Committee questions call to eliminate inactive boards
February 3, 2014
The Legislature’s Sunset Subcommittee was urged to support elimination of eight boards and commissions that agency officials and the governor’s office say are inactive and unnecessary.
But members of the panel headed by Assemblywoman Irene Bustamante Adams questioned whether the functions of some of those panels are still necessary — especially the Nevada Commission on Women.
They were told that commission has been inactive since 1999, when the governor’s office stopped appointing people to serve on it.
LCB Policy Analyst Carol Stonefield told lawmakers that supporters said the commission would act as a clearinghouse for information for women and children, but that opponents argued it would “promote a feminist political agenda and create a special interest lobby.”
The commission has not generated any reports or other guides, and the last meeting minutes on file are dated June 1996.
Gov. Brian Sandoval’s office expressed no opposition to eliminating the commission.
Sen. Pat Spearman, D-Las Vegas, said that before doing so, lawmakers should get data on women’s income levels compared to men’s, how many women are heads of households and other factors.
Adams asked whether Sparks Democrat Skip Daly or Sen. James Settelmeyer, R-Douglas County, had any questions or comments.
“We’re not touching this one,” said Daly.
Adams questioned whether there is any other board or commission addressing the needs of women. She was told there is not but that lawmakers could recommend the governor’s office appoint members again if they believe the commission has value.
Spearman also questioned whether the Rural Advisory Board to expedite placement of foster children should be abolished as well as several other boards and commissions on the list dealing with everything from collection agencies to prevention of strokes and heart disease.
“Are we talking that if we had money in the budget to do these things effectively, we would?” she asked.
She was told that, yes, budgetary constraints are one reason the functions of these boards were being rolled into other programs.
The Sunset Subcommittee took no action on any of the eight panels up for discussion. Adams said that would take place at their next meeting in March.
Because all those boards and commissions were created by statute, the Sunset Subcommittee can’t eliminate them. It can only recommend elimination or changes to the boards to the 2015 Legislature.