(Jame DeHaven | Reno Gazette-Journal) – A bill to add teeth to Nevada’s public records law remains alive, despite a fresh round of opposition from brothel owners who feel it would open up sex workers to harassment.
Senate Bill 287, proposed by state Sen. David Parks, D-Las Vegas, would discourage government officials from slow-walking public records requests by requiring them to provide a date when they will make records available.
The measure would also bar agencies from charging record-seekers for overhead and labor costs associated with fulfilling such requests. It goes on to eliminate the possibility of adding extra fees when a request requires “extraordinary” resources.
Longtime labor lobbyist Danny Thompson — speaking of behalf of Storey County developer and brothel owner Lance Gilman — on Monday told lawmakers they ought to add an amendment to exempt sex worker applications from the state public records law, or else not pass the bill at all.
Brothel workers, exotic dancers and other independent contractors have long been required to carry work cards in Nevada.
The cards are subject to public records requests that Thompson said put sex workers’ at risk.
“This issue isn’t as black and white as it seems,” he told members of the Assembly Committee on Government Affairs. “Not all of these requests are for good purposes. I would urge you to consider your vote carefully.”
The committee took no immediate action on the measure, which needs two more votes to survive a midnight deadline.
Thompson’s opposition only added to a torrent of complaints from local governments. Most remain just as concerned with SB 287 as they were during a marathon introductory hearing in April.
Notably, the City of Reno — which fiercely opposed the bill a few months ago — appears to have dropped its opposition to the measure. It was the only large city in the state to do so.