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Lawmakers discuss bill regarding eviction disputes during special session |

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Lawmakers discuss bill regarding eviction disputes during special session

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada lawmakers are back in Carson City for another Special Session. The State Legislature is planning to discuss a wide variety of topics, including evictions, police reform and the right to vote.

Lawmakers have a lot of ground to cover, especially because Gov. Steve Sisolak has said this special session must end by next Friday.

Some of the biggest items have not been discussed yet. That includes a police reform bill, which would ban the use of chokeholds, require officers to intervene if another officer is using unjustified physical force and mandate all use of force incidents to be reported.

There will also be a voting rights bill, which would ensure enough safe, in-person polling locations for the 2020 election.

But today, so far, the focus has been on evictions.

State Senators heard about a bill that would let certain courts implement an Alternative Dispute Resolution program for residential eviction issues. As we know, the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated our economy, and many Nevada families are struggling to pay their rent right now.

The proposed program would include mediation, which is when landlords and tenants work out the problem on their own, without direct involvement from the courts.

Nevada Supreme Court Justice James Hardesty presented the bill today, saying one main reason for creating the program is because our State’s courts will not be able to deal with the huge number of eviction cases once Sisolak’s moratorium ends Sept. 1. He added mediation is often successful.

“The eviction problem facing our State presents enormous hardships for landlords, as well as their tenants, and this is a system we hope to implement to mitigate those hardships,” said Hardesty.

Legal Aid of Southern Nevada chimed in during the public comment portion, saying they’ve been getting hundreds of calls from people who are panicking about getting evicted.

If the bill passes, courts will have 30 days to put the Alternative Dispute Resolution program in place, and there would also be a stay on eviction proceedings during that time period.

In addition to police reform and voting rights, some senators 8 News Now has been speaking with tell us their main priorities during this special session also include protesting casino workers from COVID-19 risks and ensuring DETR expedites unemployment payments.