Las Vegas Sun

April 21, 2014

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Gibbons vetoes hospital bill, signs others

CARSON CITY – Gov. Jim Gibbons has vetoed a bill that would have required larger hospitals in Clark and Washoe counties to submit annual reports to show their nursing staffs are adequate to meet the needs of patients.

Gibbons said Assembly Bill 121 “could dramatically increase the costs of health care without a corresponding increase in levels and quality of service.”

The governor said this should be left to medical professionals and the management of the hospitals.

The bill would have applied to hospitals with more than 70 beds. The hospitals would have had to establish a staffing committee to develop a plan setting the number, skill mix and classification of licensed nurses in each unit. And it would include a description of the patients being treated.

The reports would have been presented to the Legislature.

The bill had passed the Assembly 41-1 and cleared the Senate 14-5.

Assemblywoman Ellen Koivisto, D-Las Vegas, who sponsored the bill, could not be reached for comment.

Gibbons also vetoed Assembly Bill 410, which would permit collective bargaining agreements to supersede various laws relating to industry insurance. He said the bill “would lead to a plethora of unintended consequence…” He said it could result in employees losing worker’s compensation benefits and might stop injured workers from choosing their own doctor.

The Assembly approved AB410 30-11 and the Senate passed it 21-0.

Gibbons also signed more than 60 bills Friday, including ones on child prostitution and bullying in high schools.

The governor approved Assembly Bill 380, which freezes and forfeits the assets of a person involved in the pandering or prostitution of a child.

And a judge may impose a fine of up to $500,000 on a convicted person if the child is less than 14 years old. The maximum fine would be $100,000 if the child is between 14 and 18 years old.

Senate Bill 163 was approved to prohibit bullying or cyber bullying in public schools. Bullying is described as causing physical harm or emotional distress. The penalty is a misdemeanor or a gross misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances.

There is now a prohibition against discriminating in public places based on sexual orientation. The governor signed Senate Bill 207, which defines sexual orientation as heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexual.

And the state library in Carson City will not be open five days a week, eight hours a day. Because of budget cuts, the Legislature passed Assembly Bill 528 to eliminate that requirement. The library, under its new budget, will be open four days a week.

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