RENO, Nev. (News 4 & FOX 11) — Dozens of bills passed in the 2021 Nevada legislative session are going into effect on Jan. 1, 2022, including laws surrounding child car seats, lactation rooms, mail-in voting and more.
Here is a roundup of the major laws that go into effect on New Year's Day.
Assembly Bill 118 makes significant changes to the laws surrounding when children need to be in a car seat. Starting Jan. 1, children must be secured in a rear-facing car seat until at least the age of 2.
Children under the age of 6 years old and shorter than 57 inches tall must now ride in a car seat according to the new law, sponsored by Democratic Assemblywoman Shannon Bilbray-Axelrod.
The measure removed the weight requirement, which previously allowed children over 60 pounds to no longer ride in a car seat.
Child safety advocates pushed for the measure, citing Nevada trauma data that showed children who were properly restrained were 47.8% less likely to be seriously or critically injured in a crash.
"We just know that a simple thing like a correctly oriented car seat that's put in properly makes a huge difference and makes it much more likely that a child will survive a car accident that they otherwise would not have," said Dr. Terence McAllister with the Nevada chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The Washoe County Sheriff's Office demonstrated the proper way to put a child in a car seat during a Facebook live stream Thursday:
All courthouses in Nevada will be required to have lactation rooms for members of the public, not just courthouse employees, under a new law pushed though the legislature by Assemblywoman Teresa Benitez-Thompson.
Assembly Bill 196 does have a few exceptions to the lactation room requirement, such as courthouses that would require new construction to build a public lactation room.
"Public health experts tell us that you wan to continue to breastfeed those babies even though you are returning to work, so that means we can do our part to help with the people who have to interface in courthouses," Benitez-Thompson said.
It's a public health issue first and foremost. We want to do everything we can to encourage women to continue to breastfeed.
Every registered Nevada voter will be mailed a ballot in future elections under Assembly Bill 321, which passed in the 2021 legislature with Democratic support.
The measure makes permanent a pandemic-era change that temporarily switched Nevada over to a universal mail-in ballot state. Another measure eliminates the presidential caucus and replaces it with a presidential preference primary, though voters won't experience that change until 2024.
Reno Senator Heidi Seevers Gansert sponsored and passed Senate Bill 251, which requires primary care providers to do a medical history screening and ask women if they are at a higher risk for a BRCA mutation, which has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer.
Medical providers would then be required to counsel them or refer them to genetic counseling if women were determined to be high-risk, Seevers-Gansert said.
Click here for the full list of bills passed in the 2021 legislative session that go into effect on Jan. 1.
Email reporter Ben Margiott at email@example.com. Follow @BenMargiott on Twitter and Ben Margiott KRNV on Facebook.