Bill aimed at curbing construction defect lawsuits could be to governor by Friday

Nevada Democrats decried a lack of transparency after Republicans members of a Senate committee passed a sharply debated bill Wednesday designed to curb lawsuits against construction defects.

Senate Judiciary Committee members voted 4-3 along party lines to approve AB125.

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The bill was not listed on agendas for the meeting, and Senate minority leader Aaron Ford criticized the vote as a partisan maneuver.

"Neither the public or the press knew this was going on," he said. "Where is the transparency?"

GOP committee chairman Sen. Greg Brower said the fine print on the agenda notes that measures could be up for a vote even if they're not listed.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson said the bill, which was approved Tuesday by party-line vote in the Assembly, would receive a floor vote on Friday and, if approved, head to the governor.

He said Gov. Brian Sandoval has expressed support for the bill and that the Legislature needs to move quickly to address "the people's business."

"When people say we move too fast, I remind them that we only have a 120-day session," he said.

Republicans say the bill would fix a law that was initially meant to protect homeowners when flaws appeared in their houses but has opened the floodgates for expensive litigation and created a financial incentive for attorneys to file suit.

Democratic opponents say they worry the bill helps contractors while making it harder for homeowners to get recourse when they encounter a problem.

Ford said he's attempted to work out a solution on construction defects with Republicans in the past, and sneaking legislation through would come back to hurt them.

"They could have been on the 10-year plan, but instead they're on a two-year plan," he said.


Associated Press writer Michelle Rindels contributed to this report.