leaders can massage the process to breath new life into seemingly shelved legislation, even after deadlines.

But that’s only if they want to.

Other legislation attempts to monitor payday lending abuses in Nevada. Assembly Bill 118, sponsored by Assemblywomen Heidi Swank and Lesley Cohen, would largely eradicate those abuses, by capping the amount of interest payday lenders can charge. Capping rates has all but driven predatory payday lenders out of other states.

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As of late afternoon Monday, no hearing has been held on AB118, and no hearing scheduled for the committee’s next meeting on Wednesday. Friday’s committee schedule hadn’t been posted yet. Perhaps the Assembly Committee on Commerce and Labor and its chair, Ellen Spiegel, will rally, move the bill out of committee Friday, and Nevada lawmakers will at long last do something about the payday lending industry other than just take campaign contributions from it.

And perhaps there, up in the sky, is a pig.

At least the committee has scheduled time to consider the all-important bill to revise provisions regarding shampoo technologists.

Another bill yet to see the light of day in committee, much less make it out of one, is Senate Bill 312, the bill to mandate private sector employers with more than 25 employees must provide paid sick days. As of Monday, the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor had not scheduled a meeting on the bill this week, though again Friday’s agenda is not yet posted.

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Its Assembly counterpart found time to schedule a hearing on shampoo technologists. The Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor and its chair Pat Spearman, by contrast, found time to schedule hearing on a bill revising provisions related to barbers.

If, on the heels of a blue wave, the nation’s first majority female legislature combines with Nevada’s first Democratic governor of the 21st century to let payday lenders off the hook yet again and also fail to enact a paid sick leave bill, as if they were common Republicans, well … wouldn’t that be something?

Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson has been writing about Nevada policy and politics for more than 20 years. He was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and wrote the then-groundbreaking Las Vegas Gleaner, which among other things was the only independent political blog from Nevada that was credentialed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He spent a few years as a senior energy and environmental policy analyst for Public Citizen, and has occasionally worked as a consultant on mining, taxation, education and other issues for Nevada labor and public interest organizations. His freelance work has been published in outlets ranging from the Guardian to Desert Companion to In These Times to the Oil & Gas Journal. For several years he also taught U.S. History courses at UNLV. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and then assistant managing editor at the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming’s largest newspaper.

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