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Planned start date for second special session pushed back

Riley Snyder
Riley Snyder
Legislature
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A second special legislative session dealing with major policy items is being pushed back from its planned Thursday start date.

Although Gov. Steve Sisolak said during a press conference on Monday that he had targeted Thursday as the initial start date of the special session, a spokeswoman for his office said on Wednesday that the date had been changed.

“Once the Governor feels confident the session is ready to begin, he will issue a proclamation,” Sisolak spokeswoman Meghin Delaney said in a text message.

Sisolak’s office previously said in a statement that it would look at including a variety of policy changes for inclusion on a special session agenda, including:

  • “Criminal and social justice policy reform”
  • Changes in election law, likely related to mail ballots for the 2020 general election
  • Increased worker protections and enhanced business liability protections, both related to COVID-19
  • Removing “statutory barriers impeding the work of Nevada’s unemployment insurance program”

In a press release sent earlier this month, Sisolak said in a statement that he did not want to call a second special session until he was confident that the Legislature has “fully reviewed all policy items and is ready to conduct a thorough, organized and efficient second special session.”

Lawmakers were initially expected to be called into another special session upon the cumulation of their first, a 12-day budget focused special session that ended earlier this month. 

Unlike normal legislative sessions, which happen for 120-days every odd-numbered year, special sessions can only be called by the governor or a two-thirds majority of the Legislature. Legislators are also limited to taking up bills and resolutions explicitly mentioned in the special session proclamation. 

Although policy items took a backseat during the Legisalture’s special session earlier this month focusing on the state’s $1.2 billion budget shortfall, interest groups have been lobbying lawmakers and pushing for a host of proposals to be included or excluded from the special session over the last month.

As with the last special session, it’s expected that members of the public and lobbyists will be prevented from entering the physical legislative building, to mitigate the threat of COVID-19.

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