Committee refines legislative calendar and rules

Rules and the schedule that will govern the 2001 Legislature got some fine tuning Tuesday.

Some of the things particularly younger members of leadership find most time consuming probably won't change much. The big items on the list are the endless memorials and resolutions honoring everything from congressional actions to retired and deceased celebrities, old-time Nevadans and public officials.

"We're memorializing people who aren't even there, never lived in our state," said Assembly Majority Leader Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas. "We're memorializing products."

Minority Leader Lynn Hettrick, R-Gardnerville, said there was even a resolution proposed memorializing a rock group for including anti-drug lyrics in a song.

"Give me a break," he said.

But outgoing speaker Joe Dini, D-Yerington, said the issue should be left to leadership and made it clear things probably won't change a lot.

"There are some people in the Legislature who are antiques," he said. "I'm one of them. And everybody who's dying these days, we know them.

"I think I'm speaking for all three of us fossils," he said laughing - a reference to himself, Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio and Sen. Lawrence Jacobsen - all over 70. "It's a tradition, a very highly regarded tradition, and part of the character of our Legislature."

He agreed, however, that the committee should recommend scheduling memorials away from major bill deadlines during the session.

The recommendation was included in a list by the Committee to Consult with the Director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau along with a new legislative session schedule. Final action depends on legislative leaders - Raggio in the Senate and Assembly Speaker Richard Perkins, D-Henderson, who were not at the meeting.

LCB Director Lorne Malkiewich said several dates have been changed from last session, which was the first conducted under the 120-day limit. In each case, the changes were designed to give three or four more days for committee consideration in the house where a piece of legislation originated.

That schedule, however, still sets "drop-dead" dates for introducing legislation, committee approval, first house approval and the same process in the second house. The only bills exempt from that process are those dealing with the budget.

Malkiewich said the changes amounted to a minor refinement because the 1999 schedule worked well by all accounts.

The 2001 session will open Feb. 5 - the first Monday in the month, as required by the Constitution. It will shut down June 4 - 120 calender days later.

The unknown quantity this session is reapportionment, which has no set of deadlines.

"I've never been in favor of any deadlines on that one because it's political," said Dini. "You have to get all the scenarios put together and then they fall together when all the politics clear away."

Sen. Ray Rawson, R-Las Vegas, said there should be some deadline to make sure bill drafters have enough time to prepare the complex piece of legislation. He suggested a target of the 110th day, giving 10 days before adjournment for drafting and final debate.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment