Las Vegas Sun

November 18, 2017

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Nevada Legislature 2013:

Going to miss the Nevada Legislature? You’re in luck: Sessions could become annual

The 2013 Legislature, which cost $20 million, could not complete its business by the 120-day time limit and were called into special session.

But on the final day of the regular session, the lawmakers were able to complete work on a constitutional amendment that permits annual sessions and scraps the prohibition they be paid for only 60 days during the regular meetings.

The Assembly on Sunday approved by a 23-18 vote Senate Joint Resolution 8, which permits 90-day sessions in odd-numbered years and 30-day sessions in even-numbered years.

The Senate, which had approved the resolution 11-10 in April, agreed on Monday to the amended resolution adopted by the Assembly.

The Nevada Constitution says the salary for the Legislature is limited to 60 days of the 120-day regular session and 20 days of a special session.

Lawmakers now earn $146 a day, plus per diem and other expenses.

The 60-day pay limit would be removed under SJR8, and lawmakers would be "paid at regular intervals as set by law and may receive their actual expenses. But no pay increase would take effective during the term for a legislator."

The constitution gives the governor and the Legislature the power to convene special sessions.

Gov. Brian Sandoval called the lawmakers into special session Tuesday morning to complete action on several bills that did not make it through the regular session. He gave them from 4-8 a.m.

But the lawmakers didn't pass the bills until after 8 a.m.

Assembly Majority Leader William Horne, D-Las Vegas, said the governor had no authority to set the hourly time limit. He said once called into special session, the Legislature could last for 20 days.

The proposed constitutional amendment for annual sessions must be approved by the 2015 Legislature and then ratified by the voters in 2016.

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