Monthly Archives: December 2009

Ethics Reforms

Gubernatorial candidate Rory Reid recently outlined his proposal to reform ethics rules in Nevada.  His proposal includes:  ending lobbying of state agencies by current legislators; penalizing non-willful violations of ethics rules; establishing a two-year cooling off period for lobbying by former legislators or former state employees; and releasing the Governor’s “official” schedule to the public. The first of these proposals might be the trickiest to actually enact into law in light of the recent Nevada Supreme Court decision in Commission on Ethics v. Hardy.  In that opinion, the Court held that the power to … Continue Reading »

Baptism by Fire

The Associated Press ran a story yesterday called “Rookies will be  big factor in 2011 Legislature.”  The article notes that newcomers will hold at least 17 of the 42 spots in the Assembly, and at least 8 of the 21 spots in the Senate (with some allowances for legislators who avoid term limits and remain in the Legislature by swapping houses).  The story notes that the 2011 Legislature will be confronted with at least two enormous challenges:  the growing gap between government expenses and revenues; and reapportionment of Nevada’s legislative districts. The challenges in tackling those … Continue Reading »

Setting the Agenda

With the possibility of a special session of the Nevada Legislature comes the speculation about what will be and what won’t be on the agenda.  Article 5, Section 9 of the Nevada Constitution provides that the Governor “shall state to both houses when organized, the purpose for which they have been convened, and the Legislature shall transact no legislative business, except that for which they were specially convened, or such other legislative business as the Governor may call to the attention of the Legislature while in Session.” There has been a long-running, if … Continue Reading »

State Budget Situation Worsens

Today Governor Gibbons asked state agencies to plan for budget reductions of up to 10%.  The request comes less than a month after agency heads were asked to submit plans for reductions of up to 3%.  The request can only mean that the administration feels that state revenues will not improve anytime soon and that drastic measures will need to be taken in order to maintain a positive cash flow. Budget reductions of this magnitude, on the heels of significant spending reductions for the biennium that were approved by the Legislature in early … Continue Reading »

Criminal Charges Against Lt. Governor Dropped

Earlier this week, a Nevada judge dismissed a criminal indictment against the Lt. Governor and his Chief of Staff.   Yesterday, the Attorney General announcedthat the dismissal would not be appealed and no further proceedings would be pursued.  The charges stemmed from allegations that the Lt. Governor, at the time he was Treasurer for Nevada, failed to comply with state budget laws in the marketing of a college savings program. Throughout the proceedings, many observers questioned the viability of the indictment as no money was missing and there were reasonable differences of … Continue Reading »

The Road to a Special Session

There has been rampant speculation on whether the Governor will call a special session in early 2010 to deal with Nevada’s worsening revenue collections.  The Governor recently announced plans to convene the Economic Forum and obtain an updated revenue forecast by January 19, 2010.  The announcement came after quarterly revenue reports showed the state was $50 million behind the projections used to build the biennial budget after only a quarter of the first fiscal year of the biennium (fiscal years for state government purposes run from July 1 to June 30).  If that kind … Continue Reading »

Welcome to Of Note Nevada

Thank you for visiting my new blog.  By way of introduction, I’ve been practicing law in Nevada for eleven years and work with the law firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck,  Before joining the law firm, I served as Chief of Staff to the Governor of Nevada.  Prior to serving as Chief of Staff, I served as General Counsel to the Governor and was also a Senior Deputy in the Nevada Attorney General’s Office.  My professional experiences have taken me from the courtroom to the inner workings of state government and allow … Continue Reading »