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July 28, 2014

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Plan unveiled to let Nevada Legislature convene in Las Vegas

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

The Assembly meets in a floor session Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 during the 2013 legislative session in Carson City.

Tick Segerblom

Tick Segerblom

CARSON CITY — A plan has been unveiled to permit the Nevada Legislature to hold part or all of its sessions in Las Vegas, to meet every year instead of every other year, to jack up the pay of lawmakers and to give them the power to confirm the appointments of the governor.

Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, on Monday sponsored a proposed constitutional amendment — Senate Joint Resolution 8 — to increase the power of the Legislature, now a part-time body.

He said the 120 day limit on regular sessions every two years does not allow enough time to handle all the issues.

The Nevada Constitutions now requires the Legislature to hold its regular and special sessions in Carson City, the seat of government. Segerblom notes that Las Vegas has more than 50 percent of the state’s population.

His measure would permit the Legislature to meet at any place in the state “if a majority of each house agrees to do so.”

Lawmakers now earn $146 per day for the first 60 days of the 120 day session. Both houses agreed to take a 4.8 percent reduction in their salary this session, the same as the pay cut for state workers.

The proposed constitutional amendment calls for a salary of not less than $2,000 for each month during their term of office, prorated for any partial month.

The Segerblom proposal would allow for 120 days of biennial session, but the lawmaker would be in session for only 90 days. He said this would allow the legislator a period to return home. His measure would also create a 45-day annual session, during which lawmakers would meet for 30 days.

At present, the governor has the power to appoint anybody he wants to his cabinet. Under SJR-8, the appointment is temporary until the Senate confirms the selection.

Segerblom says the Legislature would not come into session in a special session just to confirm or consent to the selection.

Voters at the last election agreed to allow the Legislature into special session with a vote of two-thirds of the lawmakers. This proposal would lessen that to a simple majority.

This resolution must be approved by two sessions of the Legislature and ratified by the voters.

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  1. Can I vote no now? If they wish to move the capitol, then ask the voters that. It would have a better chance of passing than increasing their pay and meeting every year.

  2. This measure is far too broad and should be broken up into its component parts. If it should ever reach the ballot in this form I would vote against it even though I favor some of it.

  3. If they don't have the budget to deal with (if thats still done on a biennium), the 45-day off-year session might actually be more productive than the 120-day session they have now! In fact, I would suspect what would happen is that they would spend almost the entire 120 days squabbling about the budget (education cuts, public safety cuts, sunset taxes, etc), and then use the off-year session for passing other laws.

  4. I can see having committee meetings down south but moving the whole legislature would incur problems that we haven't seen yet. Would they need a whole new building to meet at? That's what would eventually happen.

    Look at New York, NYC is obviously the center of the population but they still go up to Albany.

    Meeting every year though may be something whose time has come. We do have a lot of issues that need more attention than they get now. Plus if they were shorter sessions. I'd like to see the whole proposal.

    I agree these things need to be split up and voted on their own merits.

  5. Let's have all the Steven Brooks Democrats get run out of the Legislature, then give them the power to make good things happen for our state....until then, skip these ideas.

  6. I think there is a Partially used building available in North Las Vegas, between a Sewage Plant, Hog Lots, a New Empty Prison and an Excellent Road System designed to quickly move the Transient Population into Town. I give them a Day before they'll run out of town and Never come back, especially if we can make their reservations within Walking Distance of the new North Las Vegas City Hall.

  7. With the economic crisis still impacting Nevada, it would certainly be in the best interest of the State of Nevada and its People to meet yearly, and to at the very least, split the meeting sessions between half the time meet in Carson City, and the other half meet in Las Vegas. Las Vegas could utilize any of the many places available, as the convention center or various arenas in town for meetings.

    Taking power of appointment and confirmation from the governor concerns me, as all the bipartisan bickering would create stalemates. Also, Lawmakers voting themselves pay raises does NOT bid well with me either, we all know how well that plays out by just looking at the Federal Lawmakers giving themselves pay raises while Citizens throughout the USA continue to work withOUT raises or cost of living adjustments. They should be making what the regular guy Citizen makes, as big corporations throw a pile of money their way (unlike the little guy Citizen).

    The purposed plan is a good beginning. Having meetings in Las Vegas, even part time, encourages citizen involvement with their government, and it is a great model for our young people to emulate. Finally, some good planning taking place!

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  8. Well with the low income they make you have to wonder why they would even want the job , ohhh yeah I forgot the perks and bribes by lobbyist and special interest groups.