Some Observations on the Call for the Special Session

Earlier today Governor Gibbons issued a proclamation calling the Legislature into a special session beginning at 9:00 a.m. on February 23, 2010.  Without rehashing everything contained therein, I did note some interesting aspects of the proclamation.

1.  No specific ending time and date is set for the session.  In the two special sessions in 2008, a specific ending time and date was established in the proclamation itself.

2.  There is no express prohibition on the consideration of new or increased taxes.  Of course, both the Governor and legislative leaders have said that taxes are off the table.

3.  Some major issues were not included, such as the change to Nevada law needed to apply for Race to the Top funds, and a change to Nevada law to address the recent water law decision in Great Basin Water Network v. State Engineer.

4.  Although the proclamation lists 12 specific issues for consideration, it also concludes by stating that the Legislature “shall consider solutions to reduce state government spending.”  In other words, the Legislature is not necessarily limited to considering just those 12 specific issues.  Perhaps the Legislature will take the opportunity to review more of the SAGE Commission recommendations that did not receive much attention in 2009.  (Note: a few of the agenda items are SAGE recommendations).

5.  The Governor reserves the right to amend the agenda as the session progresses.  An amendment at some point seems a given, and the Governor has significant authority to dictate the course of the session with his ability to set and limit the agenda.

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