Each legislative session, legislators face more than 1500 individual pieces of proposed legislation, generally referred to as "bills". Those bills are requested by individual legislators, governmental agencies, and interim committees which have studied the more complex issues.
Some measures simply make small updates or corrections to previously passed law. Other bills, running hundreds of pages, take on complex changes which are frequently hotly debated.
The real work, however, takes place in legislative committees which develop expertise on the issues before them. The committees take hundreds of hours of public testimony, including video links to Southern Nevada, consider other similar bills, and often suggest changes or amendments.
As the Chair of the Judiciary Committee, William Horne holds the responsibility to head up the committee responsible for hearing all proposals to change criminal law and gaming law in Nevada. As you can imagine, the Judiciary Committee gets the lion's share of the legislative bills to consider.
Additionally, William serves as a member of two other committees. The Commerce and Labor Committee took on a large workload as it worked to help businesses through the rough economic cycle.
Here, Assemblyman William Horne discusses a few issues that he worked on during the 2011 legislative session:
Foreclosures and Mediation.
Since the crash of the housing market, the federal government has stepped in , and our Nevada Attorney General has entered into a settlement agreement which should help some Nevadans. Still, there was a need to change state law to deal with mediation settlements, especially when we found that some companies were coming to settlement meetings without the proper paperwork and without the authority to reach agreement. This legislation put real pressure on the lenders to play by the rules; unfortunately, while it was approved by the Assembly and Senate, the Governor vetoed the measure.
Victims' Rights and Compensation.
We discovered that if crime rates went down one year, the money left in a fund to help victims of crimes was taken awayŚresulting in following years where there were too little funds to help all the victims. I cosponsored AB355 to keep that money in the fund to help victims get their lives back together.
We found there were entrepreneurs willing to start up businesses, but banks remained hesitant to loan money to new businesses. For that reason and others, I signed on as a cosponsor of AB449 to increase our focus on business and provide for local development authorities to make grants or loans to new businesses with a sound business plan. Small businesses add up to Nevada's largest employer, and I believe this will help many of those trying to get started.
Special Report: The 2010 Special Session
Increasing Charges in Domestic Violence Cases
Protecting Our Children
Members in the State Assembly made tough decisions to balance the budget and fill the $880 million shortfall.
Legislators passed a jobs bill to create an estimated 8,000 new jobs in the construction industry, reduced cuts proposed by Governor Gibbons to K-12 and higher education and maintained a satisfactory level of vital services for children, the elderly and mentally ill.
Click here to read the entire Special Report.
2009 Increasing Charges in Domestic Violence Cases (Assembly Bill 33)
As the two-term Vice Chairman, and likely incoming Chair, of the Judiciary Committee, William is well informed about the law and the protections it provides for Nevadans. William introduced AB 33, which increases the penalty from a misdemeanor to a felony for strangulation in domestic violence cases. "We need to protect families throughout Nevada. AB 33 increases this domestic violence charge from a misdemeanor to a felony. That means more jail time and larger fines, a much needed change for such heinous crimes."
2009 Protecting Our Children (Assembly Bill 238)
Teen prostitution is one of the most disturbing and disgusting crimes on the streets today. William strengthened the current law to protect our children by increasing the charge for solicitation of a prostitute under the age of 18 years from a misdemeanor to a felony.
2009 Regulating Appraisals (Assembly Bill 287)
Appraisers are under increasing pressure from lenders, mortgage bankers and real estate agents to estimate the value of property at higher or "predetermined" values. William sponsored and passed in to law AB 287, which prohibits improper influence from lenders, mortgage bankers and real estate agents. The legislation increases regulation, requires mandatory registration of appraisal companies and increases continuing education requirements for appraisers.
|William Horne Little Known Fact: Despite thinking he’s a sub-par long distance runner, he ran the fastest two-mile run at ROTC Officer’s Advanced camp (10:31)!