A member of the Nevada Silver Haired Legislative Forum was abruptly dismissed from a meeting when she kept pressing a Clark County social services manager about the impact of Las Vegas ordinances outlawing sitting and sleeping in public. An estimated 42 percent of the more than 5,500 homeless in Southern Nevada are 50 or older.
The dispute came during a Thursday meeting of the Legislative Commission — an interim body that reviews and approves regulations by state agencies — to approve a short resolution that essentially ratifies a decision made by the body in December to appeal a lower court’s decision barring legislative attorneys from participating in the case.
At a gun show last weekend in Carson City, where handguns and scopes and rifles were on display at a community center, Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak was a bit of a persona non grata. Gun control bills the governor signed out of the 2019 legislative session — including one requiring background checks on private sales and transfers and another authorizing temporary gun confiscation for people showing behavioral “red flags” — just took effect this month.
Details from the 2019 contribution and expenses reports, due on Jan. 15, detailed how much legislative incumbents and candidates raised over the last calendar year and painted a more hopeful picture for Republicans in several “swing” Assembly races, with a more mixed view in competitive state Senate seats.
The two political action committees — Realtor Champion PAC and Realtor Industry PAC — were each registered with the state on the same day in December and given $1 million each by the REALTORS association. It’s part of an expanded strategy by the association (already a major contributor to legislative candidates of both parties) to play a larger role in recruiting and supporting candidates in both major political parties aligned with the industry after a 2019 legislative session that association President Chris Bishop called “one of the worst legislative sessions we've been through.”
In an order issued Friday, the seven-member court granted a stay blocking implementation of Carson City District Court Judge James Russell’s order preventing the Legislative Counsel Bureau from representing individual lawmakers in a payroll tax lawsuit — filed by Republican state senators challenging a 2019 bill that removed a scheduled decrease in the state’s payroll tax rate without a two-thirds majority usually required for any change in taxes.
Legislative Counsel Bureau (LCB) attorney Kevin Powers last week told members of the Legislative Commission — an interim body that typically reviews and approves regulations by state agencies — that Carson City Judge James Russell’s decision in November to disqualify the legal division from representing individual legislators in a court dispute over payroll taxes could have a “significant implication” for the ability of the Legislature's nonpartisan lawyers to continue normal operations.
“Right now we have more people sitting in that queue for longer than we want, and that just comes down to affordable units that we can get folks into,” Clark County Administrator of Human Services Tim Burch said.
The ballot question would change the status quo, which is that the Legislature draws electoral maps every 10 years after the census. In Nevada, Democrats have a firm hold on the Legislature, and Democrats including Gov. Steve Sisolak have criticized the proposed policy change.
The caucus announced the endorsement of Lange on Tuesday. The development marks a significant advantage for Lange in the primary election for a safely Democratic state Senate seat sought by at least two incumbent Assembly members — Ellen Spiegel and Richard Carrillo.
During a legislative interim meeting on Friday, state lawmakers voted to proceed with an in-house, outside recruitment process for Comb’s replacement, with a meeting expected in February 2020 to select a replacement director.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Carson City District Court by NevadansCAN, a self-described “non-profit citizens action network” based in Henderson and led by Mary Rooney, a former Republican state Assembly candidate and a conservative activist. Attornies representing the group are Alan Lefebvre and William Schuller of the Kolesar & Leatham law firm.
According to the Nevada Judiciary’s 2019 annual report, which was released Thursday, the state’s two highest courts had 2,042 appealed cases pending at the end of the 2019 fiscal year — a slight decrease from last year’s record-high backlog of 2,201 pending cases.
The lawsuit argues that the proposed redistricting commission is not truly independent because legislative leaders could still appoint their preferred members to the group. While it excludes certain politically involved members — such as lawmakers or lobbyists — campaign volunteers might qualify, the plaintiff argued.