Las Vegas Sun

October 31, 2014

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Panel reviews need for a Nevada Commission on Women

There hasn't been a meeting of the state Commission on Women since June 1996 and there are no current members.

But at least one member of a legislative subcommittee wants more information before deciding to officially abolish it.

The sunset subcommittee of the Legislative Commission met Monday to discuss whether it should recommend that a number of inactive government committees or commissions be terminated.

Gov. Brian Sandoval has recommended the women's commission be abolished along with several others.

Sen. Pat Spearman, D-North Las Vegas, said she wants more information before taking action.

She wants to know the percentage of women in Nevada compared to men as reported by the last census; how many women are heads of households; the income level of women compared to men and the ages of their children.

She said this commission may serve to improve the quality of life for females.

Assemblywoman Irene Bustamante Adams, D-Las Vegas, who serves as subcommittee chairwoman, said it could recommend to the governor to appoint some members to the commission.

The recommendations have to go to the parent Legislative Commission.

Carol M. Stonefield, policy analyst for the Legislative Counsel Bureau, said there was some controversy when the state commission was created in the early 1990s. She said supporters maintained it was to improve the status of women while opponents said it would use taxpayer dollars to lobby feminist issues.

The subcommittee will meet March 4 to make its final recommendations.

It will review a number of other inactive government committees or commissions such as the Nevada Academy of Health, the Collection Agency Advisory Board and the Advisory Committee for the Prevention and Treatment of Stroke and Heart Disease.

Some of these boards may not have met because there was no money for them during the recession, officials said.

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