CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — When July arrives in the Silver State, nearly 200 new laws will go into effect. Nevada's anti-sex trafficking policies will be strengthened, driver's privilege cards for people in the country illegally will be allowed and the process of readying state law enforcement to collect DNA from everyone arrested on felony charges will begin.
The 197 laws effective starting July 1 represent a little more than a third of the 558 bills approved by lawmakers and signed by Gov. Brian Sandoval from the 2013 Legislature and ensuing special session. All of the bills will be effective by January 1, 2015.
Presented below are the 10 laws that will most affect Nevadans daily lives immediately:
— Casinos' complimentary meals will be tax-free: The passage of AB506 was critical for preserving the state budget. If the bill was not signed, the state could have been liable for at least $233 million in tax refunds owed to the casinos.
— Underage tanning: Lawmakers outlawed anyone under 18 from using tanning salons and created a civil liability for salons that allow children to use the equipment. Additionally, salon owners will have to increase the signage detailing the health risks of tanning.
— Sex trafficking crackdown: The flagship bill was AB67 which defines sex trafficking, stiffens criminal penalties, provides tools for victims and law enforcement officers and includes customers of trafficked persons in the same criminal class as the traffickers in some cases. It was accompanied by a bill toughening involuntary servitude laws and another creating a state-managed, donation-funded account for victims of human trafficking.
— Millennium scholarship boost: The Gov. Guinn Millennium Scholarship Fund received substantial support from lawmakers with bills going into effect that allocate $7 million for the fund. An additional $8 million is coming from a settlement between some of the nation's largest tobacco companies and the states. With the $15 million coming during the 2013 Legislature, the scholarship is financially secure through the 2017-2018 school year.
— State budget funnels substantial funding for education: The $6.6 billion general fund budget goes into effect as the new fiscal year dawns, and the biggest takeaways come from the $2.5 billion dedicated to K-12 education. The budget includes dedicated money for English Language Learners programs, all-day kindergarten and class-size reductions.
— Bye, bye sports betting kiosks: Lawmakers decided the differences between restricted and non-restricted gambling licenses were not clear enough, so legislation was enacted to create more requirements for restricted gambling licensees. The most prominent was the banning of free-standing sports betting kiosks while a two-year study determines the trade-offs for allowing the machines in restricted establishments.
— Hello, online gambling: Early in the session lawmakers from both houses teamed with the governor to rush through legislation keeping the Silver State and Las Vegas at the forefront of the online gambling world. The bill passed allows the state to enter into agreements with other states for online wagering systems. This bill went into effect as soon as it was signed by Sandoval on Feb. 21.
— Medical marijuana dispensaries authorized: Thirteen years after Nevada voters legalized medicinal pot in the state constitution lawmakers have paved a way for them to get the drug without growing it themselves. The measure establishes the framework to make pot available to medical marijuana card holders, imposing fees and requirements for growers, processors and dispensaries of pot. It also contains provisions to continue to allow home-growing until 2016.
— Brianna's Law passes, felony arrests will soon include DNA collection: Felony arrests on or after July 1 of next year include a cheek-swab upon booking — currently, DNA is only collected after a felony conviction. If the arrest is deemed legitimate, the DNA would be cross-referenced with DNA from other crime scenes to see if the person arrested was involved. If probable cause is not established, the DNA is destroyed before any cross-referencing occurs. Brianna's Law is named after Reno's Brianna Denison who was abducted and murdered in 2008.
— Drivers' Authorization Cards: Nevada became the fifth state to provide a way for immigrants to legally drive and obtain insurance when Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval signed SB303 into law. The cards will not be available until January, but about $740,000 will be appropriated for the program on July 1. Applicants will need to verify their identity and residence in this state to obtain a card, and the cards must be renewed annually.
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