Dems tilt Legislative Commission membership to their party
May 16, 2017
Democratic leadership in the Senate on Tuesday announced they were tilting the historically bipartisan split on the Legislative Commission.
That commission, which handles legislative policy matters primarily when the Legislature isn't in session, has traditionally been half Republican and half Democrat, ignoring the fact that one party was in the minority.
But the membership announced in Senate Resolution 6 consists of three Democrats and two Republicans with non-partisan Sen. Patricia Farley as the sixth member.
Since Farley caucuses with the Democrats and, on the majority of issues, votes with them, Republican senators protested saying the move effectively makes the commission partisan.
One observer suggested Republicans might consider the old saying: You reap what you sow.
In the final stretch of the 2015 Legislature then-Majority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, introduced Senate Resolution 7 which limited the minority party's ability to propose amendments and required that any amendments be first submitted to a committee headed by the majority leader. Those rules also made other significant changes to the standing rules Democrats at the time said were biased against them.
Sen. Nicole Cannizzaro, D-Las Vegas, introduced SR6 pointing out it recognizes the membership of the Senate's one non-partisan member.
Republican Sens. Ben Kieckhefer of Reno and James Settelmeyer of Minden both objected to the resolution saying the commission has always been split equally between the majority and minority parties.
Kieckhefer described including Farley because she's non-partisan "a red herring."
"To suggest it's necessary, I think, is a ruse."
He and Settelmeyer also pointed out this is the first time the minority party hasn't been allowed to name its own Legislative Commission members and the first time the minority leader — Roberson this session — isn't a member.