Nevada Lawmakers Introduce Construction Defects Bill - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Nevada Lawmakers Introduce Construction Defects Bill

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Construction has been one of the hardest hit industries in the Silver State.

And the sponsors of Senate Bill 161 say there are parts of the construction defects law -- known as chapter 40 -- that are slowing its recovery.

"Right now, things aren't getting fixed. Homeowners can't refinance, can't sell without disclosing and that is problematic in today's market," says Sen. Joe Hardy (R).

Nevada is the only state with more defect claims than homes sold.

If approved, the bill would change the definition of what a construction defect is to try and reduce litigation. It also removes an entitlement to attorney's fees that they say is hurting builders.

"You have had a feeding frenzy on construction defect litigation...Right now, they're spending millions of dollars litigating instead of building. We want people building. We want people in jobs. We want people creating jobs."

In the past six years, Nevada has seen a 355% increase in construction defects claims.

Senator Joe Hardy, along with Senators Ben Kieckefer and Michael Roberson sponsored the bill -- saying the changes will hold builders accountable, get things fixed quickly, and cut down on frivolous claims.

"It will be a direct impact on jobs in the construction industry. It would free up millions and millions of dollars in capital that will be put back into building in this state," says Sen. Kieckefer (R).

Democratic Senator Mo Dennis says, "It would be conjecture, at this point. We wouldn't really know until after the fact on what happens with that."

Democrats have introduced a bill that they say will create road construction jobs.

And they say they're willing look at any bill that could help that industry.

"Anything that we can do to help bring more jobs in the construction industry, especially because they've been hit so hard, I think is important. So, we're looking at those issues."

A UNLV study says if Nevada's building industry had recovered as well as the national average -- 54,000 Nevadans would be put back to work.

Republicans say this is a good first step.

Written by Paul Nelson

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