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July 28, 2015

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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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